The Muses Read: RIOT by Sarah Mussi

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Reading, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Young Adult | 0 comments

The Muses Read: RIOT by Sarah Mussi

I’ll admit it – as much as I love young adult dystopias, I’ve started growing a little wary of them.

It could be a personal issue, but I’ve noticed with some dystopias that even when I enjoy them….I feel like it’s a madlibs. Insert new action in generic plot here.

Does that mean I’ll say no to an exciting sounding dystopia? Please. That’s like asking me if I’d say no to a giant cheesecake. Impossible.

I picked up RIOT hoping for an exciting and intelligent (I mean, all that focus on politics!) take on dystopia – I wasn’t disappointed.



by Sarah Mussi

Riot by Sarah Mussi

Blurb: It is 2018. England has been struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out.

The police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking.

The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment.

The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more.

But it is all so blatantly unfair – the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won’t.

It’s time for the young to take to the streets. It’s time for them to RIOT:



Find it at: Amazon

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Muse KJ’s Thoughts

I started this book furious. Absolutely furious. And I knew that meant that Sarah Mussi was doing a good job – I was supposed to be furious. And I was.

Tia is the daughter of an important bureaucrat – and also EVE, the face of an illegal underground revolution protesting justice. Cobain is wanted by the government. He says he doesn’t know why. Is that the truth? Luck – is it bad or good? – brings them together.

The characters are easy to acquainted with. I found Cobain to be interestingly stronger, despite the story being told through Tia’s eyes. It could have been Tia’s voice – at times hearing her thoughts made her seem far more naive, immature and irrational than a young woman who was such a genius hacktivist could possibly be. But…just because you’re good with computers doesn’t mean you’re good at everything, I suppose. Cobain is…well, if I’m ever in a dystopia, I’d like him please. ¬†Cobain + Tia is an interesting dynamic, but the way they respond to each other is refreshingly raw, realistic, and honest (to the reader). I did appreciate the growth of Tia throughout the book, because obviously you’re going grow when slammed into a situation like this. (Even if I still rolled my eyes and yelled at her a few times.) There’s absolutely no way you could emerge from the same person you were at the beginning, and I don’t believe that either Cobain or Tia did.

RIOT is the most realistic dystopia I’ve read, which makes it…stomach turning at points. You can see how modern society can easily get to this point, which really leaves you thinking. I suppose we’d call this a contemporary dystopia, if such a thing exists. There are some important questions brought up: How much do you trust the government? How far is too far for a country to protect its own future? Is it wrong to fight for what you believe in?

Over all, I finished grinning about how much I enjoyed this book. You know, after I dried my eyes.

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What dystopias have you read recently? You know, because I don’t have enough books to read as it is.

Kristen Jett, YA writer, and co-founder of Pen and Muse.

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