The Only Boy
by Jordan Locke
Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.
Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.
Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.
Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.
4 out of 5 stars
The main premise of this book is pretty straight forward....an epidemic - called the Cleansing - targeted the males of the world essentially wiping them out of existence.....or so they thought.
Mary has never seen a boy. Living in a former hospital now named Sector One, she and other women follow the strict rules of the Matriarch. Every book has had the pictures of the men cut out or marked out. If the women break a rule, then they are thrown into the pit......left in a dark and depressing cage with limited water for the duration of their sentence. Some of the rules are outright depressing:
Rule #8 - Touching is punishable with up to two weeks in imprisonment. To avoid accidental contact, maintain a distance of eighteen inches at all times.
Rule #17 - All property belongs to the community. Any item, no matter how insignificant, must be brought to the Matriarch and will be distributed according to need. Failure to do so may result in a weeks confinement.
Rule #30 - An upset child is not an excuse to pick them up or coddle them. If left alone, they will eventually stop crying.
Mary is a very curious girl and always questions life before the 'cleansing'. But the Matriarch doesn't allow the women to have that knowledge. The Matriarch has also made it clear that men are not needed. They are able to provide for themselves and protect themselves. And with the babies basically created in a test tube, men are not even needed to reproduce.
Taylor has a secret - he is a boy - and after coming to live in Sector One after his sector is destroyed, he has to pretend to be a girl or he will be killed or exiled. He resorts to wearing baggy clothing, keeping his hair long and hiding razors to shave. After he meets Mary and they have an instant connection, they both risk everything by breaking the rules and running away from Sector One and this is where the real action begins.
The story is told from two point of views, Mary and Taylor, which shift back and forth between the two throughout the story. This really works out well, as the reader knows exactly whose perspective we are reading about at the time. This was a very interesting and unique dystopian story that was both thought provoking and engrossing. It was well written and the story flowed effortlessly. If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.
To find out more on this amazing author, check out http://www.jordanlocke.com
You can purchase a copy of this book at Amazon in either paperback or Kindle.