by Jane Rogers
Published on May 15, 2012 by Harper Perennial
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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Millions of pregnant women in the not-too-distant future are dying from a rogue virus released in an act of biological terrorism. Nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake.
Jessie Lamb is just an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times, who begins to question her parents' attitudes and behavior in her struggle to become independent. As the world collapses and the certainties of childhood are ripped away, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. But is she being heroic, or innocent and impressionable as her father fears, incapable of understanding where her actions will lead?
The Testament of Jessie Lamb came as a shock to me. When I first received the review request, I didn’t expect a book filled with tough choices and harsh realities. I didn’t expect a book filled with a possible world future. I didn’t expect to feel so insignificant yet so important as an individual. This novel examines life in a dystopian future where bio-terroristic attacks have swept the world leaving none untouched. The human race is on the point of extinction if someone can’t find a cure and soon.
Jessie Lamb is a typical sixteen-year-old. She is growing up, gaining opinions and making choices not always in line with her parents’ ideals. Throughout the book, Jessie tells her story of where she came from and what she went through to get to where she is by the end. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I won’t go into detail here. Jane Rogers’ use of journal-like entries every so many chapters, all written by Jessie as well, kept the suspense high and the reader wondering. Slowly, the truth was revealed and not everyone is as they seem. The depth of these characters amazed me to no end.
The one thing I recall the most after finishing this novel is not the story itself so much as the questions it poses to the reader. Jessie’s choices become your choices and it makes you look at your life, at what you’re doing, and the future we could potentially face. The threat of bio-terrorism is present in today’s world and Rogers brings it to life in this lone book.
This book can fit both the YA and adult genres. If you’re a fan of edgy, thought-provoking dystopians, The Testament of Jessie Lamb is the book for you.