Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

I am always on the lookout for delightfully creepy and thrilling new dystopian reads, and luckily Sara Grant’s Dark Parties, her debut YA, fit the bill perfectly.

Dark Parties begins the story of Neva, a sixteen-year old living in a sparse and dangerous future. In Neva’s world lies a Protectosphere meant to shelter its citizens from the outside, which they claim is a vast wasteland filled with little to nothing. However, Neva knows this is not true. Not only because of her grandmother’s stories, but also because of the Missing, people who disappear in the dead of the night never to return again…people like her grandmother. As the world inside the Protectosphere gets worse and worse, Neva and her best friend know they need to plan an intervention, which is when dark parties are introduced. Little does Neva know, this dark party and the promises made between its guests will open her eyes to new secrets and deceit, as well as new beginnings as long as no one gets in her way. Will Neva find a way out? Only time and more pages will tell in this fascinating look into a bloodcurdling yet intriguing future.

One of the things I always adore about Dystopia is the world building, especially when it’s done gracefully and with lots of development. With Dark Parties, I got plenty of this, as not only did Sara’s descriptions provide chill and thrill but also a complex and interesting new look into the future. I especially enjoyed how she used Neva’s character as a bit of spy in the sense she constantly placed her in electrifying situations that allowed Neva to collect and use information.

Talking about Neva, I really liked her character. I enjoyed how while she was brave and headstrong in some ways, she managed to think about her problems before she made a final decision for the most part. Her friendship with Sanna was another interesting addition; however, I will say I was a bit taken aback with Neva’s attraction to Sanna’s boyfriend. It was bit clichĂ©, in my opinion, and I never really saw the big attraction between the two of them.

The ending was a bit rushed, in my opinion, but the most surprising thing about it was the fact that it screamed sequel, and while I always enjoy a nice stand-alone, I do admit it would be fun to see what's next for Neva and her friends, especially if more development is given between the relationships Neva holds with her family and friends as well as into the world of Dark Parties.

A unique and promising debut, Dark Parties is sure to entice readers who enjoyed Lauren Oliver’s Delirium as well as Veronica Roth’s Divergent.

Grade: B+

Dark Parties will be released August 3, 2011!

Source: Publicity firm/Publisher- thanks Chelsy at Big Honcho Media and Little, Brown!


  1. Rushed endings are annoying, but this book still sounds fantastic. Wonderful review, Lauren! :)

  2. I am also always on the lookout for creepy dystopians, love them. This one sounds really good, especially with descriptive buildings and such. I enjoy that as well. Glad to see you liked this, great review :)


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