The ratings are real. One number, 0 to 100, determines your place in society. Earn a high rating, and the world is yours for the taking. But fall to zero, and you may as well cease to exist.Societies thrive on order, and the Rating System is the ultimate symbol of organized social mobility. The higher it soars, the more valued you are. The lower it plummets, the harder you must work to improve yourself. For the students at the prestigious Maplethorpe Academy, every single thing they do is reflected in their ratings, updated daily and available for all to see.But when an act of vandalism sullies the front doors of the school, it sets off a chain reaction that will shake the lives of six special students -- and the world beyond.
At elite Maplethorpe Academy, six students receive riddles and clues suggesting that all is not right with their society's universal rating system, which decides everything from education and healthcare to social standing. Each teen has a reason to challenge or distrust the system, but only by working together can they decipher the messages and discover the truth behind current events. After graffiti warns that "the ratings are not real," academically struggling jock Chase becomes close to overachieving Bex; professional e-gamer Javi is drawn to photographer Noah; and driven figure skater Hana befriends goth outcast Tamsin, whose rating is plummeting due to a bullying campaign. The six separate narratives don't intersect until near the end, at which point the teens join forces, leading up to an open-ended conclusion. Grey (the Girl at Midnight books) presents an intriguing premise, but the lack of detail behind the rating system creates uneven worldbuilding, and the story hits perhaps too many buttons, between Chase's dyslexia and alcoholic father, Hana's anorexia, Noah's sister's leukemia, Javi's confusion over his attraction to Noah, and Bex's domineering parents. Still, despite the somewhat cluttered narrative, this is a provocative dystopian offering. Ages 12 up.
This book has a lot going for it. It has an interesting premise, a great trailer, and excellent cover design. But once you dive into it, it’s sure to disappoint. Each chapter focuses on a new character, never really allowing any one character to be fleshed out and make you feel like you know them.