Ahh, YA dystopian books, how I love to read you! I am thrilled to have discovered Escaping Eleven by, Jerri Chisholm, the start to what promises to be a great new series. If you love books like the Hunger Games, The Hollis Timewire Series or Maze Runner, you are definitely going to want to check this one out!
In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything.
My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight.
Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices.
Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter.
Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different…maybe even kind.
Right before he kicks my ass.
Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation…or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I’m ready to fight for more than my next meal: I’m fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I’ve been waiting on.
One of the things that I love about a good YA dystopian book is the inner strength of the characters. It takes a lot to survive in the future where everything has gone wrong and the world as we know it doesn’t exist. This is certainly the case for Escaping Eleven where humans have been forced underground thanks to a climate that has become unbearable. Eve and her group of friends are all a bit broken in their own way, but they have found a way to survive in the lower floors of Compound Eleven.
Eve is unhappy. She wants out of the compound, and by out, she wants all the way out into the unbreathable air above where only certain death will be waiting for her. But then she meets Wren and that’s where the story begins. Escaping Eleven is a bit of a love story but it’s also a coming of age story as well. Eve has to decide what she really wants: love underground or to experience life (and probably a quick death) underground. Which will she choose? Can she somehow have both?
The new world of the underground compound that has been created here is certainly a unique one. The concept of the floors as both a physical and a class separation is very interesting. I am especially intrigued by the class structure and the interaction of the different floors. Each one is its own micro-culture within the compound, complicating matters even further. But somehow, it all works.
In fact, everything in this book worked for me. It was easy to read. The characters were all interesting. The plot was fast-paced. I will definitely read this one again and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Need more YA Dystopian reads?
Check out the Hollis Timewire Series by, Danielle Harrington.