The Meadows

The Meadows
Age Range
Release Date
September 12, 2023
Buy This Book
Everyone hopes for a letter—to attend the Estuary, the Glades, the Meadows. These are the special places where only the best and brightest go to burn even brighter.

When Eleanor is accepted at the Meadows, it means escape from her hardscrabble life by the sea, in a country ravaged by climate disaster. But despite its luminous facilities, endless fields, and pretty things, the Meadows keeps dark secrets: its purpose is to reform students, to condition them against their attractions, to show them that one way of life is the only way to survive. And maybe Eleanor would believe them, except then she meets Rose.

Four years later, Eleanor and her friends seem free of the Meadows, changed but not as they’d hoped. Eleanor is an adjudicator, her job to ensure her former classmates don’t stray from the lives they’ve been trained to live. But Eleanor can’t escape her past . . . or thoughts of the girl she once loved. As secrets unfurl, Eleanor must wage a dangerous battle for her own identity and the truth of what happened to the girl she lost, knowing, if she’s not careful, Rose’s fate could be her own.

Editor review

1 review
The Meadows
(Updated: July 04, 2023)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked: YA meets Handmaid's Tale set in a futuristic world where teens are sent to camps to 'better' themselves. Only in these camps, there is an ugly truth. A truth the matrons try to suppress by using gentle coaching methods to force out any differences.

While reading this novel I instantly thought of the horrific practice of conversion therapy-places that try to force GLBTQ teens/YA to not be themselves. These places unfortunately still are around but like the author mentions at the back of this novel, are given different titles. The harm they cause are the same though.

Eleanor wants so much to belong and to be loved. She shares a forbidden kiss and then is summoned to the Meadows. She's excited thinking this will lead to wonderful things. The dystopian backdrop with hints of The Handmaid's Tale is chilling. But more so is how the matrons who run the place come off as caring and gentle. Though in a way it's almost passive-aggressive in how they interact with the girls with the subtle and not-so-subtle comments if one of them doesn't follow their directions.

The characters are multi-complex and there are surprises that turn up throughout this engaging story. The truth about Eleanor's parents and Matron Maureen shows the complexity of this world. Nothing is what it appears. Secrets and truths aren't as hidden as one might believe.

I love a good dystopia novel and this one didn't disappoint. The world-building is intriguing with the 'new' world and how far the caretakers go to have their so-called perfect society. A society that is more traditional and frowns on anyone who questions them.

Queer dystopian where any difference is suppressed by 'gentle' but horrific ramifications and the girl who fights to find her way back to the girl she left behind.
Good Points
Queer dystopian where any difference is quelled by 'gentle' but horrific ramifications
Futuristic so-called gentle coaching masking the truth
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account