'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 25 August 2018

Review: Juno of Taris

When you know nothing of the past and your future holds no promise, what is there to live for?

For Juno, the thought of growing her hair is enough.

Juno lives on the island of Taris, a last-resort experiment created when the Outside was on the cusp of destroying itself two hundred years ago.

To conform in Taris is to be a model citizen. To vary even the smallest detail of life, even a dance step, is to risk having those you love withdraw from you. Perhaps worse.

But eleven-year-old Juno can't help question the wisdom behind weekly head shaving. And what about the history of Taris? Why are there no stories of the community's origins?

As Juno grows, so does her unease with the Governance Companions who control every aspect of Taris life. For a start, why does Hilto, one of these illustrious leaders hate her so much?

When Juno and her friend Vima refuse to cut their hair, they have no idea of the trigger point they create.

Parents and shun their own and the rock solid community of Taris begins to unravel. Juno's questions remain unanswered but this one small act of defiance leads to actions and irreversible reactions.

There is no guarantee Juno and Vima will survive to see how their community changes. From genetically manipulated conception and an entire generation that is illiterate to its deeply controlling and potentially murderous leadership, the trouble in Taris had me hooked from the first page till the last.

I regard Juno of Taris as the grandmother of modern YA dystopian fantasy. Despite the fact that we have some rip-roaring movies based on contemporary narratives, Juno of Taris remains hard to beat. 

Title: Juno of Tari
Author: Fleur Beale
Publisher: Random House Australia, $19.99
Publication Date: 1 July 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781741662979
For ages: 12 years +
Type: Young Adult