Kid’s Book Review: These Stolen Lives

Kid’s Book Review: These Stolen Lives

About the Book and Author

Not only does this book have an attractive cover, this YA novel from a brilliant new author is an exciting and thought-provoking read.

Six years ago, seventeen-year-old Mora survived the terrifying Skøl invasion. They stole her land. They took her family. And now not even her life is her own.

Skøl culture revolves around one motto: Life is Golden. You must pay the government for the right to survive. If you can’t, you’re cast out at best – at worst, culled.

Mora is resigned to her fate, finding glimmers of joy in her tentative friendship with another repayer, the handsome, elusive Kit. But then she finds out that twelve-year-old Zako, the closest thing she has to a brother, is to be put to death by the dangerous new Skøl Governor.

Finding the courage to fight back, Mora and Kit conspire to smuggle Zako to safety. But their plan draws them into a dark mystery – and to a heart-pounding mission at the Life Registry itself. They must ultimately ask themselves: what are we worth to each other?

Sharada Keats is interested in how different aspects of individual and collective identity form and collide. While her feminist fiction for young adults explores difficult themes including prejudice and repression, it is ultimately hopeful and uplifting. Sharada grew up in Australia and Canada, and now lives with her partner and son in London.

Book Review

This book will have you hooked to the very last page, and leave you wanting more

“These Stolen Lives”, by Sharada Keats, tells the story of Mora, whose home has been invaded and her family killed. Under the new laws, the right to live must be paid for and the surviving people of Mora’s country are enslaved to pay off the debt of their years before the invasion.

Mora has survived for six years in the new empire when she hears that a child, Zako, who is like a brother to her, is to be put to death by the new governor. So, she teams up with a fellow survivor, Kit, in an attempt to rescue Zako and help him escape. However, their plans draw them deep into a web of mystery and rebellion, and it seems only a matter of time until their involvement is discovered.

I would recommend this book to teenagers and young adults. Keats has created a vivid and gripping dystopia with interesting characters, and I found it very hard to put down. This book will have you hooked to the very last page, and leave you wanting more. I have greatly enjoyed reading it and I will definitely be looking out for more by this author.


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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Margaret
  • Age: 15 years
  • Likes: reading, fossil hunting and writing
  • Dislikes: seafood and stir-fry
  • Favourite Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Favourite Film: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Favourite Song: Aberdaron by The Trials of Cato