April 6, 2020

Book Review: Evalene's Number by Bethany Atazadeh

I was browsing books on my phone when Amazon showed Evalene’s Number as a title I might enjoy. I thought the cover was so cool, I had to find out who the cover designer was. Using the look inside feature, I flipped to the copyright page to find more info on the cover image.

I smirked at the title. A character has a number? I immediately knew what the book was going to be: A dystopian society is highly stratified using some sort of numbering system to rank the citizens. The protagonist would likely be from a highly ranked family, but for some reason, she would get a terrible ranking on the day she gets a number. Then she would need to fight against the injustice that is the overbearing government.

Of course, in order to confirm my suspicions, I would need to read the first few paragraphs, err pages. Maybe the entire first chapter.

And now that I’ve read the whole thing, I’d like to share my thoughts.

Evalene’s Number by Bethany Atazadeh
My Rating: ★★★★

Everyone in Eden is given a number on their thirteenth birthday which marks their place in society for the rest of their lives. On Evalene’s numbering day, everyone is shocked when she receives the worst number possible. Her life is turned completely upside-down as she adjusts to a completely different lifestyle.

Before her spirit is completely broken, she and a friend decide to run away and start over in the free lands. As she runs away from the country that wronged her, she learns more about the depth of corruption and must decide whether or not she will fight back.

Although I knew exactly what to expect going into this novel, Bethany’s writing immediately pulled me in. Her wonderful descriptions made me feel like I was dropped straight into Evalene’s world, and I could feel Evalene’s pain when she was ostracized by her friends and family, going from beloved daughter to lowly servant in the span of a day.

Going into this book, I knew it was the first of a series, so I knew there might not be total closure at the end. The story ended with a nice amount of resolution. However, one of the characters makes a big decision at the end which is totally against their character.

My favorite part of this novel is Evalene’s character arc. Her transition from innocent and hopeful to reserved and meek is heartbreakingly believable and seeing her slowly discover her self-worth felt just as real.

Anyone who’s ever enjoyed a dystopian or young adult will absolutely love Evalene’s Number.

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