Scored - Lauren McLaughlin
Everything depends on your score. High scores guarantee entrance to college and low scores make it difficult to get a job at all. Scores in the 70′s give people the option to work in retail or health services – completely respectable professions, but this isn’t the life Imani wants for herself. She’s been hovering in the low 90s for several years and feels confident she’ll get the scholarship since there are only a couple of months left in her Senior year.

Scores are determined by the 5 Elements: Peer Group, Impulse Control, Congruity, Diligence, and Rapport. The cameras are watching all the time. The cameras are everywhere. The camera sends information about what you are doing and where you are going to ScoreCorp. ScoreCorp’s software analyzes your actions and generates your score. Once a month scores are publicly posted at school for everyone to see.

Not everyone is scored though. Many of the extremely wealthy don’t bother being scored since they can purchase the whatever they need – college, jobs, etc. Some parents wouldn’t sign the permission slip allowing their child to participate in the program. At school, these students are considered the lowest of the low. Associating with them could endanger your score.

When Imani’s best friend Cady does something to plunge her score into the low 40s, it plunges Imani’s to the lowest number it has ever been. It seems impossible that she will ever be able to get back to the scholarship range. When Diego, a mysterious Unscored guy, asks to work with her on a project, Imani sees a way she might be able to get back in ScoreCorp’s good graces. Will she be able to do what it takes?

SCORED is a fascinating look at a world where the focus on where you rate goes too far. Where attempting to maintain the right peer group, controlling your thoughts, and always striving to do the score-positive thing determines everything you do. Do the positives about the score outweigh the negatives? Lauren McLaughlin has created a unique dystopian world based in reality. Could we end up living in Imani’s world?