Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vouched Book! Perception by Lee Strauss

Lee Strauss
Book #1 of the Perception  trilogy
Publication: September 12th 2012 by ESB Publishing
Genre: YA Science Fiction

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Seventeen-year-old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property alongside other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

Perception is a YA Sci-Fi/Mystery/Romance) novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

What a great story and concept! When I first picked up Perception, I was astounded by how the female protagonist, Zoe, lived so comfortably in her world of glass houses, picturesque views, and easy living. Everything was so high-end and perfect that the place seemed stifling, snobby. It made me a bit uncomfortable, and I didn't know how much of it I could take. But that was kind of the point.

Perception  is more than a world where the perfect and technologically advanced society lives in a segregated community from the less perfect society. It's more than just a love story between a genetically altered person (GAP) and a GAP-opposition leader, though that was beautifully and so gush-worthy. It's about about perceptions of the characters themselves, of others, and of the belief systems that shape their lives. Science and faith, human-made and God-made, the themes were perfectly woven with the well-paced mysterious plot. I couldn't put the book down.

Though there were times Zoe came off selfish, understandably so, I appreciated how authentic her characterization was considering the circumstances. It made her endearingly naive, and she doesn't change too suddenly that it was hard to believe. Noah, on the other hand, was perfect in his "normality"—dark hair, dark eyes, lean muscle, a guy just trying to get by and take care of his family. I'll admit his narrative being thrown in about three-quarters of the way threw me off, but only for a second. The boy and all his torn-heart-of-gold, perseverance, and determination made cry!

The only minor issue I had was the ending. It wasn't the the big bang I expected, though it still satisfied me, and I don't see how else the book could've concluded.

I'd highly recommend Perception  to anyone. It was the perfect blend of mild Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Mystery, and slow-burn YA Romance. With substance.


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