Friday, June 14, 2013

Blog Tour Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

From the Back Cover:

Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime

The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

My Thoughts:

Well, I had high hopes for The Registry, as I'm always on the lookout for another good YA dystopian with a strong heroine who rebels against the system, but I was disappointed. And I feel really bad when I don't jive with a blog tour book, but I have to be honest and tell you that this book has some issues that kept me from enjoying the story.

The Registry features another dystopian American future where women have been oppressed again, along the lines of similar books like Eve and Article 5. Here's the thing that bothers me with these types of stories: none of them tell me how society got to be so warped that tough, independent, intelligent American women allow themselves to be subjugated, owned, and distributed as if the women's liberation movement never happened. In this story the main character actually wants to know how the country came to be the way it is and her companion tells her, "The origin doesn't matter." It is what it is and it's what we have to live with. Then later on, she asks a new companion only to be told, "Something happened. I don't know what." Then at the end someone finally claims to know what happened, but the explanation is rudimentary, lacking any supporting details, and doesn't connect any dots. I'm sorry, but if you can't tell me how we got that way, I can't believe that we would allow it to happen. And if I can't believe it could happen, I can't lose myself in the story.

The other overarching problem is the writing. It lacks any sense of style or sophistication. Every little thing is spelled out for the reader; everything is told; everything is obvious; there's nothing to read between the lines, nothing to wonder over and discover. The characters are juvenile and uninspiring. Dialogue and inner thoughts are blunt and stilted. The Registry could have been a pretty intense story, but to me it reads more like a draft version. The frame is there, but none of the legwork was done to fill in the blanks, flesh out the characters, or polish the prose. It does have some exciting action sequences and there is finally a romantic connection and some real emotion toward the end, but it wasn't enough to make up for the rest. I'm seeing mixed reviews on this, so I know I'm not alone in my disappointment, but there are plenty of readers who loved it, so if the story premise appeals to you, don't let me dissuade you from reading it. In fact, you can enter to win a copy right here:

Enter to win a copy of The Registry!
Simply fill out this brief form.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada and ends at 11:59pm Friday, June 28, 2013. Winner will be selected at random. Thanks and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
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The Registry is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the full tour schedule.
Click here to visit Shannon Stoker's facebook page.


  1. Great review -- very honest and fair-minded. This one didn't work for me for all the reasons you mentioned! :/

  2. Amen. I, too, was disappointed in this one. Great idea, poor execution.

  3. Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour.

  4. Yeah, I always wonder how women allow that to happen too - why aren't the men ever subjugated?

  5. Thank you for your honest thoughts. It's because of the mixed reviews that I would still like to read it myself.


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