This book offers readers a new and gripping dystopian thriller in YA fiction. It is a thought-provoking novel that tackles the subject of traditional gender roles and explores the theme of societal power dynamics. Quite pointedly, society is split between men and women whereby the men are either auctioned to the ‘female elite’ or live a life buried underground in the mines.
Reality is obscured within these pages and false impressions are paramount. To succeed, the men are required to perform and impress the women that disguise their own faces behind costume masks. A person’s outward appearance does not always reflect their true self. For the young men in the House of Boys, smiles are quite literally numbered. Kettle exposes the consequence of ‘masking’ emotions and hiding one’s authenticity.
The short chapters create tense beats of action as the plot develops and are sure to have readers on the edge of their seat. Through this dynamic, protagonist Jude finds himself faced with challenging lessons in self-worth, merit and value. Despite his conditioned upbringing, he is desperate to escape his fate. As the story unfolds, Jude learns to say no and finds the courage he needs to stand up for what he truly believes in.
This is a book all about embracing, chasing and fighting for the life that you want to live and the person that you want to be. Even against all of the odds. A gripping read that fosters an atmosphere of self-empowerment.