Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Grey, Melissa. Rated
September 3rd 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Maplethorpe is an elite academy where students can boost their ratings through academics. Since the entire society revolves around these ratings, students like Be x know that every facet of their lives needs to be carefully controlled so that they can go to good colleges and get good jobs. Bex's rating is a 92, but she is very stressed. Chase, whose father is an alcoholic and whose mother has left, has a rating that  has dropped so much that he might be kicked off the team, is tutored by Bex. Noah is a photographer who has a younger sister who is very ill and needs a bone marrow transplant, and he connects with Javi, whose rating is high because he does very well at a video game. Hana is a figure skater whose parents push her so hard that she has developed anorexia; she becomes friends with Tamsin, whose mother owns an herbal remedies shop, after her coach sends her there. Tamsin's rating is very low, mainly because she often skips classes and just doesn't care. At the very beginning of the school year, the school is vandalized by a spray painted sign that claims the ratings aren't real, and the security cameras have stickers put over the lenses. These stickers appear on invitations issued to all six characters. They have to decipher the message, and when they finally attend the meeting, they realize that the ratings system is not something that everyone at their school supports.
Strengths: I loved the premise of this-- everything in your life depends on your ratings in everything from academics to behavior to social interactions. If students actually saw a concrete accounting of how they measured up, wouldn't they behave and pay more attention in school? Wouldn't their parents be more concerned as well? The characters were nicely varied, the romance between Javi and Noah is good, and I loved Bex and her drive to be better.
Weaknesses: I lived in Cincinnati in the 1980s, so the constant mention of Maplethorpe (albeit with a different spelling) conjured up a completely different image for me!
What I really think: This is more of a YA book and took much too long to get to the main point of the plot. I was hoping for something dystopian with a fun social twist, but this just fell short of the mark for me.

Another scorcher today, so a knit dress. $1.50 at Goodwill, and I was egged on by my daughter, because this is shorter than I usually wear. Accessorized by Hang Ten necklace that makes me laugh to myself because no one knows the meaning of it any more.

Will probably also throw on my black Teacher Sweater at some point during the day. I also have a beige one, as well as a navy fleece, since the temperature in the library can fluctuate wildly.
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha! When I read "accessorized by Hang Ten necklace" my brain interpreted it as a necklace by that famous Chinese jewelry designer Hang Ten! Then I saw the picture and I thought, "oh, I recognize that, it's hang ten!" Then my brain finally connected the dots. Brain is slow sometimes!