Author: Laura Bynum
Page Count: 376 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: dystopian, science fiction
Copy for review was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
50 words or less: In a world where even speaking is regulated and where punishment is brutal beyond belief, a rebellion is brewing to take back language, thought, and creativity.
Wow. Just....wow. I literally just finished reading Veracity and am kind of at a loss for what to say about it. It's simultaneously a riveting, horrifying, enlightening, depressing, and hopeful book, and although the plot is not a territory that hasn't been explored before, the lessons the book teaches are certainly as relevant today as they have been at any other time.
I'm not going to lie; if you've read 1984, you know what this book is about. If you've read Brave New World, you know what this book is about. I would argue, though, that comparing a new release to titles like that is a pretty heavy compliment, and one that I think is definitely deserved in this case.
There is a lot going on in Veracity and it's probably not a book I'd choose for light bedtime reading. The issues that the book raises- what happens when you trade liberty for security, the role of government in people's lives, the role of language in our self-expression and the expression of ourselves as a people, what it means to be a rebel, what rights are universal, literally I could go on forever- all of these are ideas you need time to mull over. This is a violent book, and the violence is horrific and gripping- if you're squeamish, you'll find plenty of stuff to turn your stomach here.
The characters are, by and large, well drawn and complex. The lead characters behave in realistic ways and the secondary characters are interesting as well. I found the world building to be horrifyingly realistic as well, which is really what made this novel stand out. If there hadn't been such a realistic feel to the background of the story I don't think the lessons would have resonated as well.
While I think that this will end up being a love it or hate it kind of book, I think the themes of the book are as timeless as they are important. I think I would recommend this book to just about anyone. At the very least, it would get some conversations started and ultimately, it's the freedom and the power of those conversations that sum up Veracity the best.
Overall Grade: A+