Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

Posted August 7th, 2013 in book review / 8 comments


by Shannon Stoker

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Format: Paperback (336 pages)
Source: Free book from Publisher for honest review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

At A Glance
I loved it, I hated it. The Registry is an odd one for me because there was a lot of things wrong with it but I found myself devouring the book with zealous.

The Good
Yes, everything people are saying on Goodreads is true about this book. But I didn’t care. I went into this book with great apprehension since many seem not to like it. But I was shocked to find myself excited to pick up the book time and time again, even regretful to put it down at all. The Registry is not going to work for everyone, but if you can enjoy the surface story without delving too deep into plot and character, then this book can work for you.

You are going to hate a lot of people in The Registry. Each person is worse than the other. The concept alone is already horrible enough. Women sold like cattle and used to bred more girls who will meet the same fate. Boys thrown out of the home to fend for themselves until they become of age and are forced to serve their country with their lives. All the while, this seems perfectly normal to the whole of America, except for the few who know the truth. Mia learns the truth and now all she can think about is escaping to Mexico for a new beginning, a chance at freedom.

Mia is an interesting character. We find her brainwashed like all the other “good” girls. She wants to be bought and married. Until her sister reveals the truth about marriage. Now all Mia wants to do is escape. She goes of half-cocked into a world she doesn’t know and brings along her best friend and forces a boy to lead the way to Mexico. Mia is very selfish and ignorant in the beginning. She thinks so highly of herself it’s hilarious. But she get’s a rued awakening on her travels. And Mia transforms into this determined but humbled woman. It takes time to really get to know Mia and she isn’t perfect, but she is trying to be a good person and that’s all that counts.

For me, Grant is the best character. He’s evil, straight up evil, and he knows it. He enjoys it. He’s not delusional about who he is. He wants a wife to treat badly, and Mia’s fiery defiance only makes him want to bring her to heel even more. Maybe he will kill her when he is done with her, maybe not, it doesn’t matter to him. You have to love a bad guy who is unashamedly HORRIBLE. He leaves a trail of broken people and dead bodies in his wake and enjoys every minute of it. But Mia’s parents are almost worse for the fact that they are parents who care nothing for their daughters except for the check they bring in. Their daughters can die horrible deaths and it wouldn’t affect them in the least as long as they got their money.

Andrew and Carter are the love interests. Yes, a love-triangle. Andrew is a tough character to like but you always admire him for helping Mia escape despite the risk to his future. Carter was a nice change up to Andrew, with his lax and fun-loving attitude. He just brought a smile to my face.

Though not the most original, I found the storyline to be both sickening and fascinating. Shannon has truly created a dystopian world that is hard to read about sometimes but that’s what makes it intriguing. I tip my hat to her for a job well done.

The Bad
I am going to list most of the reasons Goodreads reviewers don’t like this book because I agree with them, however, I easily got over most of these things and just enjoyed the story overall.

-Yes, Andrew is a douche who treats Mia like crap, which is he kind of has a right to since she blackmailed him, but it still makes him very unlikable. He is emotionless and expects Mia to choose him for no reason whatsoever other than obligation for helping her.
Plot holes galore and inconsistencies.
Most of the characters are flat and one-dimensional.
-A thrown in love-triangle that was so not needed.
It kind of ends in the middle of the story. A slight cliffhanger. No wrap-up.

The Snuggly
The love triangle came out of the blue. It happens near the end and didn’t seem needed. However, I liked Carter way better than Andrew. But it was obvious Mia was always going to pick Andrew despite him treating her like crap the whole time. At least I got my good, cute moments with Carter and Mia.

Very YA, no sex, just kissing and sexual situations.

Final Thoughts
Sure, there are a lot of things wrong with this book, but it doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable read. On the surface, it’s an intriguing concept that keeps you reading. The characters need more depth, so I can only hope it happens in book 2, which I will be reading. Recommended to those who can handle The Bad.

“Her happiness is not my concern.” Grant said. “I’m buying her to make me happy.”

“All you seem to care about is money. You sold your daughter, your own flesh and blood, without even utilizing the mandatory waiting period to check me out. You knew me less than a week before agreeing. I bet right now you still don’t even care about her.”

“You don’t even know me,” Mia responded playfully.
“I know that you’re brave, that you’re strong, and I wouldn’t want to get in your way. It takes a lot of courage to escape, and I am completely enamored with you.”

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8 Responses to “Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker”

  1. elisa

    huh, sounds interesting. What a weird possible world! I don’t know, this sounds like a maybe to me. great review though, I hadn’t heard about this one yet.

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    I think this one would just depend what type of mood I’m in and what kind of read I’m looking for in the moment, but it’s great going into know that there are these inconsistencies and one-sided characters so that I don’t grow annoyed while reading. Thank you so much for the review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    Despite issues I did enjoy this but felt it was not NA and I struggled with the characters and world. I think if I knew going in what to expect I would have liked it more..and you are right if you stay on the surface its a entertaining read

    • Jennifer Bielman

      To me, this is totally YA, not NA at all. And I know what you mean. I went in knowing what to expect from the other reviews, so I was more prepared.

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