The Registry by Shannon Stoker

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico, and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny, a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her... A man who will stop at nothing to get her back

In Mia's world, women are second class citizens, without education or ideals or independent thoughts, and the prettier you are, the higher the price you fetch. Mia is a beautiful young woman, the youngest of four daughters and awaiting her eighteenth birthday to join the Registry, where she will be sold to the highest bidder and marry. 

It isn't until Mia's sister Corinna, escapes her abusive husband, that her ruthless and cold parents demand she be returned. Having sealed her sister's fate, a week later she had died at the hands of her abuser, without consequence. Neither parent cried, simply focusing their attention on Mia and her monetary worth.
Mia is priced as the most expensive girl that country has ever seen, a handsome half a million dollar price tag, so when Mia refuses to marry the cold and cruel Grant, she needs to run, taking best friend Whitney to her ultimate destination, Mexico. What she didn't factor in, was quiet farmhand Andrew being part of their escape.

Andrew has worked as a farmhand on the property for the last two years, so how did he get involved with the most sought after runaway the country has ever seen? Within months, Andrew is expected to enlist for his four year national service, but aiding two runaway girls has landed him with Grant's unwanted attention.

As the three unlikely traveling companions flee to the boarder, they find unlikely allies along the way, those who believe there is a better life, but Grant is closing in... And quickly. Grant is a tyrant and loves the thrill of the chase. In this dangerous game of cat and mouse, Grant is playing to win. He wants his loyal and beautiful wife to please him, to obey him and fear him, he'll stop at nothing until he catches her. She'll be punished, if he allows her to live.
Mia is revolting against the institution of forced brides, for Corinna who was sold into a life of abuse and against the country that has always been so dear to her. She refuses to be a second class citizen any more.

The registry is set in a dystopian America, where men are forced to serve in the armed services and girls are sold as slave wives, expected to serve her husband with no life of her own. Mia is painted as a female revolutionary, fleeing the unjust system, but unfortunately she wasn't convincing. Brave? Perhaps, but her escape endangered those around her, including those who fought for a free and fair life for the women of the cruel regime America has seemingly become.

I really enjoyed the cat and mouse chase, Grant truly is a cruel villain that readers will love to hate. But sadly the characters weren't at all engaging. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them, and unfortunately there wasn't enough action within the storyline that compensated for the lack of personality.

The Registry
(The Registry: Book One)
Written By Shannon Stoker
Published 11 / 06 / 2013
297 Pages

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