book review // Scythe by Neil Shusterman (SO BRILLIANT)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

so i picked up this book after hearing some great things about it on goodreads and read it in a grand total of two days. i was hooked. so here's my review (PREPARE FOR RANT MODE). i picked this book up on a whim in the library and never looked back.

by Neil Shusterman

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. 

Firstly, like the shallow bookworm I am, I would like to mention the appearance of Scythe. Here is a picture of the brilliance in all its BEAUTIFUL GLORY.

HOW PRETTY. i would like to give a shout out to this book for working *so nicely* with the HB1 filter on VSCO cam. no. i'm not being sarcastic. it isn't everyday that i find book covers that coordinate so well with that filter*. some photos don't play well with HB1. *applauds excitedly*

i don't normally love red book covers, but this one is really well done, and it is beautiful. i might just have to go out and actually purchase it at some point. we'll see. #cheapbookworm

* and before you ask, no. i will not change the filter i use because it goes with my whole instagram/blog theme and also #stubborn. i'll just endure and make it work.

 I'll come clean with you here. 

I don't normally like dystopian worlds. I went through that phase a couple years ago just like everyone else when i read every single dystopian there ever was. *cough* hunger games *cough* I gladly left that chapter* of my life behind and have now moved into a time when all i ever read it fantasy (my one and only love).

HOWEVER, i haven't actually read a dystopian in a while and i actually enjoyed this one. the world in Scythe is much more utopian than any other book in this genre that i have read. basically, humans are now immortal, having conquered disease/injury/death in general. the Scythes are the peeps who get to weed through the population and prevent overpopulation by killing people of their choice. anyone they want.

i though that the idea of a life without toil was very intriguing because, without struggle, can you really feel joy? that's my question. this really was a perfect world in a sense, but there are other ways to define perfection. the whole concept of this world really made me think.

another thing that really stood out to me was the fact that the world felt real, despite merely being part of a book. many dystopians that i have read are way out there, and usually, i feel that these worlds feel very unlikely. Scythe felt like it could actually happen.

the whole idea of scythes controlling the population and being the most powerful people on earth was very interesting, and i had never read anything like it before. i was just wondering how the heck the scythedom hasn't already been corrupted before this??

*haha. because books. get it? i'm so punny.

i loved the characters of this book. it was hard for me to really connect with them due to the third person omniscient narrator, but i still loved them and they were written EXTREMELY well.

citra is very clever. she had a sort of unmovable determination and grit, and that's what made me love her. it was very hard for me to connect with her in the beginning, but as the story moved along i was able to identify with her more. she became my favorite of the two MCs (definitely by the end).

rowan started off in the first half of the book as kind of a normal-type dude. or as normal as you can be, immortal and all. i think that his real character development occurred in the second half of the book, and that's when he really started to have an internal conflict between the part of him that didn't want to kill and the part that enjoyed it.

these two main characters were fantastic. i'm sorry if i can't explain it very well. just take my word for it.

the romance in this novel was very slow to the point where it was almost not even there, but i thought that it was perfect that way. it didn't really need the romance.

AND: there was no love triangle. hooray!

i also really loved the secondary characters. Scythe Faraday was an outstandingly moral person who really stuck out against all the other scythes. by the end of the story, Scythe Curie was also a favorite of mine.

the plot of this book took so many twists and turns that i did't expect. i really want to go into specifics, but i'll keep from doing so for the sake of being spoiler-free-ish.

it kept me guessing, and that's one of the main reasons why i love it!

this doesn't really go under plot, but the book contained entries from some of the main scythes' journals, and i really loved this! it gave me more insight into how the scythes lived and the code of honor that they were supposed to uphold. it really helped to develop some of the characters also.

here's a pic of one of the journal entries!
as the book progressed, the flaws in this seemingly perfect society began to show. it was almost as if the setting also had an arc, as well as the characters. 

Rating: ★★★★★

THE ENDING. it was brilliant. actually, everything was brilliant, from the characters, setting, writing, EVERYTHING. i don't want to say anything else. i don't have any other words. 

we're less than a month into 2017, yet i can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorites of the year. surprisingly, although i have heard a few people talk about it, this book has not been hyped all that much. why??? it's amazing! GO READ IT PLEASE.

have any of you out there read this book? i need someone to rant with! does anyone else find it hard to put coherent thoughts together about absolutely amazing books? chat with me below in the comments!

xoxo, madeline


  1. THIS WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITES FROM 2016 ACK IT'S JUST SO WONDERFUL. and i'm really excited because i might get to go to go to one of his signings!!!!!! But the cover..... <333333333333

    1. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING ahhhhh. <333 that's awesome that you might get to go to one of his signings omg!

  2. The more I hear about this book the more I need to get my hands on it!! I don't think I've ever heard one bad thing about it

    1. it's totally an awesome book! you really should go pick it up! i'm surprised it hasn't gotten more hype!

  3. DUDE SCYTHE LOOKS SO GOOD. I've seen much flailing about Shusterman's Challenger Deep, so I need to read that first, though. XD

    1. IT'S AMAZING. i haven't actually read any other of his books, but I NEED TO after this awesomeness.

  4. you have such a lovely blog!
    that cover is so intriguing...very good review! :)

    be blessed!

  5. Ahhhh, this is such a great review! I recently added Scythe to my TBR pile, and I'm very excited to get to it.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. thanks! :) hope that you enjoy it as much as i did!

  6. Why haven't I read this book yet? Its sitting on my TBR pile looking pretty and tempting... so why? It sounds amazing, glad you really enjoyed it. Hopefully I will get to this one soon!

  7. I almost bought this yesterday but decided against it because I hadn't heard much about it. Now I wish I'd picked it up.


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