Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a good book for a lighter read. Scythe follows the story of two teenage apprentices, Citra and Rowan, as they compete to become a "Scythe" (killers who keep the population in check), although neither really wants to win. I really enjoyed the world-building of Scythe and all of the layers Schusterman created as if it could become a reality for our current world. This created a sense of perfection at the beginning but, as you read more, you realize how flawed their society truly is. As I read, I found myself switching sides between what the Thunderhead wanted me to believe and what I wanted to believe. I also enjoyed the character development of Citra and Rowan as they learned that not everything was as perfect as it seemed. I loved the scenes when they go back to see their family, or someone they love, and how awkward those exchanges were because they felt real. I also like the dynamic between the scythes, the subtle way you can tell there is some fighting going on, and that not everyone agrees about how scythes should think about killing.
There is a lot going on in this story, most of which I really liked, but the love story felt incredibly forced. It was almost as if Neal Shusterman had already written the book, decided what he wanted to happen, then someone else came along and said, “Hey, do you know what sells the best for young adult books? Love stories!” It wasn’t a smooth addition to the story and as a whole, it felt out of place. Overall, Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a great book and I totally recommend it.
Review by: Olive Harpster
Olive is a volunteer for the Silver Lake Branch. She is an eighth grader and loves reading.
—Danica Sheridan, Young Adult Librarian, Silver Lake Branch