The Unsame Ones

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
IMAGINE A world where Everyone was exactly the Same, including YOU, BECAUSE Same was Safe.

The Unsame Ones, is a riveting story of an ordinary January whose Same life takes an extraordinary turn, when something Different throws her off of her Same track, and propels her into the forbidden realm of Unsame. More
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Words: 111,140
Language: English
ISBN: 9781311725028
About Stephanie Skeem

I'm an author, artist, adventurer in all new and good things.

I love exploring tree houses, old abandoned castles, and nooks and crannies that get overlooked. I'm good at smashing mosquitoes, and spiders, and finding little green people in the grass. I make an awesome cheesecake.

I love playing Frisbee, a good laugh, smashing evil moths that invade my work space at night, righting the injustices of the world, finding new ways to make ordinary things not so ordinary. I love thunderstorms, you know, the kind when the power goes out and you have to go get the candles. I love cuddling on the couch with a good book, and a fuzzy blanket, feeling warm, and safe, ready to embark on a new adventure without having to even move.

I do a lot of hoop dancing---with hula hoops. I love ice skating. Me and my sister make our own ice skating rink in the winter. My sister and I do a lot music together, and it's on our bucket list to do some busking in the near future. I'm pretty much a gypsy, who likes to do anything so long as it's interesting, and I'm learning something new.

I love running, Four-wheeling, and people who make me laugh. I enjoy listening to all kinds of music. Rock, bollywood Hindi music, christian, pop, Irish, movie soundtracks, the works. There's a lot of good music out there folks. I love Medieval stuff/clothes/plays etc. I enjoy visiting interesting museums, folk Dancing, Ice skating, visiting new places, abundant people, camp fires, gathering shells and other crustations on the beach* aquariums (fishy watching) photography, the zoo, making music, random acts of kindness---Who doesn't like that? Thinking deep, complex thoughts, treasure hunting, snowball fights, discovering hidden identities, star-filled nights and knights, shooting stars, serendipitous moments.

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Review by: Richard C on March 23, 2016 :
During the early pages of The Unsame Ones, two images went through my mind: Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall—in particular the scene with all the giant hammers marching in perfect step—and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (inspiration for Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four amongst others). If anything, though, the world here is even more dystopian: joyless and largely colourless (even the food is grey), a society-machine whose clone-like "individuals" are the cogs. For example, those born in March (all called "March") are police, while Aprils are teachers, Julys cooks, Augusts drivers, Decembers the black-clad authority figures and so on. Universal sameness is its orthodoxy, and difference—"unsame"—not tolerated in any form. What best sums it up is its all-pervasive clocks—a typical day begins like this: all Januarys wake and rise as one, walk with metronomic precision to the cafeteria to eat their grey breakfasts, walk in perfect step to the morning's indoctrination classes, then to work for an afternoon filing documents. "...The clock always ticked in time with our instructor's voice as if each word was planned, down to the last syllable exactly in time with the school bell that sounded more inside our heads than without..."
    Except that it's not quite a flawless machine, and on this particular day an incident disturbs the perfection: one of the Unsame suddenly appears in the street, confronts our narrator (January 444) and thrusts a strangely shaped wooden box into her arms. Worse, the box contains a message (and what a message: a message from Vivaldi, Paganini, Bach!) The Unsame are outsiders, misfits "Infected" (as the official line has it) "with the Unsame virus"—so what should our January do now? Turn herself and the box in of course. And yet...
    It's, er, some time now since I belonged to this book's target audience (YA but, what the hell, aren't we all young at heart?) yet I enjoyed it hugely. I absolutely loved the first quarter or so, and although it did lose me a bit in the middle during the prison-cell scenes, came back again with a last quarter as good as the first—hence my overall four-star rating. The style is, much of the time, unbroken monologue (necessarily so given that January 444 is, in a sense, completely alone in her world of Same) yet I found it engaging and there's some lovely writing too. For example: "I played the violin like a weapon, like a woodsman with a bow and arrow. Each string I played was strung with a note of music as sharp as a dagger. Each note cut through the crowd, hitting its mark with careful accuracy, knocking the breath from those whom it hit. No soul was left untouched, no ear left unscarred from the sound, no cold heart unscathed." Or this: "I filled that moment with music, with rhythm, with the breath of hope of a new day. This was my song. In it were streams, hills, valleys, wind, rain, sky, freedom and life."
    One last thing: I read this off the page, but towards the end was thinking that it would sound terrific on the radio—then noticed that it's also available as an audiobook, and it suddenly all made sense: I can imagine this sounding brilliant read aloud, both the monologue-style narration itself and with real (rather than purely imaginary!) music.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)

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