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Want

Review

Want

Have you ever imagined a future where the world has fallen because of environmental damage? WANT explains what happens after the world has become mildly hostile to human civilization. The city of Taipei is filled with meis: those without and yous: those with. The meis live in squalor, choking on the smog and falling ill to mutated diseases, while the yous party it up in their penthouse suites hidden by fish bowl helmets and breathing clean air. Now Jason Zhou, a mei through and through, is going to change all of that. He is going to take down the company that created the suits that separate these two groups: Jin Corp. To do so, though, he will need to sneak into the you society and become one of them. The thought of that makes him sick to his stomach, but this is for the betterment of society, is it not?

"This book is perfect for fans of dystopian futures and science fiction realities. If you want to read about a possible future, this book is for you."

The thing that stands out to me the most about WANT is its premise. The concept for the book is something that could technically happen. One look at our current world proves that. Recently, there was a discovery about possible diseases being released by glaciers that are melting (also, global warming). Much like 1984 envisioned a totalitarian future, WANT envisions an environmental future. Books are a conduit to understanding, and, hopefully, reading WANT will encourage people to help to stop what damage has been done.

While the premise is fascinating, the plot is interesting as well. Jason's infiltration of the you society and Jin Corp is sneaky and mysterious. I loved reading about him rock climbing and, later, applying that skill to a mission. I was tense when he maneuvered the elitist society, almost making a mistake a few times. The plot was well-paced and heart pounding.

But the friendship between Jason, Victor, Iris, Lingyi and Arun was unbreakable. I am always a sucker for a good friendship, and theirs was one to remember. I loved how they worked so well together. Arun and Jason had a good bond, and Victor was well put together but also dedicated to his friends. They fought together and did not separate in the face of danger.

My favorite part of the book had to be Daiyu. She was fierce and determined. I loved how she stuck to her ideals and fought her way through. Her efforts were admirable, and I came to love her character. I just wish she was seen as a bit more than the love interest. She had much more potential to be a cunning spy, but that would have changed the story, so I can understand Pon’s choices.

That said, I could not relate to Jason for a few reasons. The major reason is that I am not Taiwanese (I am Chinese American) and I could not relate to some of the cultural aspects of his character. But he also felt very unlikeable. He felt cocky at times and prideful, traits I do not think anyone wants in a main character. I wanted to explore his character more to see if there were more positive traits hiding underneath his cocky exterior.

While I adored the premise, I did not like the worldbuilding. I wanted more. Why airpeds? Who invented them? There are lots of new technological gadgets in this book, and I wanted to know more about all of them. Plus, I wanted to know about what happened in the rest of the world. It is mentioned that Jin Corp has gone overseas. But why? Why did the rest of the world need suits? Pollution? What happened in the rest of the world?

This book is perfect for fans of dystopian futures and science fiction realities. If you want to read about a possible future, this book is for you.

Reviewed by Wren L., Teen Board Member on June 29, 2017

Want
by Cindy Pon