Jason Zhou is trying to survive in Taipei, a city plagued by pollution and viruses, but when he discovers the elite are using their wealth to evade the deadly effects, he knows he must do whatever is necessary to fight the corruption and save his city. - (Baker & Taylor)
A tale set in a heavily polluted Taipei of the near future follows the efforts of a group of teens to save their city in the face of social divisions that enable the wealthy to secure long, protected lives while the poor suffer illness and early death. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)
'Fresh, compelling'and timely.' 'veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent series
'Vividly conjured'positively chilling.' 'The New York Times
Set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, a group of teens risk everything to save their city in this thrilling novel from critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon.
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city's corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp's CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart? - (Simon and Schuster)
Jason Zhou lives in a near-future Taipei where the super-rich yous wear suits that protect them from the deadly pollution, while the meis struggle and die young. But Jason and a group of bright and clever friends are determined to change things, and to do that they need money. So Jason kidnaps a wealthy you girl; the ransom lets them put into motion a plan to destroy the powerful Jin Corporation that makes the suits—and perhaps manufactures some of the deadly poisons that ensure their necessity. Jason, who must assume a you identity to get close to Jin Corp, is successful thanks to the escalating relationship between him and Mr. Jin's daughter, Daiyu. Unfortunately, she's the girl he kidnapped, and he must hope the memory-wiping he administered will hold. Pon excels as this society's architect, constructing sights, sounds, and smells that make this Taipei come alive. Her characters are layered, too, and though some predictability shoots through the plot, the action, attraction, and high stakes will keep readers satisfied. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
In a future Taipei, those with money, the "[cf2]you[cf1]" (defined as "to have"), wear environmental suits manufactured by Jin Corporation to protect them from deadly air pollution; the "[cf2]mei[cf1]" ("without") suffer short lives in abject poverty. A group of idealistic [cf2]mei[cf1] teens, including protagonist Jason Zhou, infiltrate the [cf2]you[cf1] to destroy Jin Corp and the stratified society from within. Searing cultural critique meets unique sci-fi thriller. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
In a future Taiwan, street kid Jason Zhou disguises himself as one of the wealthy elite in order to take down a murdering CEO.Jason's been alone since his mother died of pneumonia when he was 13, just another casualty of the disease-ridden streets of polluted future Taipei. He's been poor his whole life, but now Jason's living in luxury and wearing something only the ultrarich can afford: a Jin Corp suit and helmet, designed to keep Taiwan's polluted air from touching his lungs. Among the Taipei glitterati, Jason's success rides on his successfully pulling off a disguise as a rich American new to Taiwan. Taiwan-born Jason and his international crew of friends believe the head of Jin Corp—and inventor of the suits—has been murdering anyone who agitates for cleaner air. The only way Jason can find the information they need is to pose as a high-rolling playboy romancing Jin's daughter, so Jason kidnaps a rich girl so they can use the ransom to finance his wealthy dis guise. It's just bad luck that he's kidnapped Jin's daughter. A few seams show from the adaptation of "Blue Skies," Pon's short story from the anthology Diverse Energies (2012), fleshed out here into action occasionally overwhelmed by romance. Overall, though, the effect is successful. An exciting, socially conscious futuristic thriller. (Science fiction. 13-16) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
In this SF thriller, adapted from a short story that appeared in the 2011 anthology Diverse Energies, teens struggle to survive in a pollution-choked Taipei, where the wealthy live in expensive environmental suits and everyone else risks sickness and early death. Jason Zhou, one of the have-nots, joins a group determined to infiltrate the rich and powerful in order to undermine Jin Corp and its monopoly on the protective suits. In Jason's undercover role, he grows close to his target, Jin Corp heiress Daiyu, but must avoid being seduced by power and privilege. But there's no time to waste with a deadly flu sweeping through the city. Pon's (Serpentine) dystopian setting is chilling but familiar—it's a standard class warfare scenario—as is the omnipresent, corrupt Jin corporation and the romance that brews between resourceful Jason and privileged-yet-rebellious Daiyu. The strength of Pon's story lies in the way it immerses readers in its gritty Taiwanese setting, and the emotional and cultural conflicts that arise as a result of this perspective. Ages 14–up. Agent: Bill Contardi, Brandt & Hochman. (June)
Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 9 Up–Jason Zhou and his friends are determined to change the world for the better. They live in an alternate future in smog-filled Taipei, where prolonged exposure to pollution can be fatal. The Jin Corporation holds a monopoly on manufacturing suits to protect citizens from the toxic air. Yet a rigid class structure divides those who can afford suits (yous) from those who cannot (meis). When it becomes clear to Jason and his friends that Jin, the CEO of Jin Corp, is driving profits by intentionally harming the environment and infecting citizens with a powerful strain of the flu, they decide to infiltrate and destroy the corporation. The success of this plan depends on Jason, who intends to pose as a you and gain intel by befriending Jin's daughter. However, his developing feelings for Daiyu threaten to thwart the scheme. This fully realized futuristic city is complete with descriptions of airpeds, bots, and colorful nightlife. While the technological advancements are alluring, Pon reminds readers of the devastating effects of pollution by depicting the dull and damaged landscape of Taiwan. The plot moves along at a fast pace. There is plenty of romance to appeal to wistful readers, but this won't deter fans who prefer action. A supporting cast of diverse and intelligent characters with relationships rooted in loyalty round out the book. VERDICT A strong sci-fi novel that will entice an array of readers. A solid addition to any library.—Amy Reddy, Lewiston High School, ME
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.