Escaping Eleven

Entangled Teen. Dec. 2020. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781682815014.
Gr 10 Up–Four generations ago, the sun burned too hot on the surface of the Earth, so those with money built underground compounds. Compound Eleven is Eve’s home, and no one she knows has ever been to another, or above ground. Eleven is divided into five floors: Premes live on the fifth floor in luxury, then Upper Means, Means, Lower Means, and finally, the Denominators live on the bottom floor among dirt, chaos, and hunger. Eve’s life as a Lower Means has revolved around school and combat matches. She is a strong fighter but knows pain, especially that of having her little brother taken away many years ago. She is paired to fight Wren, a Preme boy, who clearly does not expect or want to fight a girl. Even though she loses and is knocked out during the fight, a tentative and unlikely friendship begins between the two. Eve cannot imagine toiling underground to serve the same people who took her brother. She dreams instead of a way to escape and live above ground, even if it means a quick and certain death. This captivating story will appeal to a wide range of readers. The characterizations, the flow of the writing, and the plot weave together into a captivating tale. Eve, Wren, and her friends’ descriptions are consistent with white people, and one friend has dark skin.
VERDICT Readers will feel a range of emotions and look forward to the next installment in the trilogy.

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