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Review: Christine Seifert debuts with a young adult book that skips the sex, keeps the emotion
"The Predicteds" (Sourcebooks Fire), by Christine Seifert: Christine Seifert is known for her essays on Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga and for coining the term "abstinence porn." In her debut young adult novel, "The Predicteds," Seifert shows she can almost compete on Meyer's turf.
Sixteen-year-old Daphne has just moved to Quiet, Okla. Her high school is involved in PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for committing a violent crime. Daphne isn't convinced the program is legitimate, but she's more than a little involved because it was created by her mother.
During her first week at Quiet High, a student brings a gun to school and goes on a shooting spree. Daphne is spared because Jesse, a mysterious and attractive classmate, stuffs her into a cabinet and overpowers the shooter.
Students and their parents decide that PROFILE is more relevant than ever and want the findings released to the public.
As Daphne and Jesse start to fall for each other, rumors about Jesse's past and his mysterious relationship with the shooter's sister spread throughout the school.
Seifert has clearly been studying the "Twilight" novels. Her idea of "abstinence porn" is shown in the way Jesse and Daphne interact with each other: They have a tumultuous emotional affair, but hold back from sex. However, the intensity falls short of the scenes that Meyer wrote for the vampire Edward and his girlfriend, Bella.
The Jesse-Daphne relationship is almost everything readers want in an angst-filled young adult novel. But readers don't get to know Jesse, and although the story is told from Daphne's perspective, she keeps readers at arm's length.
Seifert is clearly posing an interesting question in "The Predicteds." What happens to people who know predictions about themselves? Can the future be altered? Or, if you are told at a young age that you are a violent offender, does that information persuade you to become one?