"This is far and away the best young adult novel I have read for years … It has a marvelously vibrant and courageous young heroine, and friends who may betray or help—hard to predict. Best of all it is based on one of the most ultimately tough young women to grace this earth. The White Rose. After reading this book, you will want to read more about her."
Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction and National Book Award Winner
"This is a gripping read and young adults will certainly empathize with the characters' conflicts between self-expression and a desire to fit in. They will find the Zero Tolerance credo that the state's first priority must be the safety of its citizens to have a chilling resonance with statements in the news today."
School Library Journal
"In the aftermath of the Millenium War, the new Zero Tolerance government focuses on the safety inherent in homogeneity of political thinking, ethnic origin, and appearance. A wall has been constructed around the southern part of the country and suspected families relocated into a "re-dap" community in which the young people can be educated into right-thinking. But within her Youth Training Facility, Marina has found some kindred souls: an art teacher who encourages her, a boyfriend with whom she sneaks out at night, and a rebellious newcomer. As she gradually retrieves her memories of her mother's death, Marina determines to honor her spirit, starting her own resistance movement, the White Rose. This leads to a horrifying discovery: the tool the party uses to silence wrong-thinkers permanently Gripping suspense combined with satisfyingly capable teen characters make this a good YA read, but the person who truly grows and changes is an adult, Minister of Education Greengritch. A convincing dystopia with echoes of Nazi Germany, ending with an appreciation of Sophie Scholl and the real White Rose."
This surrealistic and grim world, wherein children are recruited to spy on their parents, lobotomized resisters are turned into unquestioning guards, and painting a rose can get you murdered, is hauntingly well developed, serving as the perfect challenge for the irascible and resolute Marena … Compelling protagonist, terrifyingly realistic (sometimes only slightly exaggerated) setting, and gripping pace.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books