Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: The Undesirable by S. Celi

The Undesirable (Undesirable, #1)Title: The Undesirable
Author: S. Celi
Publisher:  Kindle Direct Publishing
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Pages: 210, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 3.95 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie?

Charlotte Walker knows how to live under the rule of The Party. She has managed for 18 years. She helps out her drunken mother and keeps life going at a familiar, steady pace. She doesn’t ask questions, even though she has many of them in her heart.

Fostino Sanchez knows how to live under the rule of The Party, too. For 19 years, he’s worked to be the perfect Party member. He knows what must be done to keep Maxwell Cooper in power, and how find the The Undesirables that threaten to take away everything that matters.

As the months go by, what matters most to Fostino is Charlotte Walker.

While their love blooms, danger comes to Charlotte and Fostino’s small hometown of Harrison Corners, OH. Threats they never knew existed could take away all that they care about. And just when these two teens think they know what will come next, Charlotte learns the truth about a secret she has long suspected.

What Charlotte finds out changes everything. 


THE UNDESIRABLE is Charlotte Walker’s story, from her point of view. It is a thrilling, suspenseful tale of love, curiosity, adversity, and maturity against the backdrop of a futuristic war.

Should Charlotte trust Fostino with what she knows? Can she trust anyone? Will she find it in herself to rise up against terrible odds? What if the ultimate Undesirable is her?


This book was good, but it just didn't quite live up to its potential and the story never really grabbed my interest the way it could have.  The book takes place in a not completely unrealistic future where fear of economic disaster has led to a war with Canada ("Really, Canada?" was my first thought, but it does end up making sense and is explained in the book) and has also led to a dictatorship in the US.  The Party rules with an iron fist and anyone who opposes them is labeled an Undesirable and executed.  Everyone lives in constant fear. Charlotte Walker is just an ordinary girl trying to survive in miserable circumstances.  Fostino Sanchez is the only thing that makes her world a little brighter.  He is a staunch supporter of The Party, but he finds himself breaking rules in order to make sure that Charlotte stays safe.  But there might not be anyone who can keep Charlotte safe once the truth about her identity is revealed - a truth that she didn't even know herself.

It sounds like a recipe for a truly amazing book, right?  Unfortunately, it just fell a little flat for me.  I think the main problem came down to character development.  We got to know Charlotte relatively well, but her relationship with Fostino was just kind of thrown at us. There was no real chemistry between them and I didn't have any connection to Fostino at all.  One minute he is looking at Charlotte from across the schoolyard and the next he is risking his life and spilling The Party's secrets to her.  Sometimes it felt to me like Fostino was just a plot device to feed Charlotte Party information rather than a true love interest.  I think the problem may have simply been that the book was too short and Celi needed a little more time to truly develop the relationship between Fostino and Charlotte.

And then there were some simple flaws in logic that I just couldn't get past.  Like, once The Party found out about Charlotte, why didn't they just kill her right away.  They could have easily ordered her death - they killed people for almost no reason at all - it would have seemed like just another person being labeled an Undesirable.  There could have been a cool rescue scene where the SSR (the rebels) save Charlotte from imminent death.  Instead, we get an implausible "They know who you are, but they're not going to do anything about it yet.  Go break up with your boyfriend and then meet us back here later."  Um, okay.  Oh, and the super-secret rebel group - they identify each other by a tattoo branded onto their stomachs.  Really?  That's the most secret spot you could come up with to hide those?  Hope none of the guys gets hot on a summer day because there will be no going shirtless.  I have a list of these types of things that just bugged me because they were completely illogical (I won't share them all because that would just be rude and nitpicky).

Still, despite some frustrations, overall I did enjoy the book and I will most likely read the next in the series. The idea is good and I hope that the author is able to develop the characters more in the next book.  So, in the end I gave The Undesirable 3/5 Stars.