Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: STUPID PERFECT WORLD by Scott Westerfeld

Rating: 3/5 stars

The concept for Stupid Perfect World sounds really cool: a futuristic society where students take a class that teaches them about the ancient struggles of their ancestors, AKA us today, and every student has to do a project to experience something like their ancestors did. Kieran chooses to sleep every night (since in their society sleep isn't necessary), and Maria chooses to forgo hormone control. Throughout their experiments, Kieran and Maria learn that life nowadays wasn't so bad after all.

Initially, this concept sounded good enough to be a full-length novel instead of just a novella. I stand by that assessment after having read the story. The world development was almost nonexistent, but I was dying to know more about the world as I read. We don't even find out in what year this story takes place. I would have liked to learn more about their technology that makes them so much superior to us today, but we don't get much information about any of that unless it is directly relevant to the story. This just reinforces why I usually don't like short stories: not enough world building or character development.

While Maria is not on hormone regulation, she acts like the most stereotypical teen girl, which I hated. Her emotions are so crazy that she makes baffling assumptions and does crazy actions. I don't know anyone that actually acted as strongly and recklessly on their emotions while being a teen as she did. It frustrated me that Westerfeld portrayed Maria that way. Once, Maria gets upset and goes to Antarctica while in a dress and with wet hair, and she's not even dying. Unrealistic plots lines like that are what really kill it for me in books. Even in the high-tech futuristic setting of this novella, you'd need more protection than that to survive in Antarctica. But really, she makes the rash decision of going to Antarctica because she's upset...

While Kieran was sleeping, he started dreaming and realized he enjoyed dreaming since he'd never experienced it before (since they don't need sleep in the future). I was hoping this story would offer me more such as once they discovered that the ways of the past weren't so bad after all, they'd realize the ways of the future were actually a degressed society and the government was keeping something from them by not allowing dreams or normal emotions and hormones. But that would be more in the way of a novel instead of a novella.

Overall, this story was unique and I liked it, but it was quite flat in the setting, which really disappointed me.

No comments:

Post a Comment