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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
John, the protagonist of Unfit by Karma Chesnut, didn’t expect to fail the last part of his Genetic Fitness Evaluation. It all went so well until a blood test declared him to be “unfit.” He had dreamed of having children with his partner. He just wanted to be happy. Instead, he’s thrown into an asylum with other men who face the same destiny: castration. Those deemed unfit aren’t allowed to reproduce. What if the partner of a pregnant woman is declared unfit? Well, then, the pregnancy needs to be terminated. It’s a world where survival of the fittest is taken to the next level. Funnily enough, the fittest people are also often the richest. Is something more going on there? Is John unfit or is there more at stake?
Unfit by Karma Chesnut is one of the best books I’ve read in 2023. From plot pacing to dialogue, the book was a wonderful read. I like dystopian novels, so I’ve seen my share of plots where a test of some sort was meant to filter “worthy” from “unworthy.” The test in this plot is meant to filter out the “unfit”, but it’s a bit unusual because only male characters suffer the consequences. That alone was a fascinating idea, also a little disturbing, but in an entertaining kind of way. When reading this story, you go through a mix of emotions and can’t help but cheer for John and the people he meets along the way - apart from the antagonists. There are a few plot twists, one of which I saw coming, but that was because I thought, “I hope this is not going to happen.” This novel plays with your emotions. It’s a truly captivating story and highly recommended.