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Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

Review

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

There hasn’t been and likely won’t be a book more filled with more imagination, innovation, futuristic realism or excitement than STRONGER, FASTER, AND MORE BEAUTIFUL by Arwen Elys Dayton. The characters and their motivations, along with a realistic yet powerful element of creativity combined to create a perfect book to describe a potential tomorrow for our world.

The book begins with a nearby tomorrow, and quickly entangled me in the first story, a story about semi-identical twins. Julia and Evan are as close as twins could be, the only thing strong enough to separate them is the diseases they’ve had since birth. Julia and Evan’s situation soon leads to an unthinkable circumstance, as recent technological and medical innovations are now strong enough to save one of the twins, but not the other. Interchanging opinions between fresh characters are evident as one twin says goodbye to their best friend.

Part two, seemingly later, tells the story of a young teen dealing with crazy circumstances along with her high-school crush. A terrible accident causing her great pain leads to her rescue by new medicine. However, this medicine leaves consequences of a strange new body and results in a somewhat criticized approach to life.

"Dayton never missed a logical fallacy or point where the text couldn’t describe our future, she pulled me into her story and timeline slowly and methodically. The stories each had great characters..."

The next tale dives deep into what I see as the books most important controversy: The fine line in changes to human life based on morality (or religion). A one-scene story, this section introduces a young daughter as she wakes up in her old church, where her father, Reverend Tadd, has raised her with a close relationship to God and respect for the unchanged human form. She soon finds that her father has had a “revelation,” and that their mother/wife and brother/son’s recent death led to a change. Her father has converted, and he has taken up the fight to move the human race towards a new path, one believing in evolution of all animals together and the strength in changing who you were born as.

The controversy quickly begins as Dayton takes a huge fast forward into our world. It is a world with humans needing to change their life taking the form of animals, living in environments to study them as one of them. Alexios was once a child made with a very large brain but very small heart (not literal). His skills lead him to work as a research and communication boy/dolphin in a human-cure facility that uses mammoths as a resource. The level of technology and science is not as far out of reach as it now originally seemed, and the controversies only grow from here, but you will have to read it for yourself to see the greatness Dayton has in store for you.

I was extremely satisfied with the level of innovation in this book, the technicalities and details many authors would forgot were evident and clear. Dayton never missed a logical fallacy or point where the text couldn’t describe our future, she pulled me into her story and timeline slowly and methodically. The stories each had great characters and each part gave me a great picture of what I think she was trying to help me see. The story was perfect at drawing attention and reminding me of how accurate the events could be to our future world.

Despite these great qualities that made the story great, I do have some advice if you are interested in the book. Each story can be very complicated, so paying attention when you start each one is important. I found that I often had to re-read sections after finishing the mini-story, but that is the author’s style and I can agree that it made each story more mysterious. This is talking about a possible future, so this style was a little complicated but it gave the book a much more well-rounded theme. The lessons I learned and the thoughts of some of the characters were very compelling. My favorite quote, which I actually had to highlight because I wanted to remember it, was “You should see what is there, no matter how you look, and yet that is not always so. The point from which one views something…is everything.” A difficult subject to wrap a mind around but intriguing to those who like this kind of thing, one of the main ideas I found was seeing and how perspectives can change. Intentional or not, Dayton strongly showed how conflicting viewpoints and how perspective can change any idea or belief into something completely different.

As the story went on, the characters could see more, feel more, be more and experience more than I could ever imagine. This created a world that I could jump into, something I could dream of because I know how close this is to the life we live, right here and right now. Any reader even remotely interested in physiological differences or growth in any area of society or even the effects of society on real individuals, will find this collection perfect for exploring these themes. STRONGER, FASTER, AND MORE BEAUTIFUL stayed true to its mission and purpose, to show how our world can become stronger about our situations, faster in change and more beautiful in what we could become.

Reviewed by Lillian B., Teen Board Member on January 16, 2019

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful
by Arwen Elys Dayton