Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: September 1st, 2011

Your future is not your own...

"We wanted to know what makes a good kid good and a bad kid bad. Can you blame us for that? We found an astoundingly, marvelously simple answer: The brain isn't so much a complicated machine as it is a crystal ball. If you look into it, you will see everything you want to know."
-Dr. Mark Miliken, senior researcher at Utopia Laboratories

Who will it be?
Will the head cheerleader get pregnant?
Is the student council president a secret drug addict?

The whole school is freaking out about PROFILE, an experimental program that can predict students' future behavior.

The only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out...but he's a Predicted, and there's something about his future he's not telling her.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I didn't have any real expectations for this book.  I saw it on someone's Waiting on Wednesday post awhile back and thought the synopsis looked interesting, so I put it on my list.  I was surprised by this book from the beginning.  I starts with a bang- literally; it begins with a school shooting and spirals out from there, and really, who can stop reading after that? While some books tend to fizzle after starting with such heart-pounding action, this one doesn't.  A mystery unfolds, and it keeps you turning pages until the end.  I started reading this book on a Thursday evening and was finished by Friday morning, not because this was a short book (342 pages), but because I felt compelled to know how it ended.

I think this book was mostly character driven, as you can imagine, from the synopsis, but not as much as I would have expected.  The plot definitely played a huge role.  It was a mystery, for sure.  Some of the "Predicted" (kids who are pegged as future sociopaths, violent criminals, misfits, etc. through groundbreaking science) were no brainers, and then some who I thought would be Predicted weren't and vice-versa.  Add to that the horribly violent crime against one of the characters, and the who-done-it mystery, and you have quite a good story. There was a bit a predictability (no pun intended) as far as the mystery was concerned- I totally knew who DIDN'T do it- and I figured out who did before the big reveal, but not too far ahead that it killed the story.

As for the characters, there was a diverse mix.  I mostly liked the main character, Daphne, although I sometimes found her tiring.  I really didn't get why she hung out with the group of girls she did since she held intense dislike for most of them.  Dizzy was alright at times- heart in the right place, but God, she could be annoying!  I think I would rather see Daphne hang with January than her.  Jesse was my favorite character- complex and swoon-worthy.  I also liked Daphne's brilliantly flaky mother, Melissa.  I hated the characters I was supposed to hate, and didn't really have non-feelings about anyone.

Other than the minor predictability, the only thing I disliked about this book was how the people of this town reacted to the PROFILE results.  Nobody, save Daphne, stood up for the kids who were Predicted.  I find that very hard to believe.  I felt like it was a little far-fetched to have adults- parents of the Predicteds, at the very least, or Daphne's mother, the creator of the science behind it- turn a blind eye to the treatment they endured.  Everyone reacted either like sheep, or like venom-filled advocates for practical imprisonment for what these could had the potential to do.  That didn't seem plausible to me.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book.  It had its flaws, but it was definitely a fast-paced, intriguing read.  Anyone who likes a good mystery, with a little sci-fi thrown into a contemporary setting will like this book.  It has some questions of morality that would make it a great read for a HS Contemporary Fiction class.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book has some sex, a teenage pregnancy, a bunch of teen drinking, vicious mean-girl behavior, violence, and an attempted rape/murder.  Add to that some pretty complex ethical questions.  Because of these things, I would probably say this is definitely a high school read.  9th grade and up (Ages 14+).

**Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a copy of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson!!  It ends at 12:01am November 10th.  Click HERE for details.**


  1. Oh wow! I JUST read a review on this and they really didn't enjoy it. Ack. So undecided to read it or not your review makes it sound really good!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Like you, I've seen this book around. But I wouldn't have gotten to it. Not at least for awhile. However, if I happen across it at any point I won't hesitate to pick it up. Now, I want to know how it ends!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)


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