DETAINED by Salla Simukka has received raving reviews in Finland’s biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The critic compares the themes of the book to Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood blockbuster Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, and HBO hit show Westworld.
“Simukka writes the story with confidence and is psychologically attentive. Once again her novel earns a place as the best of Finnish YA literature.”
“In the novel fifty young people are imprisoned for crimes they may commit in the future. Unlike in the Minority Report, the future is not foreseen by mutants, but is based on probability calculations. Of the fifty teenagers we get to follow five: Kaspian, Oliver, Johannes, Meea, and Vega. The focus is in their past, their values and thoughts.”
Each one is given an opportunity to figure out their future crimes, and confess them before they turn 18. Simukka also effortlessly describes teens from very different backgrounds, and the LGBTQIA+ themes are strongly represented.
“Gender and sexuality are an important part of their identity, but they are not highlighted, and one is no stranger than the other. Caspian is a black poet, Meea is a curvy girl adopted from China, Vega is a non-binary outsider, Oliver is a gay guy from rich family, and his boyfriend Johannes comes from a broken, poor and alcoholic family. The main theme is, of course, the confrontation between imprisonment and freedom.”
Salla Simukka’s previous bestselling Young Adult SNOW WHITE trilogy sold to 52 countries around the world.
Review quotes: Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, July 2020, Arla Kanerva
FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)