It's the first thing they teach you when you start school. But they don't need to; your parents tell you when you're first learning how to say your name. It's drummed into you whilst you're taking your first stumbling steps. It's your lullaby. From the moment it first appears, you don't tell anyone the name on your wrist.
In Corin's world, your carpinomen - the
name of your soul mate, marked indelibly on your wrist from the age of
two or three - is everything. It's your most preciously guarded secret; a
piece of knowledge that can give another person ultimate power over
you. People spend years, even decades, searching for the one they're
supposed to be with.
But what if you never find that person? Or
you do, but you just don't love them? What if you fall for someone else -
someone other than the name on your wrist?
And what if - like Corin - the last thing in the world you want is to be found?
Corin's futuristic world is in despair and broken, but one thing makes sense: the name of your true love tattooed on your wrist. It is your most dangerous secret and is kept covered at all times. But Corin doesn't want to find her carpinomen, in fact she could care less about the name on her wrist because she doesn't really believe in soul mates. Not after her dad died, leaving her mother alone, not after her sister nearly died trying to crave the name off her wrist. Corin's defence is sarcasm, which made her very funny but distant. I only sort of understood Corin but did really like her.
The pace and suspense was very good, giving away subtle clues as to what made Corin act this way and why she is so interested in suicidal political statements. It was secretive and creative; I only guessed the secrets right half the time! But even though I couldn't quite connect with Corin like I wanted, the story and the world was very original and raised interesting questions; it commented on freedom and how we use/squander it, as well as what happens when you can't find your soul mate? Or you fall in love with someone else?
Even though it was a bleak and corrupt world, I loved learning about it through Corin's eyes. She was interested in the secrets the government were keeping but not strong enough to try and do anything about it; she may be smart-mouthed but ultimately just a girl who was scared for herself. I couldn't help but feel for her, stuck in a world that didn't really make sense and took all the choice out of life. I think the scariest thing about this world was that it was entirely possible and logical. So while the ending felt somewhat rushed, I completely loved falling into this world and am really looking forward to more from this debut author.
Published 15th July 2013 by Random House. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.