I'd been looking forward to reading Dark Parties by Sara Grant for such a long time, ever since Sara was here on the blog and mentioned how much of Dark Parties is a celebration of the strong women in her life. To me, that sounded like a book I really wanted to read.
And it is really good. Dark Parties is told from the point of view of Neva, a sixteen year old girl who has lived her life in the Protectosphere, this dystopian world in which the citizens inside are ruled by lies and fear. And with the government becoming more controlling over her life and with Neva's list of the Missing growing, Neva and her best friend Sanna feel that it is best to rebel against such a life.
The feeling these two girls have is that there must be something that can be done against the government having such control over every aspect of their lives, making people afraid of what can be said and voicing an opposing opinion. I really love that Neva is so pro-uprising right from the start and fights her way to the end.
I found Neva to be a really engaging main character. I loved her eagerness to stand up for what's wrong and I especially loved her strong friendship with Sanna. Through Sanna, Neva meets a bunch of strong women who are quietly rebelling and finds hope again that those who have been lost and missing might be found again. And while I didn't love the forbidden aspect of her relationship with Braydon (as he is Sanna's boyfriend), I could definitely feel the tension and attraction between Neva and Braydon.
I think I wanted to read a bit more world-building of this claustrophobic society and wanted more questions answered, but whilst reading the story, I found myself really emotional when reading of Neva's struggles both against the society she lives in, against her growing feelings for Braydon. The ways in which Neva and the people she comes into contact choose to rebel brought tears to my eyes.
Dark Parties is also quite exciting to read and there were some twists that I really didn't see coming. It's a wonderful debut and I'm excited to read more by Sara Grant!