This is the first book by Virginia Bergin I have read and it wont be the last. I didnt think I was going to finish this book and I almost put it down, but I am glad I didnt. The beginning is slow but once it picks up it really picks up! To the point I couldn’t put it down for a second. The XY is a wonderful YA novel that had me on the edge of my set ready to seek change inside this dystopian new world.
“It Is lying in the road— not moving.
It has been agreed. If any creature- a human or any other animal – suffers and cannot be helped, it should be freed – quickly, kindly, and as painlessly as possible from its misery.
There are no agreements I know of that apply, specifically, to XYs. Why would there be?
But what I do know is that they cant live outside the Sanctuaries.
It’s going to die.
I look down at my knife, lying in the road, blade still out.”
In a world run by woman, men on the brink of extinction due to a virus that attacks the Y chromosome, a new generation is born. Men are forced into sanctuaries valued for their sperm count. They are needed to re-populate the once dying world.
Due to the new Aggrements River’s world is simple, there is no crime, no reason to fear anything, these fears eradicated and taught that murder and crime was mainly at the hands of men leaves a very open and honest world where everyone plays a intricate part of today’s new society.
The Grammumas, the last generation to be in a world of men, are filled with emotions. Having seen their brothers, husbands, and children perish from the virus are automatically attached to Mason when River brings him back to the village. They decide to save him even though Help and Rescue tell them to let him die.
Virginia Bergin has perfectly written a book that battles gender stereotypes. River never growing up with gender expectations becuase in her world woman do it all. And then Mason, who learns about the world from the “once-was” video games and sex vids. To him women are pretty, wear dresses and want men’s sperm. But more than the stereotypes this is now a world where men have become second-class citizens, who’s only value is their sperm to produce more life. Sperm / people who can be traded for needed resource’s within the country.
After River breaks one of the Golden Aggrements, Mason relies on his Code of Honor to save her. There quest for personal truth and justice turns political in knowing River and Mason are no longer the only ones who need help.
“Her name is River and she is daydreaming about the exploration of outter space. It is an autumn evening. Dark is coming soon. She is miles from home. She feels no fear. Why would she? There are no predators. No such thing as ghost. Fear belongs to another time. It lives on only in the memories of other. She feels no fear at all. Not even when she see’s it; the body lying in the middle of the road”
Thought-provoking and engaging. I really enjoyed this book, it left me with alot of unanswered questions. What would the world look like ran by women?. Would you enslave a group of people just to save the world and is it better to keep it hidden? Why would we need it hidden if it’s the right thing to do.
I thought the book was a little too stereotypical at first. A world ran by women, little to no crime, perfect government where everyone agrees to agree, the “perfect” number of councils, and the fact that women could be more resourceful with energy while being so cautious about the earth was just a bit much, but it’s exactly what I would have said if someone asked me a few days ago what a world ran by women would look like! I hated the idea that this generation of women would be capable of basically violating human rights (enslaving men), but when it comes to keeping the world alive and population rising it may seem like a great idea.
It seemed very unrealistic that man is the sole reason for bad around the world and that once they were gone it all went with them.
I however loved the ending, hope for change. I’m a sucker for someone to risk it all for what the believe in or even just how they feel. I also admired how The XY did not turn into a typical romance novel ( girl meets guy, girl falls crazy in love) and instead stayed true to wanting social justice and seeking political truth.
I had a few questions that are maybe supposed to be left unanswered.. was River and her bestfriend Plat (a girl if your wondering) in a relationship? Although we know the world is now ran by women not once was there talk of women being in love with another women. Just friendly relation ties. Furthermore no ethnicity was placed upon the characters, I liked this. Strangely I kept searching for something that would disclose that information but found great joy in that any race could make the characters like themselves.