Adventure (Teen), Contemporary, Dystopia (Teen), YA Fiction

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Being part of the line is a blessing. Every family hopes that their daughter will become one of the chosen 7 to tunnel deep into the mountain and return with the harvest. These girls are the most important ones in the village; their work in the mountains makes the difference between life and death. Jena is the leader of the line. She is a good tunneler, strong and reliable, liked by all of the girls. And she has gone through extensive training and wrapping and fasting to become this way. She is proud of herself and the role she plays. But one day, Jena makes a discovery that leads her to question the way her world works. What if there is more to life than just this village?

This was a short but well-written novel and I really enjoyed reading it. It was layered and complex in a quiet way. It was subtle yet transparent as it showed you Jena’s life, the secrets of the village, and the dangers of the mountain. The writing was intelligent and thought-provoking, which I really wasn’t expecting it. I found myself rereading sections of this story, not because it was hard to understand but because it was just so powerful! This novel may have been targeted for teens and middle schoolers, but I can easily see adults reading and enjoying this story! Don’t be fooled by its deceptive slowness; this novel picks up the pace and the events roll out fairly quickly! A great story, and I’m really glad to have gotten a chance to read it!

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