Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
Rejects are wrong. Replacements are good. This message has been woven into Ahna’s thoughts for as long as she could remember. But, after taking a fall for her friend over a seemingly minor offense, Ahna finds herself rejected and left in a junkyard. When Sticks finds her, Ahna’s life is thrust into the world of the rejected…and discovers the secrets The Delivery Co. has been hiding from everyone.
In a story with elements of The Giver, The Hunger Games, and Mortal Engines, this debut young adult novel by Lane Northcutt teaches us above acceptance, and above all else, how imperfections define humanity. With Ahna’s naivety and Sticks’s perseverance, we are shown these elements of humanity. Ahna just wants to be accepted; Sticks wants to fight. Ahna was raised as a ‘perfect child’; Sticks is considered imperfect and wrong. Yet, are they really that different? No. They’re one in the same, and understanding this will help bring and end to the horrible practices at the Delivery Co.
I’ve been looking forward to Northcutt’s debut novel since I interviewed him back in June. Personally I’ve always been a fan of dystopian novels that feature this sort of dichotomy; perhaps it is because it is a mirror of our own society, and a vivid reminder of what we need to stand up for injustices – such as mistreatment of the disabled, of the LGBTQ+ community, of different races – that leave anyone feeling inferior. This theme already drew me into the story. What made me stay was Northcutt’s ability to tell an exciting story with unique, almost humorous characters, that are one thing: adolescents fighting for their future. Ahna and Sticks both get stuck in their head, making snarky comment and producing inner dialogue that help us get to know them while fighting for what they believe. You’ll understand their heartbreak when they lose their friends, and their exuberance as they discover their survival.
Northcutt does a phenomenal job though in the ending the story on a note that makes you want more. If I had to critique anything, it would be that I want more! I would have loved to explore the Tent City more, or the Delivery Co., as well as witness Ahna as she grew stronger and more determined. But, I’m always the type who wants to dwell longer in certain areas of the book. Ultimately glossing over some of this did not detract from the whole story, nor did it stop me from wanting the next book. Questions are still riddling my head as I write this review! Who was going to adopt Ahna? Why did she really get rejected? What is with all of Seemore’s secrets? How will everything that happened affect Sticks? And where are they going now?
The Delivery Co. is phenomenal book that is hard to put down. I read it basically in one sitting this morning…and it’s not a short book! I just could get away from Ahna and Sticks, as well as Scorcher, Rollin, Sarah, and the rest! They are all so unique and endearing!
Audiences of all backgrounds will enjoy this book. So I implore you to check it out…it’s worth it! I promise.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What’s it about?
Rejects are wrong. Replacements are good.
In a world where the government has sought to create the ideal children, The Delivery Co. was born. In a lab, they create the perfect child for families who have lost kids or cannot have them. These children come in different varieties, but are all flawless. They are known as Replacements.
Children born with a disability of any kind are deemed a burden on society and discarded into the wild. These children are known as the Rejected.
Ahna was raised in the world of the Replacements.
Sticks was raised in the clan of the Rejected.
When Ahna finds herself Rejected, she must learn to trust Sticks and the others within the group of the Rejected. Joining forces, Ahna will aid them in dismantling the very system that created them. Together, they hope to gain equality for all and bring an end to The Delivery Co.