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Freedom Trials

Review

Freedom Trials

Evelyn Summers is in prison. Stuck in the harsh, routine life of those in The Center, she struggles through every day, suffering for her crimes. But life for those in the Center are different. Their minds have been wiped, just enough so that all memory of their crimes are gone, stuck paying their dues for a crime they have no recollection of. Their life seems long and torturous, with no real chance of getting out, but they all have one chance of being saved --- The Freedom Trials, a series of seven challenges all intended to determine how reformed the prisoner is based on the principles of rehabilitation. Everyone wants their chance to get out, and after over two years in the Center, it’s finally Evelyn’s turn. The only catch is, failure of any trial immediately results in execution, and after being known for being a snitch, everyone is out to see her fail.

"Fast paced and stunning, FREEDOM TRIALS brings a new slice of thrill and intrigue with every page."

As the trials commence, Evelyn begins to learn more about her past, the memories long gone and people she can’t remember. When new arrival Alex Martinez barges in claiming to know who she is and how she ended up here, Evelyn begins to ask more and more questions about what’s happening around her. But is the knowledge of her past worth the price of her freedom?

Fast paced and stunning, FREEDOM TRIALS brings a new slice of thrill and intrigue with every page. Combining aspects of mystery, dystopian excitement and high intensity thrill, Tate creates a story that’s impossible to put down. From the beautifully written characters, to the compelling plot, to the fascinating world of this story, there wasn’t a single part that I didn’t love. Each character was more interesting than the last, with a personality based on their own life history and the horrors of humanity, creating a sense of truth around their every word. Evelyn, her friend Ronnie, competitors Desirae and Miles, Alex and so many more each helped build up the elaborate mystery of this novel.

Even if the characters weren’t so well written, I would have loved this book from the plot alone. With the dystopian craze of YA fiction today, it is easy for books to follow the same basic guidelines, resulting in an altogether dry novel, but Tate sidesteps this problem with ease, creating something that is wholly and completely her own. With each chapter switching between current day life in the trials and her past 2 years in The Center, piece upon piece of Evelyn’s life was revealed, constantly creating new surprises. Overlapping different stories and ideas to resemble the CRAZINESS of Evelyn’s experiences allowed me to be making new connections as each fact was revealed. Mirroring an excellent mystery novel, Tate never reveals a new snippet of information before the perfect and precise moment to create the highest tension and excitement possible. The eerie and horrifying setting only added to this feeling. Taking place in a prison, with no knowledge of the outside world creates a sense of isolation, raising the stakes of Evelyn’s challenges as if there’s no one else in the world. All of these aspects are tied together with Tate’s beautifully writing, flowing together to fit each twist and turn presented to the characters.

FREEDOM TRIALS is a necessary read for all dystopian fans, especially those who enjoy THE TESTING or THE HUNGER GAMES, as Tate brings everything readers loved from those novels and more. Action packed and filled with mystery, this novel won’t hesitate in its intensity, leaving only one question: can anyone handle the Freedom Trials?

Reviewed by Jessica K., Teen Board Member on October 30, 2018

Freedom Trials
by Meredith Tate