Slated is the first book in the Young Adult trilogy of the same name by Teri Terry. It is the story of sixteen-year-old Kyla, who is a former juvenile offender. Kyla was “slated”—given a clean slate by having her memories wiped and adopted into a caring family. But Kyla is different to the other “Slaters”. Instead of being care-free, she has nightmares. And she can draw—photo-realistically—including places and people she should have no memory of. Kyla is treading a fine line as she searches for answers: there are things that powerful people would rather remain a secret. The rules include not questioning the government’s actions. And the price for breaking the rules is termination.
Will You Like Slated If You Liked Madison Lane?
Slated is written in first person, present tense, which is a style I don’t enjoy writing in for longer than a short story (My short story, The Sorcerer’s Daughter, found at the end of Madison Lane, is written in this style.) Madison Lane itself is written in my favourite style—intimate third person, with only two viewpoint characters in alternating chapters, and in past tense. Here are examples of the opening sentences of each:
Fists of waves claw the sand as I force one foot to pound after the other.
Maddie hurtled out the front door, a partially-eaten sandwich in one hand, and careered straight into her Aunt Ruby.
Slated is set in a dystopian future, while Madison Lane is set both in our current normal world and in a utopian pre-industrial world. I imagine Slated could allow readers to feel that (whatever troubles they might be going through) at least their lives are better/safer than Kyla’s. The world of Madison Lane is intended to give readers the idea of a wonderful place to escape to in their imaginations. I think the same readers could enjoy both types of setting, but Slated is much darker than Madison Lane and is better suited for older teens (although it is not nearly as dark as The Hunger Games, so, if you managed that, you’ll be fine with Slated).
Like Madison Lane, Slated features interesting, layered female characters, from protagonist Kyla and her new older sister Amy, to their adoptive mother Sandra, and Dr Lysander, the enigmatic surgeon who developed the Slating procedure. Slated also studies the complex mother-daughter, and sister, relationships that fascinate me. There is more boy-girl romance in Slated, though, than in Madison Lane, as Kyla falls for fellow Slater Ben. However, Slated takes place over a longer time period, so there is more time for feelings to develop (over just a few days, Maddie is too busy saving the worlds to notice boys). But unlike a book like Twilight the romance in Slated is a minor subplot, not, thankfully, the main story.
Madison Lane is a complete story in one book (although there is the possibility of a sequel). The Slated Trilogy appears to be a continuous story spread over the three books, so, if it annoys you to put a story on hold, you might want to get all three books up front. I’m intrigued enough that I’ve ordered the next books, Fractured and Shattered, together, and I’m looking forward to finishing the story.
Elle Carter Neal is the author of the picture book I Own All the Blue and the teen science-fantasy novel Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin. She has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, holding childhood slumber-party audiences entranced until the early hours of the morning. Elle decided to be an author the day she discovered that real people wrote books and that writing books was a real job. Join Elle on her new publishing adventure.