Monday, 2 July 2012

Slated by Teri Terry **Review & Interview** and International Giveaway!

Slated by Teri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Pages: 448
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release date: 3rd May 2012
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add it to Goodreads
Thank you to Hachette for my copy of the book

Goodreads synopsis:
Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

When I first heard about Slated, I was so excited about it. I have a real thing for YA dystopian fiction at the moment, and so this was really the perfect book for me to be offered for review - not to mention that it's one of the best-sounding YA books of the year (in my humble opinion)!
I was absolutely right to be so excited about this book - I was absolutely amazed by it.

I'll start with the premise for the novel (and the entire series, I guess). I absolutely adored it. It's a fairly simple starting idea; young criminals (aged 16 or younger) are, instead of being sent to prison, given a 'second chance' at life - they are slated - their minds are wiped and they are rehabilitated back into society, with a new, adoptive family. They are also fitted with a Levo, which measures their emotional levels, and knocks them out if they get too close to anger or sadness - emotions that may cause them to re-offend.
However, this evolves into something much more complex, and absolutely more compelling.
Once everything starts to change for Kyla (the protagonist), I was utterly absorbed by the wider world that was slowly being revealed through her eyes.

Everything about the plot was so exciting. At the beginning, we're just getting to know the premise, and of course, Kyla and her new life. But then, once we're further into the novel, little things keep happening that shake things up a bit, and these just build until, basically, everything around Kyla just explodes. It's so exciting when you realise that not everything is quite as it had originally seemed, and even more so when the pace of the story kicks up a notch, and everything falls into place.
It was utterly gripping, and I absolutely did not want to remove myself from this world.
I will say though, that I think the only thing that let the book down, was the ending (although, this was only a marginal let down). There was a huge twist, really close to the end of the book, and the pace is going at it's absolute maximum, but then the book just seems to end rather abruptly because of this. Now, I'm all for a good cliffhanger - don't get me wrong - but the abruptness of this one felt a bit like a slap in the face (but this may also be due to the fact that I am dying to know what happens next)! Other than this though, I have absolutely no other complaints!

I also want to give a really quick mention to the setting of the book. YA dystopian fiction novels are, as we are all probably aware by now, quite popular at the moment. However, what isn't so common, is a YA dystopian novel that's set in England. This was such a refreshing change of pace!
I'm not saying that the dystopians set in the US are bad in any way - in fact, if you've seen my reviews before, you should know that I love them - but it's so nice to be able to read something and be able to relate to it a little more. I have no idea what it's like to live in the US, so I can't relate to the story in that way, if it's set in the states (though I do enjoy being transported there, if the author does their job properly). But the fact that this book is set in England means that I can properly imagine all of the scenes, particularly when Kyla is in school - when we are told that Kyla is put into year 11, I know exactly how old the students are etc, but when an American author tells me the character is a 'freshman' or a 'sophomore', I'm left guessing. It's not a huge thing, and I love reading American books, but this is just so nice for a change - plus it's really well-written, so it's like a double bonus!
I also really liked that the book wasn't obviously set in the future. The year that the book is set in is mentioned, but only really once, I think, so it's not shoved in your face, that this book is supposed to be futuristic, like it can be with other books in the genre. I like that it just allows you to become absorbed into the book, and live in it as though it's the present - it makes it feel so much more immediate and real.

The final thing that really stands out, for me, with this novel, is the characters - particularly Kyla's. I absolutely adored her! Even at the beginning, when she is still unsure of herself, quiet with the other characters, and above all, restless, we still have the sense that she is somehow different from the norm, and that she will be a catalyst for something, but we don't quite know what just yet.
She eventually becomes so strong, independent and strong-minded (even though she isn't supposed to), but not only this - intelligent too. She kind of has a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on throughout a lot of the story - she'll say or do one thing (what is expected of her), but her inner, real thoughts are there on the page for us to see - and they're anything but conformist! These italicized thoughts allow us to see how she filters her thoughts and actions to stay under the radar and keep safe - and as I've said, they also show her intelligence and, despite her initial confusion, her subconscious understanding of what is really going on around her.
She's wonderful, and I know we haven't yet seen her at her strongest and best, so I'm excited to see what she does next!

There were plenty of other excellent characters, next to Kyla, too, but this review will be enormous, if I mentioned them all in detail, so I will just briefly mention those that stood out to me.
Kyla's adoptive family was really, really interesting too. I loved her adoptive sister, Amy, particularly at the beginning, but closer towards the end, it kind of felt as though she was falling flat, but I think that's mostly because Kyla was so different from her, and it was obvious that Amy was entirely under the control of the government etc. The characters that really interested me though, were her adoptive parents. At the beginning, we think we know what they're going to be like (which one is going to be the good guy, and who's the 'dragon' etc), but these roles are almost completely reverse! I have so many unanswered questions about Kyla's parents, and I absolutely can't wait to learn more from them! There is definitely more there, than initially meets the eye.
There are definitely other characters that I would love to mention, but I can't really do so, without giving too much away - I've had to be careful not to give too much away already! But just trust me, there are some great characters in this novel!

Hopefully it's fairly obvious by now that I am obsessed with this book, and equally as obvious that I am going to be very restless indeed, until I can get my hands on the sequel, Fractured. I absolutely and wholeheartedly recommend this book to all fans of YA, dystopian and science fiction, but I would honestly recommend it to anyone who thinks it sounds even mildly interested - I wasn't disappointed, so I'm hoping that you won't be either!

We're lucky enough, here at Pen to Paper, to have author of Slated, Teri Terry, over to visit us, for a very special interview! Before we get into the main questions, Teri wants to speak about the Edinburgh Book Festival!

I’m SOOOO excited that I’ve been asked to appear at the Edinburgh Book Festival this August. I’m doing two events on August 22 – one in the Schools program on dystopian fiction with Sara Grant, and one in the main program with Anne Cassidy and Susanne Winnacker.
And as a debut speaker at Edinburgh, I’ve also been nominated for an Anobii first books award! This is voted for by readers, and if you vote you are in with a chance to win all the nominated books (45 of them) – this is international. To learn more about the award: the link to vote is:
My website is I blog with other authors on all things dark and dystopian in YA fiction, on

First of all, would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m an Aussie-Canadian hybrid of Dutch and Finnish descent who was born in France and now lives in England. I have a weird accent. I’m not good at sitting still. People talk to me inside my head – but it’s OK, I’m a writer.

First of all, let's talk about books! When would you say you really fell in love with reading?
I think I always loved reading, from picture books on up. But I have one clear memory of the first time we had book club in school and I got to pick out a book for myself – and staying up half the night to read it. I can’t remember what it was called but I can still see the cover and remember the story – I was at that age when I was just starting to read for myself.

Who/what were your favourite authors/books as a child, and who/what are they now? 
I read the Lord of the Rings more times than I can count: first from the library, then the boxed set I got as a birthday present. They’ve been read so many times they’re nearly in pieces. I also loved Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, and Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Fantasy and science fiction were my favourites, but really I’d read anything and everything.

Now I’m fussier; if I don’t like something, I give up. Recent loves have been The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson, and Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne.

Who would you say are your biggest influences as a writer?
I think everything I’ve ever read has left little footprints, somewhere inside. Though I would say a few that were significant to me recently were Skellig by David Almond, and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Around the time I read them I was trying to write adult novels and short stories (badly). I reassessed, and went younger.

Have you always wanted to be an author? What made you decide to finally put Pen to Paper?
I always loved reading, but to me writers were fantasy, shadowy beings – they weren’t real, it wasn’t something I thought I could do. When I was 17 I made a vow to write… and did very little about it for a decade or two. What finally got me to go for it was when I moved to the UK to get married. I had to switch careers; I also couldn’t work until after we got married so had loads of time on my hands. And I decided to go for it.

Slated, as you already know, is a book that I've really enjoyed - what inspired you to write it / where did the idea for the story come from?
This is one question I can’t answer. It started with a dream, but where did it come from? Seriously – no idea. Though… I do think you end up writing about the things that obsess you, inside. Hidden fears you might not even want to know about.

When you started writing Slated, did you know how the novel was going to end, or did it just develop as you wrote it?
Confession: the last chapter was one of the first that I wrote! It’s been edited a little but the basic events are the same.

Do you have a special place you like to go to write? And do you set yourself a writing schedule?
In the mornings I write in my PJs in bed, and in the afternoon – if it isn’t too cold – I have a Writing Shack in the Garden. It hasn’t got heating so I wimp out and stay inside in the winter.

When I’m doing a first draft I have a schedule. I map out how many words I want to do every day for weeks until ‘the end’ and put in the numbers I write in columns and add them up. Yes, it is a bit obsessive. But breaking it down into chunks makes it less terrifying. And there is a real sense of satisfaction in seeing them add up.

If Slated was to be made into a film (movie?), who would you cast as Kyla? What about the other characters?
I think I’d be rubbish at casting and would leave it to the professionals. The reason is that my characters are real to me, and I know exactly what they look like in my mind. I’d never find anyone to fit that.

What can we expect from the next book in the series?
Fractured is out next May in the UK. Kyla’s story continues: she has choices to make that will change everything. The action heats up in book 2. 

Do you prefer...
Paperback or Hardback? Generally paperback as I haven’t got enough space or money to collect hardbacks. And they’re easier to carry around. 
Library books, or own the books? Both – but I buy the ones I really want to keep
Tea or Coffee? Tea
Sweet or Savoury? Savoury
Summer or Winter? I can’t choose! I love the changing of the seasons.

If you could go anywhere in the world, and do anything once you get there (money not being an issue), where would you go, and what would you do? 
I used to live in Australia and haven’t been back since 2004. I’d love to go for a visit – see friends, hang out at the beach, go to some parties!

If you were stranded on a desert island, and could only take three possessions with you, what would they be, and why? 
Notebooks, pens and a bottomless bag of chocolate M&Ms? Or maybe swap the last one for a chef.

Other than reading and writing, what other hobbies do you have? 
They are the main ones. I like walking, dinner with friends.

If you could meet one fictional character, from any book, who would it be, and why?
Sorry, no idea on this one!

If you were given £1 million, what would you do with it? 
Maybe move to a Scottish island and buy an isolated house, perfect for writing? Or get an Aussie escape!

What things in life make you smile the most?
People I love. The words ‘The End’ when I know I got it right (even though later I’ll change my mind on that).

And finally... Everyone has their habits - do you have any weird or interesting habits? 
Probably too many to list….! I’ve got the usual writer stationery obsession: I can’t start a story without the right notebook; I only write with certain pens.

Not a habit but I curse a lot when I type the title of my book. I touch-type, at speed, and somehow it always comes out as ‘Salted’.

And now for some more excitement! Thanks to the guys at Hachette UK, I have an international giveaway for one copy of Slated by Teri Terry, especially for you!! All you have to do is read the following rules/guidelines, and then get entering via the Rafflecopter below :)

  • This giveaway is international, so anyone can enter, but you must be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower of Pen to Paper to qualify for entry. 
  • There are optional extra entries available for this giveaway. If you fill these in, please make sure that you complete each task in full to avoid being disqualified.
  • I reserve the right to disqualify any entrant who has not fulfilled either the mandatory entry requirement, or completed the optional entry tasks in full.
  • When the giveaway is over, I will email the winner, and they will then have 48 hours to reply to my email, in order to claim their prize. If they do not do so within this time frame, another winner will be drawn, and they will lose their prize. It's nothing personal - but someone has to have the prize!
  • When the winner replies to my email, with their postal address, I will then pass this onto Hachette, and they will post the prize out to the winner. No other details will be passed on at all
  • Please do not leave your email address anywhere on this blog. I use Rafflecopter to keep your details safe, so please take advantage of that!
  • This giveaway will end on July 31st at 23:59 EST.
Now all that's left to do is make sure you're a follower, and get entering! Good luck to everyone who enters!


Enbrethiliel said...


I actually had not known this book was set in England! I'm a huge Anglophile, so that's a bonus for me. (Plus, perhaps the two greatest Dystopian novels of all time are also set in England--namely, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World--so Slated is the latest in a very prestigious tradition!)

petoskystone said...

And another book on the wish list! The premise reminds me of an episode on a sci-fi series (whose name, naturally, escapes me) where convicted criminals have their memories erased, as a form of 'death' penalty. The problem came when one convict (who had been placed in a monastic order), whose crime was so infamous that a family member of the victim tracked him down, eventually killing him. In turn, that murderers' mind was erased & he was placed in the same monastic order.

Jennifer said...

I have been curious about this book too. I also love dystopian. It sounds interesting. I think I must defintiely read this book. Thanks for the chance.

Saucy said...

Sounds similar to The Uglies Trilogy so I am interested to read it and compare.

Ashley said...

Slated sounds like such an AMAZING book! I first heard about it a few weeks ago and it's been on my wishlist since then. Dystopian books are my favourite genre and this one matches the bill perfectly. Plus, I adore the cover.

I always think it's fascinating when authors write out of order (like how Teri wrote the last chapter first). It just sounds super cool. It'd be interesting to learn more about her writing process and how the book developed!

Great interview!

Wienna Lee said...

I love the premise of the series, I've never read something like that! :) And I laughed reading throught the "Do you prefer.." part of the interview, sounded like the answers I'd give :)

Dark_Calling said...

I really loved this book :) :)

people HAVE to read this book more often

Tara said...

This sounds really interesting. I wasn't sure it'd be my sort of things when I first heard about it (despite my love of dystopian YA fiction!) but you've made me really curious!

Chocolate Chunky Munkie said...

You know how much I LOVED this book Dani. I'm so pleased that you gave it 5 stars too - Yay!

Great review and interview hun.

Jen xx

Nicole Marie said...

Not my normal type of read but this sounds excellent, going to my TBR!

Felicia Sparkles Files said...

I'm not usually drawn in Dystopian novels. I don't like the idea of them at all but this one caught my attention as soon as I read about it weeks ago. I think it's the mystery about it, I love mystery novels! I'm so excited to read this! And as long as the book has a sequel I'm all for cliffhangers. But if it doesn't have a sequel then.. it depends.

books4me said...

Sounds like another great YA dystopian read! It is just mind boggling to me that authors can come up with such great and difficult story lines and do a good job of writing them. Do you have anymore plans to write a sequel to this story or write more in this genre?

caroline.taylor078 said...

Wow, this review has certainly changed my mind on this book, I don't honestly know why I havn't bought it already as I love my YA dystopian at the moment like you do, I think the cover might have put me off, I will have to stop being so shallow!

April Hays said...

I am very excited to read this sound very good. I am adding it to my list to read.I can just tell this one is going to be a favorite already. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.....and an awesome interview!

Carl said...

I've been fascinated by the idea of Slated for months now. There's just something about the plot and the secret aspects of Kyla's past that I find very intriguing. I'd really like to win a copy, thanks for the opportunity.

erin said...

Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I love "meeting" new authors and congrats on the new release! Sounds fantastic!

marybelle said...

It's kind of exciting that the ending was written first. I'm right into YA Dystopian now & SLATED does look like a fabulous read.

Disincentive said...

I already have this one <3 I can't wait to get some time to read it.

Priya said...

Slated sounds an awesome book! Totally on the top of my tbr pile!

Marie Monaghan said...

This sounds really good - I am a reluctant newcomer to YA fiction but have recently been taking my first tentative steps into the genre. I love dystopian settings, though, and have had my YA prejudices proved wrong by some great books such as The Declaration trilogy. I reckon this sounds like another gem, I love the premise. Thanks for the review & giveaway!


Kelly said...

Interesting about you having to have the right pen and notebook. I don't know what to say about that but that it is interesting. This book reminds me of the movie "Erased" with Arnold Swartznegger.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I've also been reading a lot of YA dystopian fiction this year. I add this book as soon as I read the blurb.

nurmawati djuhawan said...

reading from ur interview...if you were given £1 million, what would you do with it?
Maybe move to a Scottish island and buy an isolated house, perfect for writing? Or get an Aussie escape!

i do agree....scottish is beautiful...u really must move there...^^

Jami Montgomery said...

Great review and interview! Can't wait to see who wins the copy of Slated!

Lissette Martinez said...

I LOVE this cover, it seems perfect for the book! And that girl has beautiful eyes!! I think dreams are perfect for a great book, I always have amazing dreams with me in action (fighting or in an adventure) So I think it's great to put your ideas in order and get a book!! =)
Thanks for doing an INT giveaway!!

Edge said...

Great interview! I'm a fellow writer in Australia and found a lot of things that I could relate to. The book sounds so exciting! I love dystopian fiction and can't wait to get my hands on it. It has interesting shades of other dystopian worlds like Fahrenheit 451 and The Handmaid's Tale, don't you think?

Tiffany Valitis said...

I loved this review! I was very detailed and interesting :D

bloggerintheredcoat said...

Thankyou so much for the giveaway! Slated sounds so interesting and I think the cover is georgous. This kind of reminded me a bit of the bourne series and means I will be absolutely putting it on my wishlist. I also so understand what you mean about american books, it can sometimes get annoying and it is so nice to have book you can understand completely and relate to. Great review:) x x

bloggerintheredcoat said...

Thankyou so much for the giveaway! Slated sounds so interesting and I think the cover is georgous. This kind of reminded me a bit of the bourne series and means I will be absolutely putting it on my wishlist. I also so understand what you mean about american books, it can sometimes get annoying and it is so nice to have book you can understand completely and relate to. Great review:) x x

starryabigail said...

I've read Slated-it's an absolutely amazing book! I literally couldn't stop reading it!!!
Brilliant review, and thanks for the giveaway!

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like an amazing book, like nothing I have ever read before. But I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveawa.

Nerwen Elendil said...

Saw the video where you've mentioned this book and sounded really interesting. Can't wait to pick it up ^_^

Kenzo said...

This book looks so exciting! i want it! ^^

miscellaneous said...

owh, i've been eyeing for this book since it released. hope I have some luck to win.

Darlene said...

I just love dystopia, and this book also caught my eye and it's been on my Wishlist. I'm happy to see how much you loved the book, and it makes me even more excited to read it!!

vamps and stuff said...

I love this book cover i love how the story is yold

Kristia said...

I've heard great things anout this book, and I've read so many raving reviews so I know its a must read! It sounds really interesting and I love dystopians. Great interview and review.
Thank you for the int giveaway :)

EVA SB said...

I was immediately attracted by the cover and I am fascinating by stories involving memory loss. This sounds like a great read.

khal khaleesi said...

I'm gutted that I just found this giveaway! I've been wanting to read this book for ages!! It sounds like such a great read! It's number 1 on my to-read list!! x

Ira S. said...

i have a mountain high of books on my tbr list, but slated is now on top! sounds like an awesome book! :)

Nadine said...

Slated is on my wishlist. It do looks great. Might just enter the giveaway and wish to be the winner.

Andra said...

The word counting thing Terry Teri does, when he writes, is actually a really good way to keep track of the writing process. It keeps you going!

I know this from participating in NaNoWriMo, where you have to write about 1667 words a day.

Thank you for this review, it was great! :)

Andra said...

** Teri Terry

Erika said...

This sounds like an interesting read and I love when a story has a strong, likable character like Kyla. Thanks for the review/interview!

girlwiththehazeleyes said...

hi! i actually read a chapter review on this book and after reading this review aswell! i feel that i really really need to read this book (:

Alena said...

I loved this review c:
this is books sounds so cool, i need to read it

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