2.5 stars Yeah, so now it’s time for me to be irritatingly contrary. Because I know full well that I have a lot of gripes about the current dystopian/dystomance/post-apoc/futuristic trend in YA right now. And I know that while I generally enjoy these genres, sadly few books actually deliver for me, in terms of solid worldbuilding, logical plot, interesting premise etc. And now here comes a book that actually has most of those things and... I don’t really... like it. I could raise my rating on the basis on the last 50 or so pages, but that feels disingenuous. Because honestly, I felt almost completely unengaged and dare I say it – bored – during the preceding 400. And it’s frustrating and disappointing to say that, because I feel that Terry’s ideas are good and the basis for her novel is a sound one. It’s just that this book, the first in a series, essentially felt like a lot of stretching and foot-stomping – a warm up for the actual story that only really begins to hit its stride in the final couple of chapters. In Slated, terrorists and criminals under a certain age are rehabilitated by having their minds wiped clean of memories of their former lives. Placed with families, they are installed with a Levo to monitor levels of emotional stress (with a safety net of blowing their heads off should they fall too low, because you have to keep your former criminals in line, natch) and reintegrated into society. Essentially, the bulk of Slated is concerned with the internal ruminations of Kyla as she begins to realise that something is amiss with her slating, and that her past may not be entirely lost to her. As I mentioned before, I think this is a concept with great potential, especially to explore issues of choice, human rights, nature vs nuture and control. And this series may yet deliver a more articulate commentary on these themes. I just feel that Slated itself lacked the substance I was expecting. The focus was on Kyla’s development as she began to uncover the truth about herself, yet I didn’t find this as compelling as it needed to be to really carry the story. Similarly, despite the vaguely threatening presence of the Lorders (enforcers of law and order), a few unexplained occurrences and shifty types, I felt that the plot lacked a sense of urgency. The repetitive nature of the story (school, running, Group, home, and repeat etc), while serving to show Kyla’s increasing awareness, didn’t really lend itself to gripping reading. Or maybe it’s just me. The fact that the first few chapters didn’t really grab me is probably a sign that it wasn’t my thing. (Also, once I noticed the lack of contractions, that’s all I could really focus on. Amazing how my brain is hijacked by such trivial things..)I don’t think Slated is a bad book by any means, it just didn’t speak to me in a way that makes me keen to pick up the sequel. That said, anyone looking for a thoughtful, more introspective take on dystopia may find this a solid, enjoyable read.