Friday, August 16, 2013
Coda by Emma Trevayne
Author: Emma Trevayne
Publisher: Running Press
Released: May 7, 2013
Page #: 311
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
"Deep in an abandoned basement, eighteen-year-old Anthem sings of truth and freedom with his illegal underground band. Yet on the surface and under watchful eyes, Anthem is unable to resist the call of the Corporation's addictive, mind-altering music tracks, even as he knows they are used to control him and his fellow citizens.
When tragedy strikes close to home, Anthem realizes that defying the Corp comes at a deadly price. The key to revolution might lie wit the girl Anthem loves, but will he trust her enough to let her join the fight?"
First Lines: (Quote from the ARC, subject to change)
"I'm drawn toward the door. I can't hear it yet, but I can feel it. A pulse, a heartbeat. The floor shakes.
Inside, the cavernous, soundproof room is already packed, black and neon and flashing lights and stifling heat from the crush of bodies."
I was really excited by this concept when I first picked up this book. Music as a drug given to people by the government? What an insane idea... I was fully intrigued and ready to delve into the story.
So, Anthem is a guy who is low on the totem pole. His job as a conduit is looked down upon by most people - he's just supplying energy to the grid. But he has a huge secret. There is a small group of people he meets and plays music with - which is strictly forbidden. Everyone is hooked on the coded music that is given to them. So much so that they go through withdrawals without it. Then something happens to a friend of Anthem's and he starts to see the world for what it really is.
When I was trying to get my footing at the start of the book, I found myself saying, "This is a character driven story set in a world I don't understand." And I fully felt that for the first, like, half of the book. I was eager to learn about Anthem's life - his family, his girl, his friends, and everything. You really get a big glimpse into his life. But I really didn't understand the world until almost the end of the novel.
I think the author does a good job giving you a snapshot of the lower castes and what they have to do to survive. It's a rough life. They are constantly being watched. They can't talk about certain things. There are tons of restrictions and they die really early. I liked the idea of being able to visit your loved one's lives in a museum/library setting. What a very cool idea. But if you break any of the rules, the government will take away your ability to hear - the worst punishment possible for a world where music is what keeps you going.
Speaking of the drug aspect of this book - I thought it was really interesting to attack the theme of drug use like this. It's a seemingly harmless thing, but people cannot go a few hours without "tracking." And you get several scenes with people ODing and going through withdrawals. I feel like if this was being shown to the readers with an actual drug, this book would be so controversial! And probably not YA. I didn't really contemplate this idea much while I was reading, but now that I think about it, the whole thing was super intense.
Was this book for me? Not really. But I think the teens who are very "down with the man" and music loving will absolutely die for this. It's a smart story that really carries a huge punch. I just felt like I was muddling through a few times. The voice wasn't one I identified with, so it was a little more difficult for me to get all of the feels out of it. I do know that it will be a splash with the right reader.
Other Blog Reviews:
Chapter By Chapter
The Midnight Garden
Dark Faerie Tales
Once Upon a Bookcase