Title: The Limit Author: Kristen Landon Publisher: Aladdin, 288 Pages (September 7th 2010) From:the Publisher, Thank You!
Synopsis:An eighth grade girl was taken today . . . With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.
Review: 3 Stars - The Limit was an entertaining middle grade book. With an interesting story and characters who live in a world where everyone has a Limit they can spend with nightmare results if you go over, Author Kristen Landon has taken the idea of spending beyond your means and added a horrible twist – families loose their kids one by one to the government to repay what they owe before being returned home.
Our main character Matt and his family live pretty free for a society that has set rules on how much you can spend. He’s a younger teen who has everything, as his parents like to buy and give to their hearts desire. It was predictable that with their crazy spending and kind of flighty mother that they would go over the limit and with Matt being the oldest child, he would be taken and forced to live with other kids in what are called workhouses until his family go back under their limit.
Matt’s really smart. Above his age smart and when he arrives and is tested for his placement within the workhouse he’s moved right up to the top floor with all the other advanced kids. They are giving anything and everything they want… they order whatever they want to eat. They live, go to school and work to repay their families debit all on the top flood.
Matt’s quick to question things and takes risks. When he figure’s out what’s really going on he takes action, knowing just what he needs to do. I liked him as a character because I could see him being a hero pretty early on in the book. You could tell he had a good head on his shoulders and wouldn’t just let the adults take care of him, that he would find a way to take care of himself and his other siblings.
The writing was good in the fact that the story never fell flat. The minor characters felt like normal teens, while Matt felt like he was older and wiser then his true age. While Matt made the feel of this book a bit older then a middle grade book, the minor characters brought it back down to earth so to speak.
All in all, I did enjoy the Limit. Miller’s writing flows and her characters are realistic in a world with crazy rules that with the flip of a coin could have life changing outcomes for all the kids out there. The story and characters show how easily it can be to spend beyond your means. I do recommend this title for any middle grade reader or adults alike.
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