Kristen Landon’s The Limit begins with a thoughtful premise – what the future holds for our children if we continue to run up ungodly debt. It’s a thoughtful premise, one that we should all ponder. I’m not sure the message will reach the reader, though. I saw it. I picked up on the girl whose family went into debt because of her younger brothers medical bills. I read into the story of another secondary character’s family going into debt, or going over their family’s limit, because of a bad land deal. I always worry about too much social commentary in one novel, particularly a novel, I assume, is meant, in part, to engage at-risk or reluctant readers.
The story begins by introducing us to an over-spending family. They are happy enough. Their greatest characteristic, though, is materialism. They are consumers to the core. But when their spending takes them over the limit, a shock to them all, the government shows up to take their oldest child into indentured servitude. This is an allegory. A child being taken to a work camp by the government while our country is in the midst of one of the greatest economic downturns our country has ever seen is allegorical, not symbolic.
The Limit is an easy read, one that will make a thoughtful reader consider the consequences of our materialistic society. It’s also a book that will take reluctant readers, particularly boys, on a fast-paced, action-adventure. I just wish is was more about the social commentary. But, who am I to complain if both parties benefit?