Book Review : The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Daphne Wright has just moved and attends Quiet High. Daphne never has a good first day at school and Quiet High is not an exception. First she starts choking on gum when another student, Jesse, performs the heimlich on her and then she throws up on his shoes. While cleaning up in the utility closet a gunman enters her classroom and ultimately shoots himself after threatening the other students.
Quiet High has been part of an experiment to gather data about the brain for Utopia Laboratories, where Daphne’s mom used to work developing a computer program that helps to classify a persons’ future actions based on their brain. Utopia is ready to release the results of their testing, in part, spurred on by the shooting at the high school to help the community feel safe from potential danger. Everyone is talking about Utopia’s program, PROFILE, who will be predicted and who won’t.
Adult Point of View
I was really intrigued with the premise of The Predicteds, though it reminded me of Minority Report. The first couple of chapters were intense and full of promise. I quickly became disappointed as the story line strayed away from the ramifications of being predicted by the PROFILE. The actual plot deviates into a mess of high school drama.
Daphne exhibits good sense and yet she get in with the popular crowd, who are shallow and sometimes cruel. Daphne continues to reach out to social rejects even when she is warned and punished by the other catty girls. Unfortunately, Daphne also comes off as being rather helpless and constantly needs to be saved which feels a bit reminiscent of Bella’s character in Twilight. I cannot take the name Daphne seriously for a character of intelligence, probably because of Scooby Doo from my childhood. Jesse is written as the hero, but he has a dark secret and a mysterious past as other literary Byronic heroes exhibit. When Jesse starts acting moody and withdraws I didn’t think it fit his character because he had been so concerned for Daphne and her feelings. It felt like he was bi-polar. The most interesting character was January because she was the sister of the killer and had her own emotional angst and bursts of a quirky personality that felt very real.
In addition to the teen saga the author chose to use vulgar language, not just in the intense scenes but through the entire text. There are also references to sex, that it is expected and the normal behavior for teens in high school. As an example, while January is at the frat party Daphne finds her in a room vomiting, when the frat boy leaves Daphne hears him say to the other boys in the hall, “Hey, drunk slut in that room.”(9. 168) Indicating that she might be available for their use, though he advises they don’t go in there right now.
I am not suggesting that the vulgar language isn’t anything our kids haven’t heard, rather language that we wish they weren’t exposed to along with the decaying morals. Other mature subjects touched on in the novel include teenage pregnancy, rape, rampant behavior at frat parties and lots and lots of alcohol. One of the saddest things in this book is to remember how many schools have now had a child set out to kill other children, it is a frightening reality to live with for our children.
I cannot recommend this book and would certainly caution anyone under 16 years old to read it because of the mature themes,violence, language and sexual references. It is simply not appropriate for a young teen audience. I wish the author had written around the initial premise and made a novel I could recommend.
1 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I did not allow my 14 year old to read this novel for review. She would have loved the romance even though it was cheesy.