Review: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

From Goodreads:
Citizens of Ember shall be assigned work at twelve years of age...
Lina Mayfleey desperately wants to be a messenger. Instead, she draws the dreaded job of Pipeworks laborer, which means she'll be working in damp tunnels deep underground.
Doon Harrow draws messenger - and asks Lina to trade! Doon wants to be underground. That's where the generator is, and Doon has ideas about how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the great lights of Ember have kept the endless darkness at bay. But now the lights are beginning to flicker....
Not a very deep read, but good none-the-less.

This book is a great introduction to the dystopian subgenre for middle-grade/ early high school students. The book is rather short too, so it would also make an ideal book club read for students.

I don't have very much to say about this book. I liked the world-building very much (for some strange reason I have a thing for fiction with people living underground), but I do wish that there were a little more insight into the lives of the people of Ember. What do they do with their dead? Why did not as many people seem to know each other, despite the fact that the same family lines have been living there for 200+ years? There are three more books to go, so I know that more answers will come, but a little more detail would have been nice in book one.

I also liked the two main characters, Doon and Lina. I love younger protagonists (they're both twelve), as well as the fact that The City of Ember didn't even bring up the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two of them. This may make the book a bit boring for older audiences, but again makes it perfect for younger ones.

The City of Ember was a nice read overall, and I wish that I had more to say about it. I figure that I would have liked this book quite a bit when it first came out, I was about nine, but now the writing comes off as a bit juvenile. Still, the action moments, especially towards the ending as more secrets are uncovered, did hold my attention, as they will for anyone looking for a younger dystopian/ post-apocalyptic book to enjoy.

Do you have any more middle grade/ younger-teen appropriate dystopian novels? Share them in the comments!

Amazon, Goodreads, Author's Website
Title: The City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date: May 25th, 2004
Page #: 270
ISBN: 0375822747

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