Genesis Girl

280p. (Blank Slate: Bk. 1). ebook available. Month9Books. Jun. 2016. pap. $15. ISBN 9781944816759.
Gr 8 Up—As a student vestal at Tabula Rasa, 18-year-old Blanca does not have a digital fingerprint. Protected and sheltered from all Internet and social media, the vestals lack a digital presence, which sets them apart and makes them valuable to corporations interested in fresh-faced advertising. At her postgraduation auction, Blanca is sold for $35 million to Cal, a wealthy businessman who wants Blanca to help bring his son Seth, an Internet addict, back into his life. The idea of Internet addicts and cell phone-induced brain cancer makes this title stand out among today's saturated YA dystopia market. Readers who don't question the premise too closely will be treated to an action-packed plot full of futuristic digital technology, sleek motorcycles, and high-speed chases. Though the romance takes off a bit quickly, a friendship develops as Seth and Blanca learn more about each other. Early on, the protagonist is truly a "blank slate," waiting for orders from her purchaser and falling back on what she learned at Tabula Rasa. She does not know how to make her own decisions. But as she discovers more about the institution and its founder, Blanca finally begins to question her school, her teachers, and even the other vestals.
VERDICT The premise is far-fetched, but the plot is fun and full of action. A popular choice among teens who love dystopian fiction.

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