|Please don't sue me, Penguin Group.|
From the description:
Twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.
If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.
Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.
She doesn’t plan on making friends.
She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.
I read it last night and I think I would recommend it -- to certain readers. That's not to say I thought it was bad, just that I am pretty sure it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea.
The first thing you should know is that I have a thing for weird justice stories. My two biggest fears are old timey medical procedures and a loss of civil liberties (so you know how I felt about season 2 of American Horror Story, right? Sheesh.)
In THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, the futuristic U.S. government has set up these Hunger Games-esque arenas called "Compass Rooms." Criminals are left in Compass Rooms with a sensor embedded in their skulls that measures their thought processes as they encounter various physical, psychological, and moral tests. The theory is that criminals who are truly evil will be eliminated by the Compass Room, but those whose morals are more-or-less all there (ie, those who committed justifiable crimes) will be released after 30 days.
So right off the bat, I love this concept, and the writing moves you along quickly -- I finished in a few hours. There were a few things I didn't love (for example, you don't find out the details of Evalyn's crime until more than halfway through, at which point I'm sure most readers have already concluded she was in the "justifiable homicide" camp, despite her repeated insistence of being evil -- so the big reveal fell flat for me), but overall, I think if you like dystopias, this is a pretty unique one.
If you read it, let me know what you think!