Remake by Ilima Todd
Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. the Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day – her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
Nine will turn seventeen soon and have to choose her vocation and gender. She worries more about which gender she’ll chose as it will be for the rest of her life. Until children are seventeen, they’re stuck in a pre-pubescent stage. To society, they are all equal that way. Nine was born a female, but really has no feeling one way or another towards what she wants to be. Until an accident which lands her with a rebellious family who lives a life completely foreign to Nine.
Remake sounds like an interesting concept, but wasn’t what I expected. I never get the sense that Nine ever has a true sense of self outside of society and other’s preconceived notions. Her time before the accident is spent following her friend and wishing she was more like others. And her time outside Freedom Province is spent learning a new way of life with a family unit she’s never had before. The ideas here may offend some, but know before reading that this written by a Mormon author and publisher which is blatantly for traditional family roles only. It really has little to do with gender choice or identity.
The Dystopian society is unbelievable in that ridding of gender bias, they rid of families altogether. Getting past the not-so-subversive message, the story slowed down quite a bit when Nine was with the family as well. I found myself skimming quite a bit. The love story just didn’t ring true. It felt like there was much more chemistry with her life-long friend than the island boy she barely knows. If you can’t tell, this one didn’t sit right with me for several reasons.