“The August 5” by Jenna Helland follows two young characters, Timmy and Tamsin, as they live and challenge a society ruled by a special elite population called the Zunft.
Imagine you are in a world where citizens are called cottagers, and basic rights, like freedom of speech, are non-existent. Imagine a life filled with mindless work serving a controlling elite group. Imagine being a part of a rebellion, a group of people who work together to bring an end to the power of Zunft. Imagine being the son of one of these Zunftmen. What would your story be?
Timmy is the son of one of these elites. While his twin brother believes in everything his father tells them, Timmy often questions the moral code and drive behind his father’s political decisions. The boys travel together to the capitol to study at the Zunft academy, where rebellion is looming near.
Things become unclear to Timmy when suddenly the head chair of the Zunft congress is “taken prisoner” by cottager rebels. The head chair is progressive, and has been working tirelessly for years to expand cottager freedoms. It doesn’t make sense that he would be taken prisoner by the ones he is working to help. After the kidnapping, Timmy’s father becomes the new head chair. Timmy wonders what this new leadership will mean.
Tamsin lives on an island far away from her illegal journalist father. Her father is the spearhead of the cottager resistance in the capitol. She hopes to make her father proud by starting a warehouse fire on the island which ignites riots in the rest of the country.
At the same time, Tamsin’s father launches an attack on a government building in the capital city. Her father and four other men are taken prisoner after the attack by the Zunft. These five men become the face of the rebellion, being named The August 5, because the attack on the capitol building was in August.
This book is filled with mystery and suspense, keeping you turning the page for hours. I loved the setting of the story, which is similar to popular novels in that it’s a futurist society.
The book switches between Timmy and Tamsin’s point of view and at some points you experience the same event from different perspectives. The description of the settings are vivid, but not excessive, so you feel as if you are in the land of the Zunft alongside Timmy and Tamsin.
There is a couple points in the book when Timmy is sneaking into his father’s things. Often when reading the book, I became tense and nervous for the characters. Overall, the flow and tone of the book are a perfect read for an average teenager.
“The August 5” is similar to popular series because of it’s dystopian society setting, although the plot of the book is completely new and original. Unlike “The Hunger Games” and the “Divergent” series, “The August 5” has no romantic developments and can be a nice break from sappy love stories. “The August 5” is something new and is definitely worth checking out.
I highly recommend reading “The August 5” by Jenna Helland.