Julie Norris

Julie Bauer reviews Scythe in this week’s Boklight.

Julie Bauer, Student Contributor

Humanity has conquered everything, from disease to natural death. There is nothing more for us to learn—but it comes at a heavy price.

In the world of Scythe by Neal Shusterman, the only way to die is to be gleaned (selected for killing) by a scythe (a professional reaper.) Two teenagers, Citra and Rowan, are chosen to be apprentices of a scythe to learn how to kill. At the end of their apprenticeship, only one will be chosen. The chosen apprentice’s first task as a scythe will be to glean the loser.


This novel is full of gripping twists and turns. Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology, has an extremely acute understanding of human nature. This understanding is woven into every line. The characters are engaging, and any romance in this book is slow-burning, as opposed to the insta-love you find in many young adult novels. The world-building is also well done—by the end of the novel, you’ll be questioning whether you’re reading a utopia or a dystopia.

The only thing that can be considered wrong with book is that it is written in the 3rd person omniscient and not the 1st person. This can make it hard for some readers to connect with the characters and events in the book.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves thrilling, page turning reads that challenge how we live today and raises questions about what it means to be alive.