YA Review: Perception by Lee Strauss

Title: Perception
Series: Perception #1
Author: Lee Strauss
Author Info: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2012
Publisher: ESB Publishing
Format: ebook
Pages: 234
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Eternal Life is To Die For.

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

PERCEPTION is a (SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

This is the first book in a series.


This book is just the way I like my sci-fi, crazy tech gadgets and I dose of mystery. The world created in Perception is actually infused with our present day. Zoe herself is a GAP, a genetically altered person, who lives in Sol City. A community strictly for the GAPs and a “natural” is only allowed to enter if they are a laborer for a GAP. It’s a protective bubble for people who live hundreds of years.

I enjoyed the interesting tech involved. They speak to one another using a com ring, and with a tap of your finger you can dial up anyone you want. Of course it’s kind of like Skype you walk around with. Don’t worry you can turn off the video function if you don’t want someone to see you. You’ve got your futuristic modes of transportation (cars that can be programmed to not leave the city like Zoe’s), pay for things with a swipe of your wrist (chip implant) and crazy giant monitors that can shuffle images like a PowerPoint.

I like Zoe’s character, her brother goes missing and rather than waiting around to find out what happens she takes action. I also like the fact that she has a boyfriend in the book. It takes away that na├»veness that comes sometimes with a character who has never been in love before. She is brave and although the people of Sol City are not locked in. They actually can go in out of the city anytime they want; the outside is a scary world to a young girl. Hey I don’t think I want to be walking around LA at night now by myself either. She sucks it up though and goes on a fact finding mission. She ends up enlisting the help of a “natural” boy named Noah.

Noah is another character I really liked. He is fierce, strong and clever. His early interactions with Zoe are cute; especially when he finds out she has a boyfriend. Noah not only is an outsider but he believes in God rather than Science. He doesn’t believe we should be messing around with genetics. This causes some interesting arguments between the two of them. It’s like Lee has created Noah to be the devil’s advocate. The best part is that Zoe and him find a way to agree that they disagree. They don’t change who they are for one another they grow together. Their who love story is just very sweet.

It’s was a great plot, I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, anxious to get back to it. It turns into not just being a mystery about Zoe’s brother but questions about morality of scientific advancement. How much is too much and how far are people willing to go to live forever. There are so many things uncovered as we move throughout the book. There is plenty of twist to keep your mind occupied. I started to read the preview for Volition and I decided I couldn’t do it; I would want to keep going. It was fast moving and I found it to be well written. About 161 pages in we switch POVs and at first I was like whoa I don’t think I’m going to like this, but it was done really well. I was impressed with how flawless it was and really essential too. The rest of the story had to be told from Noah’s perspective it was the only it would make sense.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited for the next installment!