Library Director in the United States recommended The Unit to me years ago, and finally I bought the audio book and listened to it on my way to ALA 2013 in Chicago. I do love the whole dystopian deal, but I've never read an adult dystopian novel, only YA. The Unit was another book that made me think a lot. The deal is this: in Sweden or Norway, I am not sure where, in the future, if you reach the age of 50 and you don't have any kids and you aren't in a job that makes you "needed," you are dispensable and so you enter The Unit. It is a pretty great place to live. You get great food and can have anything you want: clothes, art supplies, furniture, etc., but you are there to donate your organs to people who are needed in society. Also you have to undergo a lot of medical and psychological experiments. The deal is that you didn't really contribute to society, so you can contribute in this way.
At first I thought it was a pretty awesome deal. And so does Dorritt, the main character. But then she starts to form relationships for the first time in her life. She also falls in love. And she starts to think that this really isn't a good deal.
The thing is, Dorritt is a seriously unlikable character. That was the thing that kept me from giving the book five stars. She is so unlikable that she took the whole book from a five to a three for me. If there were a teen book, it would have sequels and probably one of them would be from the POV of another character. Maybe I would have liked the story better from the POV of someone else.
The whole reason why people are put into needed and dispensable categories is money. It is pretty believable that societies would end up making these kinds of decisions. Because we know how important money is to those in power.
Even though Dorritt is a jerk, this book is a must-read.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.