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These books are the first two in the Chaos Walking series.  Todd lives in Prentisstown, a town that is full of noisy men, men who can hear each other’s every thought.  But even though each thought is public, secrets are still being kept.  Todd discovers a mysterious girl and suddenly must run for his life, away from everything he thought was true.

Some things I loved about these books: The combination of sci-fi (they take place on another planet) with the dystopic society; the growth that Todd shows from a boy to a man; the hard questions the characters face about the use of violence; the complex, lying “bad guy” (who reminds me of Ben from Lost); the relationship between Todd and his arch-enemy Davy; and the fine lines the characters walk between good and evil.  Even though this is a young adult series, the questions the characters must wrestle with are difficult ones that people of all ages will have to answer.

These aren’t happy books.  They are quite violent and there’s a lot of death.  If you’re looking for a happy read, or a story that wraps up at the end of the book, these aren’t for you.