In the very near future, 50 million women die because of a synthetic hormone introduced to beef. As a result, an aggressive form of ovarian cancer claimed all of these lives. Now, the Paternalist party has formed and auctioning and contractually selling young women has become the new normal. When Avie is contracted by her father to an up-and-coming politician, she sees all of her hopes and dreams vanish, thus beginning her journey into exile and on the run.
A Girl Undone is the epic continuation of A Girl Called Fearless. It begins with Avie on the run and being called a terrorist for events that happened between her and the U.S. Government. The book follows her and a friend Luke as they journey cross country to obtain a thumb drive that carries important information regarding the Paternalist party and get it into the right hands, all the while pretending to be married to keep her out of potential suitors’ hands.
From the moment I opened this book, I was hooked. It resonated with me in a way few books do. One of the things I really enjoyed about this story is that the premise isn’t wholly unbelievable or too far-fetched; in a way, this is something that happened early in our nation’s history with slaves. It also delves into women’s rights issues that we are seeing today as well, and provides much needed commentary on attempts to limit what we as women can and cannot do with our own bodies. In A Girl Undone the government itself acts as this oppressor, as women are viewed commodities to men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the world. The women have no say in who they are auctioned or sold to.
There were a few small issues I had with this story though, such as why beef was the only thing affected women, while milk and cheese weren’t a factor for vegetarians who were mostly fine. The world could have been built up a bit more and I would have appreciated a little more information given to the reader about certain situations and the world in general.
A Girl Undone balanced life of a teenage girl nicely, maintaining as much normalcy as possible when you’re living in a dystopian future and on the run from the government. The romance between Avie and Luke was also sweet to see interspersed with all the action going on around them.
I personally would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 14 though, due to some mature content during physical exams. If you’re a fan of books and movies like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, this story should be right up your alley.
A Girl Undone released June 23, 2015 and can be found here.
Author Catherine Linka’s debut novel, A Girl Called Fearless, has been nominated for countless awards and honors including the Gleen Goldman Scholarship. Prior to debuting her first novel, she was a children’s book buyer and created the speaker series, Writer2Writer.
A Girl Undone
By Catherine Linka
June 23, 2015