The Compulsive Reader: Helper12 by Jack Blaine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Helper12 by Jack Blaine

At the moment of her birth, Benna was placed in one of the lowest castes of society. She's a simple Helper, and spends her days tending to newborns. She's a good worker, but sometimes she has to fight against her emotions and feelings for the babies in her care. Then one day a Society couple and their son come to the ward and illegally purchase one of the babies, Jobee—and Benna to be his caretaker. She's swept into a life of luxury, and danger. Benna has never experienced Society life up close, but she's more aware than ever at how precarious her position is, especially when the couple seems to take no interest in the baby. The only one who pays him—or Benna—any attention is their son, Thomas. Even though she knows a romance is forbidden, Benna and Thomas can't stop finding ways to be around each other, and together they must fight for a future for Jobee.

Helper12 is an engaging dystopia with some traces of the great classic Jane Eyre. The novel moves quickly, beginning with Benna's satisfactory, but less than stimulating life and her secret yearning to be able to draw and openly show affection for her charges. Benna is frightened when she is illegally purchased with Jobee, but she is a headstrong character who gets her job done and gives Jobee the best care she can, despite the odds stacked against her. Her first encounters with Thomas are less than pleasant, but despite the caustic words exchanged between the two and their immense differences, they slowly become friends, and then something more. This book is light on the conflict, but the main themes—learning to accept love, forming a family based on respect and love, courage in the face of injustice, and accepting differences in others—are very strong and prevalent in the book. There is a nice balance between present-day action and Benna's memories from the past, making Blaine's world convincing and a bit frightening. Benna’s voice will hook the reader in from the very beginning in this engrossing, readable story.

Cover Comments: I don't think this cover is anything spectacular, but I really like the clasped hands and how Benna's botched tattoo is visible--it definitely adds a personal element to the cover.

Helper12 is available as an e-book for $3.99. Don't have an e-reader or Kindle? Download the free Kindle app to your device or computer to read this book!

E-book provided by author.


Danielle B said...

Thank you for all your cheap Kindle recs! I have gotten so many deals thanks to your suggestions - really appreciate it! This one sounds very interesting, and I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, this sounds really good.
I don't usually like dystopian novels, but I like that you say this has a dash of Jane Eyre and that it's more about learning about love and all that.

I think I'm going to add it to my list of books to get! Thanks!