In most dystopian reads there is always this epiphany that the social situation that a character is in needs to change. Paradigm has hints of that when Carter is narrating his half of the book but it also gives you what I know I always wanted to know as reader, what happened to start the dystopian society that our character is immersed within throughout the story. Alice Davenport provides a look into the world's end and surviving what they call The Storms to develop what Carter has known his whole life. Death, struggle, change, control, regulation and doubt are all things you'd expect to find in a book like this but there are several twists you won't see coming and will keep you riveted all the way to the end.
Seeing as we have two different characters living in different time frames with two completely different POVs in regards to what is going on within their lives, I had two very different opinions on each of them. Alice I liked right away. She was a young kid that had her own quirks but you could tell she was a survivor, and she proved that when the storms killed most of the population but not her. She had this aura about her that you liked and really wanted her to succeed. Carter on the other hand struggled to capture my affection like Alice did.....at first. He came off as a cocky, arrogant teenager when we first met him. He thought he knew everything, that he was smarter than everyone and that he could do everything by himself. As the book progressed the more and more I started to like him. The less time he spent thinking he had everything figured out, the more he opened his eyes to what was going on around him and the more he started to become someone I could get behind.
Because this story is told in two different voices and far apart in a time line, it does get a little confusing. I had to re-read some of the beginning chapters to understand where we were, however I still loved that the author wanted to tell us this origin story. Of course it had a lot of themes and events that are the signature of this genre but that was okay for me because the world, the people and the situations were interesting and I wanted to learn about them. I thought they did a wonderful job of giving me a story that fit in this over-filled bubble of genre but with enough unique elements to make it refreshing. There is nothing wrong with a book that gives you what you expect in a group of stories but surprises the hell out of you along the way.