Thursday, June 20, 2013

Contributor by Nicole Ciacchella

Ok woah, this book was intense. In a world where everyone is marked by how much they can contribute to the Job Creators/Society, Dara is an up-and-coming student, vying for the prestigious position of Apprentice to the Head of Engineering. But her perfect life starts to fall apart when the ruthlessness of the competition starts to eat at her, and her family undergoes a trial that challenges her beliefs.

Can I say that Dara really reminds me of me? Not the "has a boyfriend part", but in the beginning, when she believes that hard work will be the key to success, wow, that was something that I used to believe. I'm not the smartest person (certainly not the smartest person in my family), but like Dara, I used to think that as long as I worked hard, I would get the good grades, the scholarships, the secured future.

But that future is never secure. As Dara finds out, a system based solely on how much you contribute will neglect the importance of friends and family. And Contributor is a book that follows Dara as she finds out who are her friends, and how much her family actually means to her. It is, I think, very much an exploratory sort of book - it is only at the end of the book that Dara makes a decision based on what she has learnt.

And because of that, I really admire her. I won't give away any spoilers, but let's just say that while this book does promise a book two, the cliffhanger is not very terrible. I like the ending because of the possibilities, and Dara's decision (while not very surprisingly), is admirable.

In short, this is a book that I think deals with an issue very close to all our hearts. Capitalism is very much a dog-eat-dog world, and Meritocracy, while great, does tend to be a little too hard-hearted. This book is one that can make the reader ask "am I focusing on success at the expense of the more important things in life?"

Disclaimer: I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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