This week, I have another YA fiction for you titled:
Helper 12, by Jake Blaine
This book is set in a dystopian future, yet again. I’m not sure why I am drawn to these, but a lot of the books I’ve read recently are, weird.
In this future, unless you have lots of money, you are assigned to a role at six months, be it laborer, ‘leisure doll,’ thinker, or baby helper, like our main character, Benna.
She is 18 years old, but only goes by Helper12 in most circles. She cares for babies aged 0-6 months, before they are tracked. That is, until a member of ‘society,’ one of the rich folks, comes in and buys one of the babies in her care, and Helper12 right along with him.
Benna already had a special relationship with the baby, who she called Jobee, and the next half of the book is her getting used to society living, and all the drama that entails from that, intertwined with descriptions of her previous life, and bits and bobs about how paths are chosen, or changed, in the case of our protagonist.
This book started relatively strong, even if the writing was rather simplistic. It seemed like a style choice, but by the end of the book, the twists made it clear that it wasn’t a choice.
Helper 12 does have several twists, though only one really seems to flow nicely with the story, the rest being forced, hackneyed shite.
The author does a nice job of setting the scene, you really feel like you know what the world is about, though the limited worldview of Benna really hinders some portions, and is partially to blame, I think for the forced feeling of several of the twists.
The ending, though, was a titch infuriating. It was waaaay too pat, too easy for the protagonist to get where she needed to end the book. It really felt like the author hit page 190 of his manuscript, realized that he needed to end this sucker in ten pages, so boom, done.
Overall, this was an ok book, read if you like the dysopian future books, otherwise pass.
2/5 bungled tattoo removals