A Spoilery Review of The Registry by Shannon Stoker – 1 star (out of 5)

The Registry

Synopsis from Good Reads:

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.


-I read this book because it kept showing up in my Facebook feed. The concept isn’t bad. A dystopian post-America where young women are bought as wives. Unfortunately that’s pretty much as interesting as it gets.

-The character development was pretty lacking. Grant, Mia’s “husband”, is basically just a rich psychopath and no real reason is ever given as to what made him this way. He’s not at all sympathetic. Not that the villain of a story is supposed to be sympathetic, but if you’re going to spend so much time in the story seeing through his point of view, you want to actually be able to understand his motivation. Here his motivation is that of a toddler’s: It’s mine, I want it back.

-Whitney, Mia’s friend that she talks into running with her, is supposed to be the smart one, but spends the whole trip sulking and debating whether or not she should return home. Andrew tells her that makes her selfish, which I don’t think is completely fair. Out of all of them, Mia is the most selfish, talking Whitney into going in the first place and blackmailing Andrew into helping them. When Whitney dies to protect Mia, I was only relieved that we didn’t have to  bother with her anymore.

-The “romance” in the story is between Mia and Andrew, but most of the book is spent by one or the other fighting their feelings. When Andrew finally decides to tell her how he feels, he catches her with Carter, one of the men assisting them in their journey to Mexico. Mia, who was pretending that Carter was Andrew while she kissed him, runs after him saying “I didn’t know how you felt.” One moment he storms out angry, the next moment they’re kissing in the back of the get-away car. There’s no explanation as to why she was with Carter or declarations of how they feel for each other. It just happens. And in the rest of the book, Andrew is referred to as “her love.”

-Overall, the book was just boring. Even the moments that were supposed to be surprising or exciting fell flat. I didn’t really care about any of the characters or what happened to them. Usually books I don’t like I give at least two stars because even if I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was good. But this read more like a self-published free e-book than something that went through a real editing process. If you’re into a dystopian story that focuses on repressed females escaping their fate, a better bet would be Eve by Anna Carey or Wither by Lauren DeSteafno.




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