4 out of 5 stars
In a future America, the land and genders are divided by a river; the women of Matrus rule the east, while the men of Patrus rule the west, and the two are separated by a toxic river. Our main character is 19 year old Violet Bates, a girl living in Matrus who moves from one detention centre to the next due to outbursts of anger. Violet has no parents, and has lost her younger brother after he failed a Matrus test in which he was deemed too domineering to stay in Matrus.
After some unfortunate incidents with her temper, Violet is forced to choose; to marry and move to Patrus on a secret mission, or receive a lethal injection. Obviously she chooses the former, and so our story begins.
Not gonna lie, this book makes me angry. The women in Patrus are treated as pets; during marriage services only the woman receives a ring, one which has her husband’s name inscribed on it, much like a dog tag. Women are not permitted to wander the streets without a man; they do not shake hands with men; they do not speak out of turn. Crazy, right?
Violet is a decent main character. She is feisty and strong, but I didn’t find her particularly memorable. She does have a little bit of a romance with one of the wardens. The catch? She’s supposed to frame him and allow him to take the blame for her secret mission. Tragic.
The Gender Game started strong for me, but I must admit I got a bit bored during the middle. I was planning on giving this a 3 star rating but then? That ending bumped it up to 4. It wasn’t a perfect ending, but it was pretty intense.
This book is currently available to read for free via Kindle Unlimited 🙂