Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: The Predicteds

From Back Cover: The whole school is freaking out about Profile, an experimental program that can predict students' future behaviour. But the only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out. He's definite boyfriend potential and Daphne is falling hard, but there's something about his past he's not telling her. When the Profile results are revealed, Daphne is devastated: Jesse is a Predicted, destined to commit an act of severe violence. She's torn between two choices: Follow her heart which tells her he's innocent. Or go with her head, which says she'd better run ... before it's too late. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The Predicteds by Christine Seifert raises the question of whether we are products of nature or nurture. Do we act the way we do because of our biological makeup or can we change who we’re supposed to become?

In The Predicteds, scientists have created a program called Profile which can determine whether you’re going to “commit a crime, engage in addictive behaviours and/or behave in socially problematic ways in the future.” As someone who is majoring in neuroscience, I thought the premise was interesting, particularly since it was explored in the aftermath of a school shooting.

For students who experienced something so traumatic, the kids at Quiet High appear to recover relatively quickly. When a girl is found beaten by a baseball bat though and Profile scores are released publicly by the school, – whatever happened to personal privacy? – the reaction of the town is extreme (which in a way makes sense because they’ve gone through a school shooting and a child being beaten). Predicted students are immediately segregated to a different part of the school and ostracized.

In general, the characters in The Predicteds were hard for me to relate to. Daphne for example seems smart, but hangs out with a group of people that she clearly can’t stand and that I found completely annoying. I also couldn’t really feel the connection that Daphne had with Jesse. He wants her to trust him but is constantly hanging out with/attempting to save another girl, and starts acting weird once he realizes his Profile results are going to be made public.

Unfortunately, rather than focusing on Profile, Seifert made it like a side plot. Still, The Predicteds does bring up some interesting ethical questions like: If we know that someone is going to commit a crime only based on personality, IQ and neuroscience tests, should we treat them any differently? Also, by telling someone that they’re destined to commit a crime or become addicted to something, are we not in a way giving them the go-ahead signal to do whatever it is they’re supposed to do, and indicating that they’re not capable of changing who they are? Note that the brain  is malleable; and although it affects the way you experience things, your experiences also alter the brain.

I was really curious about the science behind Profile as well, but The Predicteds never really gets into it that much. If a program like Profile is ever developed in real life, I’d be very concerned about who was coming up with these arbitrary cutoff scores and who stands to gain from the program. As Seifert shows, being wealthy can enable someone to get their name off the Predicteds list. 

The Predicteds was released by Sourcebooks Fire in September 2011. 

Comments About the Cover: The cover didn’t really make sense to me until I figured out it was supposed to be a pixellated face. I like it more now because I think it fits really well with the premise of the story and the slogan “Your future is not your own.”  

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Sourcebooks) for free via NetGalley.


  • Statistically, 1 person out of every 100 people is a psychopath.
  • Although fMRI or MRI data cannot be used as evidence in a court of law, you can detect psychopaths pretty accurately using brain imaging techniques.


  1. I had some of the same concerns as you did. I did enjoy the book, but I wanted to love it. Also, I was expecting more sci-fi elements. Great, honest review!


  2. Ah shame that this wasn't better I had my eye on it I love the cover. I need to be able to connect with the characters to enjoy a book usually. I may still give this one a try, though. Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. Great review! I've been seeing this book around a lot for the past month. I guess what keeps me from reading this is the incredulity of the premise that can predict your future behavior. I like the the cover though.

  4. 1 out of 100? Wow! I thought it was more than that! LOL

    Okay, Missie, that was bad form.

    I'm not sure this one would be for me. I'd probably want to Kill Daphne and her friends... in a non psychopath way. hehehe

  5. I like the really interesting questions this book raises, but it's too bad the characters don't quite suck you in the way you wanted. Really nice review Zahida, I'm curious about this one despite that drawback:)

  6. I had a lot of issues with this book and you just hit almost all of them. I had no idea that a psycho is 1 out of 100. I definitely thought it was more than that.


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.