Dark Parties

Dark Parties

by Sara Grant


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I've lit a fuse and I'm waiting for the explosion.

All her life, sixteen-year-old Neva has lived in Homeland, completely cut off from the rest of the world.

All her life, she has been told everything beyond is an unlivable wasteland.

All this time, the government has fed her nothing but lies.

Now, Neva keeps a tattered notebook under her mattress and fills it with the names of The Missing, those who have vanished with no explanation.

Now, she and her best friend, Sanna, plan a secret Dark Party to recruit members for their underground rebellion.

The group begins to uncover horrifying truths. But can Neva break through the secrecy that has shrouded her whole life? Or will she and her friends become part of The Missing?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316085953
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.64(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sara Grant was born in a small town in Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University and has a master's degree in creative and life writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. She lives in London with her British husband.

Dark Parties was written while Sara cruised along the snowy Norwegian fjords, traveled on trains through England, and flew across the Atlantic to see her family and friends, but mostly while she curled up on her sofa, wearing her favorite James Taylor concert T-shirt. This is her first novel. Sara's website is www.sara-grant.com.

Read an Excerpt

Dark Parties

By Grant, Sara

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Grant, Sara
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316085946


I’m standing in the dark, not the gentle gray of dusk or the soft black of a moonlit night but pitch-black. My heart batters my ribs like a bird beating its wings against a glass cage. I wave my hand in front of my face. I can’t see it. I never knew it could be so dark. My edges are merging with the inky blackness around me. My dad would finally be proud of me. I’ve blended in.

Someone touches my elbow. I jump.

“I’m right here, Neva.” It’s Ethan. By my side, like always. He’s here but not here. I grope his arm, his shoulder, his neck, and touch his face. He guides my fingers to his lips and kisses them. “Follow me.” I feel his words on my thumb, his warm breath, the nudge of his lips as he forms sounds. He pulls me to the floor. Every cell in my body ignites with the thrill of possibilities. In this nothingness, anything can happen. Maybe I can find what I’ve lost with Ethan. Tangle my body with his and only feel, not think, not see.

But we all agreed: No sex. Not just tonight. No sex until we’re sure we won’t create another generation like us.

I take a deep breath and exhale slowly. I clear my mind as we crawl toward the nest of pillows we piled in one of the corners earlier this afternoon. I try not to form pictures in my head. That would defeat the whole purpose. We are supposed to be escaping in the dark, but I am a hostage to my fear. Any time the lights go out panic grabs me by the throat. My skin sweats and stings like blisters forming after a burn. I’m tired of being scared all the time.

I can do this.

I can.

I grit my teeth and try to ignore the rush of blood in my ears.

Just move.

I bump into a pair of feet. Pointy-toed boots. Braydon Bartlett. I see the red leather in my mind’s eye. That’s how I think of other people. I distill them into the defining features they have created for themselves. Braydon always wears those shoes, shiny with no creases or scuffs. All most of us have ever owned are hand-me-downs with other people’s footprints. We shouldn’t have invited him. Even though he’s got the right last name with a direct genetic line to one of our founding fathers, there’s something about him that I don’t trust. But my best friend begged me, the girl with the jagged scar, a rosy S still healing on her cheek. She told her guardians that it was an accident. But I watched her sketch the letter before she carved it permanently with the knife. She shouldn’t have done that. Anyone with an identity mark gets hassled more by the police. But that’s Sanna.

I move forward and stumble over her bare feet. She rebels against any constraints, including shoes.

“Sorry,” I say. She steps around me and whispers something to Braydon. Then I hear soft squeaks as their lips meet. I’m glad it’s dark and I don’t have to watch.

I sweep my hand back and forth across the floor. “This way,” I say to Ethan, whose hand is touching my ankle. We move together. The darkness gives us the illusion of solitude, but we’re the opposite of alone; my friends have gathered for a little experiment before we go our separate ways.

We’ve been planning this for weeks, a Dark Party. One final rebellion before we take our place as respected members of society. It was another of Sanna’s brilliant ideas. We want to discover who we are without the burden of sight. It’s easy to believe we are the same inside because we look so similar. Sanna says only in the dark can we know the truth, but I’m not sure. Darkness conceals.

Sanna wanted me to host the party. A Dark Party at the Minister of Ancient History’s house. That’s how she talked everyone into it. The greater the risk, the greater the thrill. I’ve known most of these people all my life, but they’re Sanna’s friends. They don’t trust me, never have. I’m the Minister of Ancient History’s daughter—guilt by association.

Sanna convinced everyone to pitch in. Nicoline brought black plastic bags. Ethan found towels to tuck under the doors. Sanna’s brother gave her three rolls of duct tape. We never ask how he gets the things we need.

It took us an hour to make my living room lightproof. We taped black bags to the windows. We switched off the lights. After a few seconds, our eyes adjusted, but we could see each other in shades of gray. Not good enough. We attacked every point of light and doubled the bags on the windows.

We could still see outlines, silhouettes of ourselves. The small red light on the backup generator seemed to illuminate the entire room. We unplugged everything. When I switched off the light again, there was only pure, dark, silence.

Now I hear the hum of hushed voices and the rough-and-smooth sounds that bodies make when coaxed together. Maybe we’ve made a mistake. We hoped we would find ourselves in the dark, but instead we are tempting our celibacy.

Ethan and I finally find our pillows. We lie side by side, our elbows and ankles touching, yet he feels miles away. Darkness dips its icy fingers under my skin, but I refuse to give in.

I try to erase all thoughts and images. Don’t think of the color of the pillowcases or the holes in their lace ruffles. One image—no matter how small—leads to an avalanche of pictures. First I see the living room with its worn leather couch, the fireplace and its fake flames, the bookshelves crammed with dusty volumes of our approved history. But now, as if lifted by balloon, my vision expands to include my square brick house, which blends with the dozens of similar houses in my neighborhood. As I float upward, I see the green and concrete squares of the City, which is multiplied a thousand times to create a haze of gray that is Homeland. I let the image blur and fade to black.

I shiver.

“It’s okay,” Ethan says, and slips his arms around me, which makes me colder somehow.

My eyes ache for shape and color, but the blackness surrounding me seems to have substance. I roll up on one elbow to face him. Don’t think of his name. His name conjures up the images I’m trying to escape. His skin the same color as the milky tea we drink. His ears are the same shape as my father’s. His short brown hair a confusion of waves like everyone else’s. I see myself around every corner—every minute—like living in a maze of mirrors.

My grandma told me once about a time when we were different, a long, long time ago. Stories handed down through the generations in whispers about life outside the Protectosphere. A time when we could leave and were allowed to return. I still see her every day, even though she’s long gone.

“Once upon a time, my little snowflake,” she’d say, “people were the most beautiful colors. Everyone was unique.” That word made me giggle. “But it was too hard to be different and equal.” She told me fantastic tales of wars caused by differences—different religions, different cultures, different skin colors. “We shut ourselves off. Now each generation grows more alike.” Grandma was breaking one of the government’s many unwritten rules. There’s officially nothing before The Terror and the sealing of the Protectosphere and nothing outside it. She made me promise not to repeat her stories.

“What can it hurt, telling me?” I’d snuggled in closer. She’d stroked my hair.

“You’re different.” Her words tickled my ear; she always spoke them so close, as if they were a secret prophecy.

I’m the only one who remembers her. One day she was tucking me in and the next day every trace of her was gone. Not even her son, my dad, will speak her name.

“Neva,” Ethan whispers, and brings me back to the present. I lie my head on his chest and I hear the steady thump thump of his heart—a rhythm I know well. Sanna and I have begged him to create an identity mark, but he says he can’t. My mark is still healing, red and raw from hundreds of pinpricks. Sanna helped me etch it into the valley between my stomach and hip. A small snowflake falling toward my pubic hair.

He gently rolls me on my back and lies on top of me. We kiss as if choreographed. I realize I am tensing the muscles in my arms and drawing him closer and closer. I urge my body to respond like it used to. We linger here in this timeless place. Ethan’s hands race over my body. His breath comes in short, sharp pants. He fumbles and I pretend I still love him. In this void, I feel even more alone.

Someone clears their throat. It’s Sanna. I know it is. A new panic flashes through me. She’s really going through with it. We talked about it for weeks. This secret scheming is what’s kept us sane, but it’s not like skipping school or dying our beige graduation robes pink. The government could erase us—like her dad and my grandma—for unpatriotic acts. I’ve got to stop her. I sit up, knocking heads with Ethan.

“Ouch,” he says, and then lowers his voice. “What’s going on?”

“Sorry, Ethan.” I need to find Sanna. We were wrong about finding ourselves in the dark. Maybe we are wrong to believe we can change anything. “I’ll be right back.” I stand and shuffle forward. I am lost. The darkness provides no orientation. Up could be down, left could be right. My chest tightens. The dark closes in. I struggle to breathe.

“Can I have your attention?” Sanna asks. I’m too late. My body pulses with the pounding of my heart. “Sorry to interrupt whatever I’m interrupting.” Her voice is soft and apologetic as if she’s trying to disguise it. “I’ve got something to say.” We agreed she would be the one to talk. It’s hard enough for me to be in the dark, and I am taking a big enough risk hosting the party. My dad would freak if he knew. He disapproves of anything that even hints that Homeland isn’t perfect. Mom promised to keep Dad out late tonight. She thinks my party is for celebrating our graduation. I haven’t told her about our plans. I haven’t told anyone.

“We’re sixteen.” Sanna pauses and everyone cheers. The weight of what we are doing overwhelms me. “They tell us, we are adults now.” I concentrate on Sanna and try to calm down. I notice a slight tremor in her voice. “It’s time we make a stand.” We expected cheers at this point, but the room is deathly quiet. “Okay then,” she seems to say to herself. There’s a long silence.

“The Protectosphere is killing us,” Sanna blurts.

Someone gasps. No one says things like that out loud. Her words hang in the air like crystals searching for sunshine. “We all know it. The government is squashing our future. Fewer choices. Fewer resources. They keep us trapped with their lies about what’s outside. We have to do something.”

My heart swells, I’m so proud of her. If only I was as brave.

Sanna continues, “Stay, if you want to join us and demand they open the Protectosphere. We deserve to know what’s outside. We deserve a future.”

My grandma believed there was still life outside the Protectosphere. Knowing there’s something beyond our electrified dome is like my faith in life after death. I want desperately to believe it.

“If you don’t want to join us, you should leave now.” We hoped the anonymity of the dark would be enough, but now I feel exposed. “Even if you don’t want to join us—and it’s totally legit if you can’t or won’t—I’m trusting that you’ll keep your traps shut.”

I hear someone moving. I wait for them to pass, but they don’t. I wave my arms in front of me like a blind man without a cane. Our outstretched fingertips touch, and the person walks right into my arms. I think it might be Ethan, until fingers gently trace the line of my necklace and pause at the snowflake pendant that rests between my breasts. A hand cups my neck and tilts my head ever so slightly. I am being kissed, not soft and sweet like Ethan’s kisses. This kiss is insistent and passionate. He slips strong arms around me. Our bodies mold together. My body aches in a way I’ve never felt before. I try to pull away, but his kisses don’t relent. He holds me tighter. I wrap my arms around this stranger. I kiss him until I’m breathless. I have never felt so alive. I should stop, but I kiss him again and again.

Bodies are bumping into us. People are leaving, but I don’t care. For the first time in a long time, I feel as if my life could be different; I could be different. I hesitate before I release him. My knees are weak. I melt to the floor.

As he passes, his foot brushes my hand. I feel the unmistakable smooth leather and shape of Braydon’s boots.

I touch my lips. Braydon?

The alarm clock buzzes to signal the end of our party. Sanna turns on the lights as planned. I am blinded momentarily. The room is nearly empty; less than a dozen people squint nervously at one another.

Braydon is hugging Sanna. He glances at me. I look away. Why was he kissing a stranger in the dark? Does he know it was me?

I look for Ethan, but he is gone. I hoped he would stay. But it was too much to ask of this Ethan. The old Ethan would have stood by me. But this Ethan’s given up, given in to our government-sanctioned future.

Sanna tells our ragtag group of revolutionaries where and when to meet tomorrow.

I feel as if the light has stripped me bare and everyone is staring at the betrayal etched on my skin. I’ve betrayed my dad, my best friend, and Ethan.

“You better go before my parents get home,” I say, and look anywhere but at Braydon.

A darkness is growing inside me now.


Excerpted from Dark Parties by Grant, Sara Copyright © 2011 by Grant, Sara. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Dark Parties 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
ReadergirlReviews More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting dystopian compared to others I've read in the past. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like it, and I'm still not entirely sure. I love the premise of a society stuck beneath a protectosphere where they are told the outside world no longer exists. I also like the fact that some teenagers are figuring out that perhaps things aren't exactly what they seem. It seems that teenagers, who often strain against any form of protection or stricture, would find this type of society to be extremely confining, and so it did make sense to me that they would be the ones leading others in a form of quiet rebellion to figure a way out of that confinement. Neva's pursuit of truth leads her into a place where she can glean some answers, but someone she has always trusted seems to be neck deep in perpetuating the lie the government has been feeding people. This gives her lots of conflict to deal with, and I really did like this aspect of the story. It's always hard to reconcile things when someone you've always loved and trusted is appearing to be the bad guy. One part I was a little disappointed with was the romantic element. I felt like the attraction here was just a little too instant, and very underdeveloped. And yet, they seem to kind of pine for each other throughout the story with very little back up why. I wanted to see a few more scenes with these two together. I wanted a little bit more of a build up and just a teensy bit more focus on this aspect of the story. I was also a little disappointed in the end, as so much was up in the air. Please let this be a series, because if that was the end for a stand alone novel, I'd be very disappointed for sure. As it is, the final events seem to be leading to a sequel where I hope the pieces that have been left dangling will be worked out. All in all, this was a good, suspenseful read, and I will definitely be looking out for a sequel.
bookittyblog More than 1 year ago
From page 1 to page 308 my reaction to Dark Parties was:WOW!! This book was amazing and full of action. Romance in this novel wasn't theauthor's main priority and I was glad for that. Sometimes authors worry so much aboutdeveloping the characters romantic relationship that at the end, the story doesn't develop or it feels a little rushed. But Sara Grant balances plot and romance beautifullyand the reader doesn't feel like there is something missing or rushed. Kind oflike Katniss and Peeta from the Hunger Games were you know they have feelingsfor each other but their main priority is to stay alive. Neva's main priority isto find out what's outside the Protectosphere, everything else comes in second place. DarkParties was perfect.
lovestoreadST More than 1 year ago
Dark Parties was a real page turner. I couldn't put it down! You will love Neva! It is a most thought-provoking book! I can't wait to see more from this author!
jjameli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the whole dome idea. I thought it was a great concept, kind of reminded me of that Simpson's movie where Springfield gets sealed in a dome, except here there ain't no happy faces and laughs. Like most dystopian books there is a group of rebels, and the main protagonist Neva is smack dab middle of a group of teenagers that rage against the powers that be. Neva has a journal containing all the stories her grandmother would tell her of the world before the dome, it also contains a list of "the missing". When rebels get caught they disappear never to be seen again. Neva's grandma is on the missing list which incites her to rebel even more.Some things I really liked about Dark Parties, like learning more about the government and how it rules the people, but I could not stand Neva. Yeah, I hated the main character, and that sucks. It totally ruined the story for me when I couldn't muster up any good qualities in Neva. Let's see if I can come up with some good attributes. Neva is brave....hmm that's it, she is also selfish, cold, not at all too bright, did I mention selfish. Why Neva Why? Why screw your best friend over, yeah you come through at the end for her, but seriously you are an awful best friend. Coffee, Books and laundry
usagijihen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(4.5/5 stars)Okay, okay, I can see the places where people might have had some issues with this book (in terms of character believability/backstory), and I agree with them. Here¿s hoping these issues get addressed in the next book, if there is one. I¿ll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as I can when I talk about them. Otherwise? I really, really enjoyed this book, and here¿s why it¿s making my best of 2011 list:For what Grant lacks in the development of some of her characters (and they¿re all male, but I won¿t go any farther than that lest it turn spoilery), she more than makes up for in plot. The true goal of Homeland that¿s the Big Reveal in the final part of the book is so awful, so horrifying, that it made me violently nauseous. To have that much of a visceral effect on me is rare, which is why, I guess, for me it balanced out the lack of character development with the guys. I¿m really hoping that there will be a second book so that those omissions get rectified, but at the same time, I can understand why they were omitted in the first place.This is a heavily feminist story when it comes down to it. The male characters really aren¿t important, even if they seem that way through the first chapter and in bits and pieces throughout the book. This is Neva (and Sanna, and the rest of the girls who are ¿unpatriotic¿)¿s story, not theirs. For every woman that has had something done to her against her will, no matter what that is, emotional or physical, this is their story. That is the larger message that I think a lot of the other reviewers out there are missing. This is not your usual YA dystopian book. The girl does not wait for the boy in the end. She saves herself instead. The romance, in the end, is shelved for personal freedom. And many dystopian YA books do the reverse, which is probably why we¿re all getting sick of it (though ¿Hunger Games¿ did it best, and I can see why everyone else is doing the comparison).The fact that Neva shelves her own want for affection/romance/sex in exchange for her own freedom is not only a rare trait in the YA market, but in the adult market, and in real life. At the end of the day, humans are social creatures. Whether we like it or not, being alone has been hardwired into the brain as being a very scary thing. So I applaud Grant for making her heroine overcome her fear of being alone because she chose herself over sex/relationships with others ¿ even if it was reluctant (and under the circumstances, I understand why). If anything, it¿s something I¿d like to see more of in the YA market as a whole.There was a study recently done about self-identification by gender. The results were something like this: men self-identify. Women identify themselves by their relationships to others/role in society and not by the sole self alone. Grant changes this in ¿Dark Parties¿. Neva grows, and by the end of the book, she is still a friend, sister, lover, daughter ¿ but most of all, she is herself, and that is what saves her. This needs to be said in more YA lit, and the stories that are the best, in my opinion, toy with and break that identity-via-relationship trait expectation about girls.So even if this starts out like a typical YA dystopian book, I ask you to stay with it until the end. You¿ll be pleasantly surprised by what happens. If you want something new, try ¿Dark Parties¿. And let¿s hope there¿s another book coming.(posted to librarything, goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)
BookishBrunette on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Neva and her friends are told there is nothing beyond the clear walls that make up the dome of what is known as the Protectosphere. That everything "outside" was destroyed, and the world in theory "began" when Protectosphere went up.People are disappearing- friends, family, strangers... neighbors. Neva has kept a journal of every missing person she's noticed since the government took her Grandmother away when she was six. Now more and more people are disappearing everyday, and Neva and her friends have decided to take a stand.They get all their friends together, turn out the light and start making out. No- I'm completely serious!!! It's a rebellion of sorts because they've all taken vows not to go 'all the way'. The government deems them adults at 16, wants them to get married and start procreating immediately- so by NOT having sex they are defying the government.Sanna (Neva's best friend) announces their rebellion in the dark, asking for reinforcements. Of the many people at this party, very few remain when the lights come back on after their bold declaration. Neva's boyfriend Ethan isn't among those who stayed... but Braydon the guy she shared a hot, steamy, melt your toes kiss with moments before- does... Did I mention Braydon is Sanna's boyfriend?Dark Parties started out SO freaking awesome! Totally mysterious, the story kept skirting around, and not quite giving me enough to get all the details of what the Protectophere was really about. Which would usually irritate me to no end- but I was extremely intrigued!This book is fast paced and WICKED suspenseful! Yet really romantic, sweet and sensual... There's death, betrayal and most of all hope... I'm giving it a 4 because I REALLY disliked the ending. It just STOPPED- Um... what? WHAT??? Hopefully there will be a sequel... because I could definitely use some more Braydon!
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me, I flew through this book fast cause it was really easy to get into the book. At first when I started it, the reader is thrown in a world ruled by the government, forcing people to do what they want with threats. This book held a real significance for me cause I see one day the government control people like that. And that is scary. The plot line of this book is fast paced. The reader is thrown in the story, right into Neva shoes. She is rebelling. I like how Neva see things for what they really are. She refuses sex so that she doesn't bring a child a into the world that she is living in now. She ask dangerous questions, sneaks into dangerous places, and find things she wasn't suppose to see. I like how Neva fought for a way out, with only the little hope that she has left.One thing I also enjoy in books is where minor characters take on a bigger role than expected. Minor characters in Dark Parties took on something that caught me by surprise. The secrets, lust, and betrayals in the book all made for good entertainment. Some were expected while others made you gasp. The government aspect in this book is what got me hooked. It really grabbed my attention with the way the government ruled everything. Interrogations, Women control centers, newspapers, etc.The love interest in the book for me was not what I wanted. I like it when a characters fall in love but insta-love does not work for me. Although, I do like how complicated their relationship turned out to be. The drama with their friends, jobs, and families, made their relationship strain and get stronger.Dark Parties is a realistic book about a future that is all too true and is happening now. There is lots of fighting, action, drama, and great reading adventure into a world like no other. The writing of this book is easy to get into. Ms. Grant did a great job on taking the reader deeper into the dark. Fast paced and adventurous, Dark Parties is thrilling read.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dark Parties by Sara Grant has a very intriguing synopsis ¿ Neva lives in a city ruled by the Protectosphere. The government keeps everyone isolated and under their control. Neva and her friend Sanna are determined to prove that the government is lying to them ¿ but they have no idea what they are getting themselves into.Okay guys. I am a huge dystopian fan. I love exploring all the futuristic worlds and rebellious characters that authors create. Unfortunately, this book fails to deliver on many levels¿both the characters and plot left many things to be desired.The Protectosphere sets up a very interesting foundation ¿ reading about characters determined not to be controlled by their governments almost always makes for a fast-paced and exciting read. However ¿ Neva did not make a worthy heroine. While I by no means believe that every MC has to be on the Katniss level of awesome¿I do expect something. None of these characters had any consistency ¿ one minute Neva was determined to be a rebel, the next she was terrified of being in trouble. She kept making big claims about what she hoped to accomplish ¿ but she really never actually succeeded in being anything but timid. Sure¿she played around on a forbidden computer and wandered down some prohibited hallways ¿ but those actions do not an interesting book make. I was never able to find a consistent and believable character in her thoughts and actions. I think the book¿s goal was to be a character-driven story because there wasn¿t really a cohesive plot that I could discover. Unfortunately, that basically fell flat. I followed Neva as she waffled between wanting to do something worthwhile and being too afraid to do so¿and also as she fought a strong attraction to her best friend¿s boyfriend. That part of the plot was awful ¿ Neva kept saying to herself that she couldn¿t betray her friend Sanna, but every time she saw Sanna¿s boyfriend she was all over him! Thus, the lack of respect I had for her due to her half-hearted rebellion attempts extended to her personal life.Ultimately, both the lack of believable characters and an organized plot line left me feeling extremely disappointed. So, while I absolutely love the genre ¿ this is not a book I enjoyed or would recommend reading.
pollywannabook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyDARK PARTIES by Sara Grant is a bit like a 1984 version of THE CITY OF EMBER. An entire society of people have sequestered themselves in a Protectosphere. Generations later, supplies are running out, the population is dwindling, and the government wields control over everything and everyone. Questions are ignored and sometimes even the one asking the questions will vanish as if they never existed.The teenagers are the first to rebel. Initially, it¿s with a celibacy pact. The government aggressively encourages reproduction from the day children turn sixteen. They even have special films that are made up of just the sexy/intimate scenes from movies for the new `adults¿ to watch together. Neva (her name means snowflake) and her friends vow to remain virgins so as not to bring more children into a Protectosphere existence, a vow that they test frequently throughout the book, especially when Neva is around the mysterious boyfriend of her best friend.There is quite a lot of sleuthing and espionage in DARK PARTIES. Once Neva decides to fully rebel despite the risks, she infiltrates the government that her father works for and begins piecing together a shocking history and a future almost too horrible to be imagined. All of this is brought to life with Grant's simple but elegant writing. There were a couple of little details that grated on me, most notably Neva¿s best friend Sanna who had her own catchphrase: A-maz-ing. She said it a lot which in turn made me want to smack her a lot and seriously impacted my concern for her well being. I also wanted to see more of the Protectosphere and the government that controlled it. They remain mostly a faceless enemy. Overall, fans of DELIRIUM, DIVERGENT and Maria V. Synder¿s Outside In series will find plenty to delight and incense them inside DARK PARTIES Protectosphere. There is no word on whether or not there will be a sequel to DARK PARTIES, but the ending leaves plenty of room for more books, and I would love to know what happens next.Sexual Content:Kissing. References to sex. Scene of sensuality
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dark Parties was an interesting, fast read, but it left me with a few questions... but I'll get to those later.Neva lives in the Protectosphere, an area that closed itself off from the world when the rest of the world became too dangerous to live in. Neva's grandma never let her believe all that she's been told and ever since her grandmother disappeared, Neva has kept an illegal list of all the people she knows have also disappeared. No one knows what happened to them - they are just gone, their former families and friends claiming they didn't know them. At sixteen, Neva decides to start finding answers for herself, even if puts everyone she knows in danger. I love dystopians, so I was very excited to read this new debut. The story kept my attention throughout, but I was a bit confused. What I really didn't understand is what is a dark party? I realize it is a gathering... in the dark... but I feel like I'm missing something. I don't really understand why it is so central to the story... I'll be interested if anyone else feels this way. Other than that, I really enjoyed the story. There was one part in particular that drew up an insane amount of emotions: I was terrified, disgusted, horrified and anxious. Even though those aren't the most desirable emotions, I'm always impressed when a book can evoke strong feelings because it means the book mattered to me. If you like dystopians, I'd recommend that you give this one a try.
readingthruthenight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title: Dark PartiesAuthor: Sara GrantPages: 320Pub: 2011; Little BrownGenre: Young Adult, DystopianEtc: The Short of ItLiving beneath the Protectosphere; what¿s outside?The Long of ItNeva is sixteen and has only heard about the outside world through her grandma. But those stories don¿t come any more because her grandmother has gone missing like so many other people in her world. She knows that something is wrong and that the government is behind it, but she doesn¿t know what she can do about it. Feeling like the only way to find answers is to form a group, Neva and her best friend Sanna create the ¿Dark Party¿. Sanna brings her boyfriend into the scheme of things and although Neva is attracted to him, she¿ doesn¿t really trust his dedication in exposing the government for the controlling entity that it is. The Thoughts about ItFreaky dystopians are not a fave of mine. It is hard for me to not want to hide beneath the covers and quiver. Perhaps it¿s all of the conspiracy theories that I devoured as a teen, or my early introduction to Farhenheit 451, Anthem, 1984 et al. REGARDLESS, I normally don¿t jump for joy. (Ahem, wouldn¿t jumping for joy for a dystopian almost be wrong?!)But, duuuuddeee. Dark Parties was pretty freakin¿ cool. Neva is a tough teenager especially when you figure her daddy controls all of the fake thoughts that are being passed down to the society. Lies, lies, lies. Oh and hides history? What? Plus, the Protectosphere seems pretty realistic. And there are some horrid things that go on in this lil¿ world. Ya¿ll. For realz if I was a youngster reading this I would have had freakin¿ nightmares. And even though what they do isn¿t so original (I sorta think that maybe the originality of dystopian has ceased to exist) how it is portrayed and through the characters is terrifying.As for the characters and subplots (ie read LOVE), they were pretty mediocre. The triangle (`cuz there¿s gotta be one right?!) didn¿t step in the way of the adventure or Neva going all kick ass. She still stayed true to her goals and what she thought would ultimately be the best. Yup. This one is a recommender.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There was just not "enough" of everything. Not enough chemistry between Neva and the boy she likes. Not enough danger or suspense to justify the amount of surveillance that the book claims there is in this world. Not enough worldbuilding. I won't be finishing this one because I just don't care enough for Neva and the story for it to matter if I know how it ends or not.
summerskris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The name and the U.S. cover both look foreboding. However, Dark Parties is less of a dark thriller and more of a dystopian novel. It is the future, but the general population doesn¿t know it, as the news, history¿ everything¿ is censored by the government. Resolved in her belief that there is a better life out there, Neva has begun silent protests against the government. However, it seems as though the government knows her every move¿.I love the symbolism behind Neva¿s name, which means snowflake. Within the Protectosphere, the population has been inbreeding so much that everyone looks alike. Snowflakes look alike and yet each one has a unique pattern. It is her namesake from her grandmother, who believed in a better life outside of the Protectosphere. A belief that Neva shares.Neva is a strong character with an even stronger voice. It takes incredible spirit to speak out against a government before which even your own parents, loyal citizens of the state, quail. She¿s curious, brave, and intelligent. Still, there were some things that I thought she would have seen. That it would be impossible to get her peers other than Sana to fight the government again after their initial failure. Why the government is taking so many young girls even when they have done nothing against the government (think dwindling populations, encouraged sex, and a Women¿s Empowerment Center).Overall, the plot is really interesting. At a time with so many dystopian novels coming out, Sara Grant creates a unique world in which I lost myself. I couldn¿t have guessed all the plot twists that were coming! Everything did come to a head all too quickly, and things worked out conveniently for Neva. However, she had her own losses, and she was kind of in a hurry to get out of there.I¿m intrigued as to how Sara Grant will continue from where Dark Parties left off (if she does). The government seems all-powerful within the Protectosphere, and the ending is very open, leaving us with so many questions that I hope she'll answer.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With Dark Parties, Sara Grant jumps on the dystopia train and offers her version of a future that might be. Neva lives in a dome, a place where people are disappearing, where the calendar has been reset to 01/01/01 and where life¿s luxuries, things we take for granted today, are disintegrating quickly.Honestly, the book was okay. But just that ¿ okay. I kind of felt as if Sara Grant took a stock ¿this is the outline for dystopia¿ booklet and filled in the blanks with her own special tweaks (in fact, a part of the book made me wonder if she was intending to just outright rip part of George Orwell¿s 1984 ideas out of his book and make them her own). The world was not put together very well, I mean, it was okay, it was a world, but there wasn¿t much detail and it was sort of like reading the text equivalent of standard background painting in a low-budget film.It¿s funny, but as I write this review I wonder exactly why I had a hard time putting the book down. I think the answer is that it was entertaining fluff. Just enough interesting material to keep me from wanting to put the book down, but not enough to fill me up with yummy book goodness. In fact, the book really started getting interesting just as it ended ¿ which made me a bit upset. Although the ending wasn¿t as bad a cliffhanger as has become quite the fashion, it still was enough of one to let me know that there would be more.. and I¿m ready for stand alone books to make their way back into fashion again.So, long story short, interesting enough book, will scratch the itch if you want to read yet another dystopia novel, but if you are picking and choosing your way through them, this is one you might want to put on the ¿maybe one day¿ pile.
MrsMich02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ah sweet dystopia. Everyone wants to be an individual. Fight the powers that be. Yay.
DamarisGCR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dark Parties took me by surprise. I am going to be completely honest, I had no clue what this book was about or who wrote it, or anything. I got the chance to read Dark Parties as part of the blog tour, and I am so happy I did. This is definitely a book to look out for. It's a GREAT summer read and a definite page turner. Dark Parties is very suspenseful with a good and light romance. It's fast paced and keeps you guessing. It was very hard for me to put the book down once I picked it up. I am still just discovering dystopian stories, and from what I have read, Dark Parties was very different. Usually, they are against sex and reproduction, etc. But in Dark Parties at the age of sixteen you're an adult and they expect you to marry and have children. They want their little society to grow from within. No one is allowed outside of The Protectosphere and no one is allowed in. Neva and her best friend Sanna plot against the government and set out to discover the truth and fight for their freedom. Of course along the way, Neva discovers what love really is and who her heart really belongs too. I loved Dark Parties and the way that it ended, I can only imagine what is to come in the next book. A must read!!! :-) 5 out of 5 stars!
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's interesting to see the explosion of dystopian fiction in the young adult market. After getting through the vampire/paranormal romance craze, this is finally a genre that I can get behind -especially as a long-time fan of Orwellian societies. For me, the darker and gritter the better. Dark Parties is one of these types of dystopian novels: dark, gritty, honesty and defiant -not to mention at times somewhat creepy and downright disturbing.Dark Parties introduces Neva, a young woman born and raised in a place called the Protectosphere, where, the government says, all its citizen are safe from the outside -or kept prisoner. Being fed lies for years by the government, Neva and her best friend Sanna decide to fight back. Together they stage a dark party to recruit others to their cause. It's there that Neva meets a boy whom she'll never forget. When Sanna disappears, taken by the government, Neva sets up to save her friend and discovers the shocking secrets of the government's true nature.Filled with plenty of twists and turns, Dark Parties is a powerful and driven tale of lies, defiance and even a little romance. Starting out with a bang, Dark Parties takes readers on a twisty and exciting thrill ride with a few stops in the middle (where things do get a tiny bit slow) before rushing to a crazy climax and a wild and unexpected ending.The characters are decent, though I would have preferred if the other characters aside from Neva were a little more developed. While Neva served as an interesting protagonist, experiencing the world of Dark Parties through her eyes felt nature and comfortable. Sadly, none of the other characters were really able to hold their own in each scene and they just seemed to fade into the background. Thankfully, the plot was compelling enough for me to overlook this -for the most part.Dark Parties is a darker approach to the dystopian YA world and a unique one. With a gripping twist and freaky revelations, this one will keep you up late into the night.
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Neva lives in a bubble¿literally. Many years ago, the government built the Protectosphere, a paneled dome that seals the citizens of the Homeland inside, and keeps everything else out. The government says that the Protectosphere is helping keep them alive, but Neva has other ideas¿she thinks there¿s a world outside the dome. People with these kinds of unpatriotic thoughts tend to disappear, though, so Neva needs to find a way to fight the system that won¿t get her noticed. Unfortunately, things don¿t go as planned, and Neva gets into more trouble than she could ever have imagined.My thoughts: The world that Sara Grant built for Dark Parties is very distinct. I¿ve read quite a few dystopian books, but none have been so frightening. From the government making people ¿disappear¿ to the ever-present Protectosphere, everything in the world of Dark Parties is a nightmare. You couldn¿t pay me to live there. Sara Grant wrote of all the horrors in such an unflinching manner that everything felt real.The main character, Neva, was very intriguing. She matured quickly throughout the story; the things she observed and experienced led to a quick loss of innocence, and by the end of the book I could hardly believe she was sixteen. I felt that this aspect of the book was very realistic¿Neva still held onto her optimism, but she didn¿t come across as too idealistic. Neva¿s resilience and determination made her an admirable character, and though she had flaws (boyfriend-stealing, anyone?), I still loved reading the story through her eyes. The minor characters were nothing to get excited about, but the oppressive forces in Dark Parties were. It¿s almost as if the government was a character itself¿it was always there, looming ominously over Neva¿s shoulder.Though the beginning of Dark Parties is a bit slow, towards the middle of the story things pick up quite a bit, and the last hundred pages are incredibly intense. The slower start is definitely worth reading through to reach the climax. I ended up staying up waaay too late to finish Dark Parties, and I found it difficult to sleep afterward (the ending will leave you that excited).I¿d definitely recommend Dark Parties to fans of dystopia. It doesn¿t follow the formula (which will make fans of the genre breathe a sigh of relief) and has an action-packed story that really held my interest.
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