Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau


by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

They're always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.

If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley*
I love, love, LOVE the concept of this one.  It has a very creepy Stepford type feel to it and I was constantly raging at the characters in the book to get a clue!  The city Rory has just moved to looks like a utopia on the outside, but secretly it is a dystopic nightmare of slavery and behavioral modification where you can't possibly know who to trust. 
I loved the issues brought up with this book.  Are you really guilty if you don't know you were doing wrong and believed that the other person was in their right mind?  If the other person gives you every indication that your advances are welcome?
It was a good book and I couldn't put it down because I just had to see what would happen to Tate and Rory. 
The characters could have been more fleshed out, especially Tate.  But isn't that the point of behavior modification?  That the person you think you know isn't what you would expect? 
I had a lot of fun reading this and I would recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian stories...but beware that there are explicit rape scenes!  

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