Apr 10

The Institute by Kayla Howarth

The Institute


Kayla Howarth

The Institute is where you go if you are a ‘Defective’ in this dystopian world, where any deviation from the norm marks you as ‘unpredictable and unfit to live in society’.

Anyone with an unusual ability is supposed to go, voluntarily, into the Institute, where they are told they will be looked after and  kept safe, but no one does.

Allira’s life has been proscribed by two things, her mother’s death eight years earlier and the secret that means her father has one rule  ̶  Do not draw attention to yourself  ̶  her brother has the ability to see things before they happen.


On the annual visit to the Institute where they are shown pleasant rooms and facilities, to reassure them that there is nothing to fear for those who go there, the school party is told that this year it will be a little different; they have developed a test to show who is a Defective and they are going to administer it to everyone before anyone leaves!

Allira’s fears are for her brother, but it transpires that she has even more to worry about.


The Institute is a very readable novel with a well thought out plot and a good cast of characters.

The theme of persecution of those who are ‘different’ is relevant and accessible to the young-adult- audience it is aimed at. The atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is well created and although the only two choices seem to be a life inside the Institute or a life on the run, the book ends with a slight twist that leaves the reader eager for more

Book two ‘Resistance’ continues the story.

The third book in the Institute Trilogy is ‘Defective’.

I would recommend the series for the intended audience but feel that some adults would also find it entertaining and engaging.

Sue Almond

February 2016


Category: Reviews. Tags: Books, Story telling.

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