Thursday, September 30, 2010

Middle-Grade Review: The Limit

Kristen Landon’s first middle-grade novel, The Limit, is a fast-paced thriller set in the not-so-distant future. 

The financial world has become mostly automated, with the government tracking each family’s income and expenditures.  If a family exceeds their debt limit, the government sends their oldest child (teen) to a workhouse to help pay off their debt.  Thirteen-year old Matt has heard rumors of this happening to other families:

An eighth-grade girl was taken today.

Whispers and text messages flew through Grover Middle School.  They slapped handcuffs on her and shoved her into the back of a van.  They shot her with a tranquilizer dart in the middle of the lunchroom.  She escaped and she’s hiding in the library – right now – texting her friends.

The girl went to Lakeview Middle School.  My cousin goes to Lakeview.  He said they called her out of first period and she never came back.  An eighth grader!  Nobody could believe it.  Up until now they’d only taken high school students.

Up until now we thought we were off-limits.

As these frightening events hit closer to home, Matt and his friends worry about their own families’ expenses.  Then Matt’s family unexpectedly goes over their limit, and Matt is whisked away to a far-away workhouse.  At first it doesn’t seem so bad, but as Matt begins to ask questions and dig deeper into some odd occurrences, the whole situation seems more and more sinister.

The events in the novel are made even scarier because their world is so similar to our own in so many ways.  It’s a suspenseful story, a good versus evil techno-thriller.  I enjoyed The Limit; Landon writes about kids in a realistic and believable way.  Although marketed as a middle-grade novel, I think this novel would also appeal to teens.

You can visit the author’s website at which includes a pretty cool video trailer for the book.

304 pages, Aladdin


ibeeeg said...

Very cool to know that you liked this read. I have an ARC of this book, black cover, waiting for me to read. My 11-year old daughter, EJ, has already read it and said that she really liked it.

Once I am done reading the book, I am going to come back to this review to read in detail.

Jan von Harz said...

I bought this book last weekend and am now excited to read it. I really just picked it up because I liked the cover, but your review has me really intrigued. Thanks for the review.

kids furniture said...

I think this book is a very nice book. The author already is an established author with her past novels becoming hits. I'd buy this book next week after I receive my pay.