So there's been a huge run on dystopian (young adult) stuff for the last few years. As a huge fan of dystopian works, I'm both thrilled (at the push for my favorite sub-genre) and disappointed (at how many of them suck). This book is not only awesome, but manages awesome in just 150 pages.
It's written in a different format than most books, as a history lesson as the main character is being tested. Young Anax wants to earn entry into the Academy, which is some sort of think-tank philosophical governing body. The future is a beautiful place, where all of the problems of society have been solved after a long era of war, plague and general horror. She's undergoing an all-day oral exam by members of this group.
That exam, Anax explains how the world came to be through her studies of a pivotal character in her society's history. We also get glimpses of her thoughts, her feelings, and her memories. Using this format is unconventional and allows us to learn a whole lot, very quickly. It's dense, but not overly thinky, which is nice.
In the end, she learns more than she ever thought she would about her society, its true history, and what price it pays to keep its utopia.
It's very well done, it's original, it's unexpected. I highly recommend it, and at 150 pages, there's no reason not to read it.