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4.2 10
by Emma Trevayne

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Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.

Anthem finds hope and comfort in the


Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.

Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

Emma Trevayne's dystopian debut novel is a little punk, a little rock, and plenty page-turning.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Music provides both damnation and freedom in this gripping futuristic fable, first in a two-book series from newcomer Trevayne. The Corp maintains a crushing grip on the population through addictive, mood-influencing music that takes a heavy toll on its users. Anthem, 18, sells his body’s energy to fuel the city’s grid and rebels at night as part of an illegal underground band. When he loses a friend to the Corp’s music, he sparks a musical rebellion aimed at overthrowing the shadowy President Z and her cabinet. But a traitor close to Anthem could destroy everything, just as he finds the strength to go for what he wants in life and love. Atmospheric and emotionally rich, this intense story practically sings with defiance, swaggering like the rock and punk of old. Trevayne conjures up a convincingly corrupt dystopia, full of dangerously misused technology, an omnipresent Big Brother, and heroes worth rooting for. Without shying away from the story’s darker themes, she balances them with positive messages regarding family, friendship, and optimism. A strong debut from an author to watch. Ages: 13–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, FinePrint Literary Management. (May)
From the Publisher
San Francisco Book Review/Sacramento Book Review
"With so many dystopian books out there, it's definitely hard to find one that's both original and well-written. Coda, however, is one of those books…This is a must-read for any YA or dystopia fan [that] stands out in its originality, emotion and real characters.”

ForeWord Reviews
"The action is engaging and fast-paced, propelled forward by the authentic and sometimes conflicting interests of its likable cast of characters. . . . The ending is tense and sensational, and readers won't feel let down by the action."

The Midnight Garden
"Coda has a cool-factor unlike anything I've read. A cyberpunk—part dystopian, part science fiction—thriller set in futuristic Manhattan, with the requisite gadgetry, romance, and the added benefit of a rockstar? Sign me up."

A.B. Keuser
“I honestly wasn't expecting what I got. And that was something truly magical.”

"[T]he rhythm steadily climbs and you only fall more under its spell. By the time the song is nearing its end, there's only the tempo's speed and your heart is racing to match the pace of the song because you're wholly invested now. And when it all ends, when the last crash of the drum sounds and the singer drops the microphone, your heart is gargling in throat from all the rioting and fist-pumping you've done and you can't wipe the smile off your face because it was a damn good ride."

"This book is ripe with danger and suspicion, and it highlights the key points of a dystopian setting. The horrors of an oppressive corporation and their corrupt goals, the dreary and dismal setting, the unflinching desire to keep those you care about most safe from harm, the overwhelming search for identity in a world where everyone is forced to be the same, and the discovery of limits, of how far we will go to stay alive."

Jessabella Reads
"A breathtaking debut from a YA author to keep your eye on!”

“This is definitely one book that young adult book lovers will want to read.”

Once Upon a Bookcase
“One of the most amazing dystopian novels I have ever read…Simply incredible…and a completely wonderful debut!”

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Music is Anthem's life-and it might be his death. In a society controlled by the Corporation, music is digitally enhanced so it acts like a drug. It's used to kill pain and to heal the sick but it's also used to control the citizenry and keep them dependent on the Corp, making them addicts and killing many at a young age. As a conduit, a person whose body is used to power the Corp's grid, Anthem, 18, has a short life expectancy and a miserable existence. His only joys are his twin siblings, whom he cares for in light of his mother's absence and his father's illness, and the illegal, "unencoded" music he makes with his band in an abandoned cellar. When it becomes clear that the Corp is taking encoding to dangerous new levels and is closing in on the renegade musicians, Anthem must risk everything to bring change to his society and free his beloved music. The story hums with tension. Plot twists and lots of action make for a riveting read with a believable and likable protagonist. The music seems almost alive, as if it were itself a character. The plot is marred only by an almost total lack of backstory (how did this dystopian society get to this state?) and a heavy-handed message (freedom is good, and mind control is bad). Band geeks, garage musicians, and teens told to "turn that garbage down" will clamor for this one.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
In a dystopian future where music is a corporate-controlled mind-altering substance, an illegal underground band revolts through pure music. It started with specially encoded music that provided pain relief when pharmaceutical medicines ran short. By the time Anthem comes of age, music has gone beyond medical and even recreational uses. It's how the Corp controls the population. All citizens are legally required to be music addicts, craving it even though it eventually destroys them. Lower-class citizens like Anthem are further destroyed by working as conduits, plugging their bodies into machines to power the Corp's Grid with their energy. Anthem's only reasons for living are protecting his younger siblings, comforting his dying father, spending time with his not-quite girlfriend and playing real, unencoded music in a secret underground band. Despite conflicting opinions on whether the band should risk playing for audiences, they stay private--until one of their own is killed immediately upon listening to a corporate music track. Anthem strikes back through his music in illegal concerts, planning a revolution. A betrayal endangers everyone Anthem loves, forcing him to make difficult choices. The fictional world doesn't hold up to close scrutiny, but the quick pace conceals it well. Anthem's personal connections to the richly written cast make the character-driven plot sing. Trevayne's debut showcases a creative concept, skillful dialogue and vivid characters. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Emma Trevayne is a full-time writer. She is an avid music collector, a lover of computer code languages, and a photographer. She has lived in Canada, England, and America. Follow her on Twitter @EMentior.

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Coda 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
In this world, music controls everything and the government controls the music. There are many levels of people from the president and other executives that run everything to conduits that are plugged into the main frame and life sucked out of them to power everything. The only escape is the music that the government requires you to use. But it’s not regular music as we know it, it has encoding in it to be used as pain killers, downers, uppers, and anything in between. The one rule is that there is to be no other music than what the government gives. Not even a whistle. Anthem is a conduit that is trying to survive. Because of the drains to their bodies, conduits usually die in their early 20’s. Anthem has lost his mother and his father basically lies on the couch or in his chair waiting for his body to give out. So it is Anthems responsibility to make sure his younger twin siblings survive. But Anthem has a secret, he is in a band. This band wants to come out of hiding and show everyone what real music sounds like and get them to realize what the government is doing to them. That backfires when he is forced into making music for the government to alter to control the public. What the government doesn’t know is that you can only push people so far before they start pushing back and now Anthem has something to fight for. I loved this story. I admit that it took me a little bit to get my mind around what was going on in this world. It’s not really that complicated, just a little confusing at first. I loved the characters; my heart broke for bother Anthem and Haven. But I love how the book ended. This is definitely one book that young adult book lovers will want to read. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Coda by author Emma Trevayne is a novel that I was interested in reading after I saw the interesting cover. It was mysterious and I wondered what would happen in the plot. After reading the description I was still in the dark about the novel’s plot and jumped right into the story. Coda is an interesting read, definitely like nothing I’ve ever read before. I don’t read that much sci-fi and Coda is a novel that screams sci-fi all the way! Think of a Surrogates type world where music is a drug. You read that right: In Coda music is a drug. Coda is set in a dystopian future where technology is absolutely supreme and music is used by the government a.k.a. the Corporation as a drug that controls its citizens. Eighteen-year-old main character Anthem is a rule breaker and plays music, real music, with his underground band. Sure that doesn’t sound threatening but real music is outlawed and illegal and if the Corporation finds out about Anthem’s band everything is sure to go straight to hell. Anthem is addicted to the Corporation’s tracks, constantly using them to escape from reality for a little while, he knows that it’s wrong but the high he gets from it is so right. Apart from the tracks, Anthem’s been raising his younger siblings Alpha and Omega who barely got to meet their mother who died from ‘tracking’. Anthem would do anything to protect his siblings and he knows that if anything ever happens to him, they still have their father. For now. It’s only a matter of time before their father too dies. Helping Anthem is the girl he’s falling head over heels for, Haven. She’s tough, gritty and willing to stand her ground. There’s something about Haven that Anthem doesn’t know, a secret that could make or break their relationship and just when everything is already heading down the drain the worst thing that could happen happens to Anthem. I really liked the world that Coda is set in. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before and it’s a world that had me thinking a lot about all of the sci-fi movies I’ve seen. The world of Coda is one that can get a bit confusing for some people, I for one know that I got confused a lot. Right from the start there are a lot of descriptions that describe the new culture that the people existing within the Corporation’s government have. The problem with this is that you’re told things that don’t get explained. Tons of times I’d be reading, nodding my head at something and suddenly pause and thing ‘why?’ only for my ‘why?’ to never be answered. So many things that could have been explained to better my experience with the story weren’t explained and I admit it took away from my time with Coda. The characters in Coda are interesting. You’ve got Anthem’s underground band members, the people that want to rebel against the Corp., the Corp’s antagonists and Haven. As characters are introduced you get some backstory on their relationship with Anthem a long with a ton of descriptions that give you a clear idea of what they look like in your head. Some of these characters went above and beyond, I could really get in touch with them and all around liked them (*cough* Haven *cough*). Then you get to some characters who were really two-dimensional and I’ve gotta admit that I didn’t feel much for them. I was also a bit confused about the sexuality in this novel, is everybody bisexual or something? Is that a part of being with the Corp.? Quality-wise, Coda is a really well-written read. Nearly every chapter in the novel has something interesting, romantic, plot-twisting or exciting happening. All of these things are presented in an awesome way that forces you to keep reading until the very end. Trevayne is an author that knows how to pull her readers into a story and keep them entertained. I’d recommend Coda to fans of sci-fi, dystopia and readers who are looking to get pulled into a world unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im reading the reviews and wondering: is it really that good? I'm having a tiugh time getting into this one, it seemed unique from all the other ' teens vs corrupt government' sci fi books with the whole music concept. This seemed like it was written for me because sci fi and music are basically my life. Conclusively, i guess im asking if its worth the lengthy developement.
Tina_Chan More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4 1/2 Review: Wow....that's all I can say...wow....I've been reading a lot of YA dystopian books lately and all I can say is wow...Coda, written by Emma Trevayne, is fresh, unique, and truly a gem of a find. Music as a drug? I'm in! In a scary, futuristic world where the Corps control everything, lives revolve around music. Kids are introduced to addictive, Corp-made  music at a young age to get them hooked up. Once you've listened to music once, you have to listen to it again. And of course, only the  Corps has control over music. Like any street drug, with frequent usage, listening to music will kill your health. Overdosing on music is  not uncommon. ¿Anthem, the main character, works as a conduit to support his family. His mother died and his father is basically useless, due to music  overdose. He has a pair of younger twins--Omega and Alpha--to take care of. Work as a conduit is hard since he is basically providing  energy to power the grid, so he often comes home exhausted. However, there are a few bright spots in his life: the twins, Haven (his girlfriend) and his band. Anthem and his band secretly play real   music in an old storage house. The music they play is wild, free and most of all,  not Corps influenced. But things quickly spiral out of  control when Johnny, the band leader, is killed by the Corps. The plot isn't eye-opening or anything--classic rebel vs. government sort of story line. But there were two twists I did not see coming and the fact that the ideas that the novel is based on is so intriguing more than enough makes up for the normal plot line.  Another thing I loved about Coda is the prose the novel is written in. When the author writes about music, it's so damn beautiful . Okay, I admit it, I'm a music junkie, so  I might be a little bit bias here, but still, the writing is powerful and poetic and engrossing all  at the same time.  Here's a lovely quote describing how Anthem feels when he's high on music, "With drumbeat shackles and guitar  string ropes, I'm a willing prisoner." Also, Anthem is the first bisexual main character I've ever read about. Trevayne treats sexuality causally in Coda, which I find to be neat.   There is some romance in the book--nothing heavy or serious--but it's there.  The pacing of the book isn't on-the-edge-of-your seat, but it's definitely fast enough to keep you interested. Yeah...well, if I have to sum of this book in a few words, they would be: raw, powerful and free. Likes: *how music can control so much       , *awesome character names (seriously, with names like Anthem, Scope and Pixel....)          *new dystropian idea that is different from the main stream dystopian theme Dislikes: *the "revolution against the Corps" is a little but cliche  ¿
JessabellaReviews More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book. I really felt that the entire concept was wholly original and executed in a pitch perfect voice. Anthem, the main character, was entirely swoon worthy. He was such a broken guy but with soo much love in his heart for those he cared about. All of his friends were well developed and extremely relatable. I know that anyone who reads this book, will find at least one character, idea, or situation that they can completely connect with. Coda explores some tough issues, but in a way that I have never seen done before. I loved how the author showed bi/homosexuality as completely normal, and no one having a problem with it. It was very refreshing. Drug addiction is explored through the tracks that everyone is forced to listen to. They are also additcive, and you can overdose from "tracking" to much. The idea of music being used as a drug the way it was in Coda, just blew my mind. It was an amazing new dystopian world that I completely fell in love with. The entire story just marched to a completely different beat. I remember while I was reading Coda, thinking, this will help soo many teens, and they will just think they are reading a kick you-know-what book. There are life lessons buried within these pages, and it is a truly awesome thing that Emma Trevayne was able to do this in the way that she did. I really cannot say enough about this book. The pacing was perfect, and the action spot-on. The romance had that push-pull tension that we all love. There is such a beautiful sadness that you will only understand once you have experienced it for yourself. I recommend this to everyone. I really cannot think of one thing I did not like about Coda, except for the fact that there is a second book coming, and I have to wait for it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book on a whim and wasn't disappointed. A cyberpunk dystopia where music is a drug used to control society, Coda not only presents an interesting concept but is wonderfully well-written. Brilliant, likeable characters. The narrative style is lush and poetic, describing the intoxicating aspects of music and love without falling back on tired cliches. One of the best depictions of a bisexual character I've ever read. Coda managed to be beautiful, thrilling, engaging, and sexy. Highly recommend. This is a book that will likely become a personal favorite. Read if you like reading: young adult, cyberpunk, music, computer hacking, drug addiction, dystopic novels, love stories, realistic representations of hetero/homo/bisexual relationships, youth empowerment, fighting the government, revolution, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patty3 More than 1 year ago
I bought this stunning debut novel after connecting with the author online and it completely blew me away. The premise is unique -- music used as a drug to control the population, a deadly drug. Some of the events feel a bit familiar (The Matrix) but don't let that stop you from enjoying this story. The characters are richly drawn with complex emotions and motivations and the author's voice is itself lyrical. I bought the novel for my musical son but read it myself in a single sitting because I couldn't put it down. Eighteen-year-old Anthem is pretty much the head of his household, caring for his younger siblings because his father is dying and his mother is already gone -- victims of a society that forces its population to 'track' or consume the mind-controlling music piped in to household consoles. Anthem's life is dark except for the few moments of stolen hope he manages with his underground band, producing real music, not the altered stuff that numbs everyone, and eventually becomes the catalyst to a revolution. I won't divulge the entire plot but will say that the characters are among the most original in YA. This is a beautifully written and imaginative debut. Buy it!
MamaPhan More than 1 year ago
This is a book I definitely want to read again, ASAP. The last time that happened, I'd just finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I wish I had something poetic & articulate to say right now. I don't; nothing is as beautiful as the words Emma poured into this beautiful book. I can't wait to buy this book for all of my friends, tell them to read it, and then smile smugly at them when they flail just as much as I did. For once, I will enjoy the 'I told you so' moment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago