Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld
Published by HarperTeen, 2012
In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a "perfect" world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn't depressing enough, it's final projects time. Each student must choose some form of ancient hardship to experience for two whole weeks. Kieran chooses having to sleep eight hours a night, which doesn't seem too annoying.
Maria Borsotti has never thought much of Kieran, but she decides to take pity on him and help him out with his project. Soon, Kieran is sleeping and having vivid dreams, while Maria, whose Scarcity project is to give up all teenage hormone regulation, is experiencing emotions she never knew she had. As their assignments draw them closer together, they begin to wonder if the olden days weren't so bad. Maybe something has been missing from their perfect lives after all?
Why I Read This:
A futuristic world written by Scott Westerfeld. I couldn't resist.
I couldn't resist buying this little book from Harper Collin's new ebook imprint "Impulse" which is publishing novellas. I love Scott Westerfeld's writing style and so I really wanted to see what he came up with.
Stupid Perfect World is the story of two teenagers, Kieran and Maria who live in a futuristic world. Technology and biology has made their world perfect. They don't get sick, they never have to leave indoors, and they never have to sleep. So a class they have to take in high school is called Scarcity, something to make them appreciate what they have by showing what people in the past had to live like. It's a pass/fail class where everyone has to experience one type of misfortune to see what the world was like back then.
I thought this world was very unique. I've read a lot of teen sci-fi books lately and even though a lot of them start off sharing how perfect the world is supposed to be, this is the closest to perfect I've actually seen. It was very inventive of the author to show the different ways in which people are spoiled by technology and the advances in biology. I loved the teleporters and how Kieran was already an anomaly by experiencing cold weather.
The alternating points of view where great too. Seeing how both their worlds changed so much by experiencing sleep and hormone imbalance were very amusing. And I loved how Scott Westerfeld showed how the two stories overlapped so well.
This is a fun little book. It's very short...I read it in an hour or so. It was also one I think will stay with me for a while. It had a big impact with it's creativity and world building. I loved it!
Disclaimer: I bought my copy.