rating 3 (2.6)
Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.
Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.
Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.
Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.
Alternating view points of Mary and Taylor, this is a story of their journey to understanding. Mary has grown up in Section One on the rule of the Matriarch. Everyone is force to live by these strict rules which includes not touching anyone, ever. All sections are supposed to abide by these rules but in Section Seven where Taylor is from they were more lenient with the rules.
Mary's mother broke the rules when they were in private. She always showed her daughter affection. Then one day she died. Mary becomes a rule breaker. She hates the rules and the Matriarch. In Taylor, she learns that what she was taught wasn't all together true. Together they find love and the possibility of a new beginning.
As a whole I like the story. It has a clear line of where it was going and how it was going to get there. With that being said, there were still unanswered questions. What is the disease? Why did it affect males rapidly? How exactly was it spread? Also the story is pretty much a narrative, the action is sporadic. It did lagged in spots and so I didn't finished as quickly as I could have.