Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa

By Kari Patrick

In Children of Eden, author Joey Graceffa of YouTube fame builds a dystopian world where simply being alive could be a crime.

In Eden, families are legally only allowed to have one child. Those children will receive the best health care, the best education, and the best resources that are available because they live in a society powered by an advanced technology. The technology - referred to as the EcoPanopticon, or EcoPan for short - was created with the intention of saving humanity from utter destruction. The one-child policy is one of the core changes implemented in order to achieve this goal.

Now, imagine that you live in this world but are not an only child. Imagine that you are the illegal second child to a family that is determined to keep you. You are not connected to the advanced technology that powers the world as you know it, so you can never leave your home because you will be recognized for what you are right away. When visitors come, you must hide for fear of persecution as a criminal.

This is the life Rowan leads. She is the second child in her family. Her brother lives a fulfilling life with all of his wants and needs covered, which is good, in a way, because he is incredibly ill. Rowan cannot walk through her front door, though, or even sneak a peek at the world outside of it. Rowan cannot have any friends. Rowan cannot be seen or heard if someone visits. In Rowan’s world, it is illegal for her to be alive.

If you’re interested in futuristic dystopias, you should also check out Brave New Girl, by Rachel Vincent; Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine; and The List, by Patricia Forde.