Book Review – You’ll Like it Here (Everybody Does!)
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Ruth White
Format: Kindle, Paperback
As the new school year begins, eleven-year-old Meggie Blue finds this year’s rumor to be one of the best yet – Aliens! “They are all around us,” the kids proclaim – UFOs. Even her best friend Kitty Singer is on it claiming the aliens can suck out your soul through your toes. But what starts out as a funny game, seems to take a serious turn. Adults in their small town start to proclaim similar experiences and the small town gets whipped in to a frenzy. Living with her older brother, mom, and grandfather, everything comes to a head late one night when Meggie is awoken by her family. “We have to get out of here!” Soon she realizes the town has turned on them and lynch mob comes for them. It is only through Gramps that they are able to escape in a nick of time. Unfortunately, where they escape to is a far worse place!
Wihile reading Ruth White’s “You’ll Like it Here” I could not help being reminded of Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle Time” with its “Stepford-esque” world and reprogramming of its citizens not to mention the similarity in the main character’s names in both books. White’s book is, however, much more direct in its messaging. A number of themes are covered including what happens when individual freedoms are given up to a government bent on controlling everything to the point of drugging its own citizens into submission. Without giving too much of the plot away, the story exists in a place where Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln are both alive at the same time. Curious? You should be. Despite some heavy messages, including euthanasia, they story is told in such a way as to make its points without being too intense for middle grade readers.
This is a great book for prompting a number of thoughtful discussions among parents and their young readers. I enjoyed this as an adult and have given a copy to my eleven-year-old without reservation. This book is fast paced and engrossing. My only compliant would be a fairly abrupt ending though its climax was satisfactorily resolved. Perhaps this was done purposely to set up the foundation for what could be a series of books. If so, I would not hesitate in picking up the next offering.