Rating: 4/5 stars.
Some titles that come to mind when I think of dystopia include 1984 and The Hunger Games, both of which are fantastic books. The mention of dystopia always triggers certain scenes to play in my head: big explosions, rebellious uprisings, and underground brain-washings. Never Let Me Go is nothing like that, yet it’s just as powerful.
The novel is about Kathy, a thirty-one year old woman who reflects on growing up with her friends Ruth and Tommy at Hailsham, a private school for special children. I hesitate to give away too many details because almost the entire plot was spoiled for me. Still, knowing about the story beforehand won’t decrease one’s enjoyment of the book – it’s not the climax that makes it great, but Kazuo’s delivery of information through his wonderful writing.
Despite Kathy’s detachment as a narrator, her quiet voice (ha, quiet voice. get it?) resonated with me. Her lack of anger, or simply any emotion broke my heart. I wanted to give her a good shaking and scream “see that boy? Go love him properly!” or “don’t you know how badly you’ve been treated? You don’t deserve that! Do something about it!”… but, I couldn’t. And the fact that the characters couldn’t do anything about their predicaments either saddened me tremendously.
So to summarize this sloppy review: stunningly well-written, achingly melancholy.