I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
This is a young-adult dystopian novel set in a future world where a failed revolution has caused the government to revert back to a highly controlled city state model that separates people into six zones based on their skills and traits. When children turn sixteen, they are sent to the headquarters where a computer analyzes them and chooses the most appropriate section for them to be trained in. People with physical strength are in Stalwart, those with mental acuity are placed in Astute, strong leadership skills are in Collusive, the beautiful are in Radiant, the dreamers in Quixotic and the helpers in Altruistic. After their section is chosen, you are banded, color coded and sent off to training. Kalenna Slater has just turned sixteen. She is banded and placed in Altruistic, away from her mother and sister in Quixotic. She can only take one item and her memories with her.
"You were placed where you fit in best. Your benefit to society was determined by your skill and your skill defined your life."
I enjoyed this book as a light, fun read; although, I could easily see where it was going at points and was fairly predictable. I was really interested in why society collapsed, how did the revolution fail? I was also very interested in the bands themselves. People are given 100 points on their bands and if you reach 0 points, you are injected with poison and die. The actions for point reduction as well as the number of points reduced seems arbitrary. Who is controlling it? The main character, Kal, grew on me throughout the story. At first she was a very scared and stereotypical 16 year old girl. She does find inner and outer strength throughout the story. The plot that involves Kalenna's father, who disappeared when she was 6, is the most interesting. This plot point did take a while to get to, but being the first in the series there was a lot of building to do. Also, Kalenna's roommate, Justine, at headquarters is an interesting character that could further the plot. I hope Justine makes a reappearance in the second installation as well as Kalenna's father.
There are many parallels between this book and other well known YA dystopian novels out there. You may love Banded along with them, or not.