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  Dark Life by Kat Falls

Review by: Nicole H.
Virginia, Grade 7

Ty has spent his whole life living deep underwater- which was all that was left of the eastern shore of the U.S. Everything in his life changes when outlaws attack his homestead and he has to do everything he can to save his home with the help of Gemma, a girl from the Topside who came subsea in search of her brother, Richard.

This dystopia novel is one that I definitely recommend reading if you like to take yourself into a post-apocalyptic underwater wonderland. This book made me feel like I was in a dream because it describes a completely alternate version of Earth in the future, and kept making me turn the page until the end.

Ty and Gemma go to extremes to help save Tyís home, and find Gemmaís brother who she hasnít talked to in years. I love how even in the least exciting parts, I am still into the book because of how different and unique it is. Ty does everything he can in order to turn in the outlaws, lead by Shade, who apparently formed his group of outlaws after they escaped from prison, that might destroy the one place he can call home while he finds some things about himself along the way.

Ty discovered has special gifts that he couldnít describe and chose to believe that was completely normal, like how he can see with what he hears, and he can communicate with sea animals. Itís interesting how the author decides to give us information on his past later on and what might happen in the future earlier in the book.

Gemma also finds out information on her brother that she would have never expected. It surprised me as well while I was reading because you find out something that makes you believe one thing, and then new information takes you by surprise and completely flips your beliefs.

Ty would be the main character of the book. The book is written from his point of view which I like so you can put yourself in his shoes. One thing I think would be really good was if part of the book is written in Gemmaís point of view because we never get to see into her life and you are left with a lot of questions about how she is feeling in that moment. Ty plays a role in his homestead that gives him no choice but to be a leader. He is the only teenager so he has all of the kids to be there for as a role model, and he is also getting old enough to be more independent as a respected citizen. He is a strong character with a lot of compassion, but he is also very stubborn. He goes after what he wants whether itís right or not.

Gemma is also the other main character. She came from the Topside, which makes her feel like she is on an alien planet when she is subsea. She is very outgoing, yet there is still a lot that we could ask about her. She helps with Tyís younger sister, Zoe, being the only teen girl now in their homestead Zoe looks up to her like a big sister. Like Ty, she is stubborn and goes after what she wants no matter how risky it is. The thing I love about Gemma is that she would change her way of life and risk everything just to find her brother, who is the only family she has left.

For me, the main idea of this story is that if there is anything you canít go without, it will never hurt to go after it. I love this book because it leaves the characters to fight with their true feelings and they end up stripping away everything that hides how they really feel which shows who they really are. I think that even though it has a completely different story, there is a lot that people can personally connect to which is a very good thing to have in a book. If you want to discover the secrets that could destroy everything they have known about, read Dark Life by Kat Falls

Something that I dislike about the book is that you donít get any real information on the outlaws until the end. It made me confused about what really is the truth about them until they are face to face at the end.

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