Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
""In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781442472426
Characteristics: 433 pages ;,22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 14, 2018

Thrilling story!

VaughanPLShelly Dec 14, 2018

Scythe begins with the idea that in a few hundred years, humans would have found a way to overcome death and disease. As a result, Scythes are charged with the task of arbitrarily choosing a few people a year to kill as a way to curb overpopulation. The novel follows two teenagers who become apprentices to a well-respected Scythe. It's a book with a unique premise and even though the topic is not light, it is very compelling.

Dec 13, 2018

Well written novel with a different twist on the notion that computers take over in the future.

Dec 13, 2018

In a world where old age can be reset and war, hunger, and disease are obsolete, humanity has conquered death. It is up to the Scythes to end people’s lives in order to handle population control. Two teens, Citra and Rowan, are selected by Scythe Faraday to train together to become a Scythe, though only one will succeed. But not all is well in the Scythedom and someone is planning to change the old rules, and not for the better. What can two apprentices do when they know that, if chosen to become a Scythe, their first act must be to glean the other? A powerfully built sci-fi world, Scythe is a great read for teens and adults of all ages. Hands down, it was probably the best book I have read this year.

JCLShannonG Dec 04, 2018

I couldn't put this one down. It was a tough read because of the psychological toll it takes on the reader, but it was so captivating.

Did anyone else notice that on the cover the space between the scythe blade and the robe is the shape of a face?

JCLJoshN Oct 24, 2018

This was not an easy book for me to get through, much like The Hunger Games wasn't easy for me. Not just because there's A LOT of killing in the story, but because of the psychological toll it takes on the characters. Still, I stuck with it and can't wait to read the second book. The characters are great, the plot twists are jawdropping, the prose is stark and beautiful, and it's a fascinating picture of a utopian future where people can't and don't die. How do you manage population control? And how does a life free of disease, lasting injury, and death affect a person's mind? I have a feeling this book will haunt me.

Oct 03, 2018

YA Dystopians are never meant to give you warm fuzzies and this one is true to form. I am actually pretty squeamish in real life but I found myself really normalizing the gleaning along with the main characters. The Thunderhead is the cloud that control human existence and makes the world "a better place" and I feel like I can see why people would choose to let it. Neal Shusterman has a way of taking real worlds technologies and extrapolating them out to their terrifying conclusions.

Oct 03, 2018

This book was amazing! Kept me intrigued the entire time. I couldn’t help but read page after page. I will say that this book has definitely spoiled me. I’ve tried to read similar books but have yet to find one that checks every box quite like this one. I am hoping that Thunderhead will be no different. Great read, highly reccomend.

Jul 26, 2018

Shusterman does a great job telling a story! I really enjoyed his writing and getting to know Citra and Rowan.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Dec 17, 2018

blue_buzzard_256 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 13, 2018

RaptorMouse thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 26, 2018

burgundy_wren_15 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 17, 2018

mikeguylol thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

LoganLib_Kirra Feb 04, 2018

LoganLib_Kirra thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 06, 2017

sleepybookworm thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jan 22, 2017

white_dove_454 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 15, 2017

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote

Sep 06, 2018

“Well, she could learn self control tomorrow. Today she wanted pizza.”

JCLChrisK Nov 30, 2017

No one rages against the system anymore. At most, they just glare at it a bit.

Apr 26, 2017

She wanted to believe she wasn’t capable of it. She desperately wanted to believe she wasn’t Scythe material. It was the first time in her life that she aspired to fail.


Add a Summary

Apr 26, 2017

It has been three hundred years since humanity turned the corner, leaving behind the Age of Mortality. With the arrival of infinite computing power, a benevolent AI known as the Thunderhead emerged to rule this new deathless society. But although accidental death is a thing of the past, humanity still lives on a single finite planet, and so population growth must be limited. This task was deemed to require a human conscience, not to be entrusted to a computer, and so the Scythedom was born. Citra and Rowan have been selected to apprentice to Scythe Faraday, a job that neither of them wants. But there is corruption at the heart of Scythedom, and the Thunderhead is powerless to intervene. Reform must come from within.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top