- The Predicteds
PROFILE, a new algorithm that generates a reliable prediction for whether a teen will commit violence in the future based on academic and psychological test scores, family history, genetics, and other factors, is being piloted at Quiet High. Unfortunately the results weren’t released soon enough to prevent a school shooting, but in its aftermath the rhetoric surrounding the test scores’ import reaches a fever pitch. For Daphne, who’s new to the school, PROFILE adds a new layer of tension to the problem of fitting in and hanging with the “right” people—especially since her crush, Jesse, is first rumored and then revealed to be a “Predicted,” someone destined to commit a violent crime. The plot unsurprisingly escalates to [End Page 108] a quintessential witch-hunt tale, complete with segregated facilities, edicts against mixed dating, and the non-Predicteds’ unquestioning acceptance of their status as a superior class of human. The plot has an appealing similarity to Minority Report, and Seifert conveys both the allure of knowing exactly who the bad guys are and the dangers of convicting people for acts they haven’t yet committed—not to mention the psychological damage wrought on those who now believe they are inescapably destined to do evil. Attempted parallels between PROFILE and racial persecution are overly pointed and don’t hold up terribly well, though, especially given that, despite the many hypocrisies of the “good” kids, the people who end up committing the book’s major crimes actually are all Predicted. Questions of fate versus free will, punitive versus rehabilitative justice, and the role of evidence versus character in the justice system are nevertheless ably explored, and the backdrop of social clique drama on steroids, combined with a fraught romance and a public out for blood, makes this it-could-it-happen-to-you tale 100% reluctant reader–ready.