Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Series: Adaptation #1
Publication: Little Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 2012), ARC, 400pg
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Sci-fi, Young Adult
Source: ALA 2012
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Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.
Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.
Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are–or how they’ve been miraculously healed.
Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction–and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret. (from Amazon)
Sci-fi! And romance! And aliens! Yay! I LOVED Adaptation, Malinda Lo’s newest book. I liked Ash, and I’ll probably like Huntress whenever I finally read it, but Adaptation is AWESOME. The plot! Was so exciting! At first I thought it was going in a dystopian sort of way, and then it didn’t. Anyway, it was enthralling. I read it all in one go and I can’t WAIT to read the next book.
WHY did I like it? Kinda…hard to explain, because spoilers. But:
1. the writing is really good. Ash‘s writing was kind of smoky and mysterious, but Adapation‘s is sharp and full of tension. Good stuff!
2. I liked that it was “suddenly I can kick everyone’s ass,” because I am kinda tired of “suddenly action girl” plots. The superpowers involve emotions. Cool!
3. One half of the romance was built on a friendship that was already there. Cute! And also!
4. The love triangle is between a girl and a guy! And Reese, a girl, is at the center of it! SOMETHING DIFFERENT thank gooooooood I’m so tired of the usual “two hot guys and nobody wins” love triangle. Plus, yay for bisexuality represented in literature!
Unfortunately half of the triangle is built on lies and mistrust and it gave me the skeeves by the end of the book, but maybe things can be turned around in the next. Yes? It worked in The Hunger Games, after all!
5. Actually, Adaptation kinda avoided a lot of the more usual tropes that pop up in YA sci-fi(-with-romance) books. Which is GREAT!
However! I kinda have a problem with, er, one of the major plot points. Specifically this spoilery thing: the problem is they genetically modified teenagers and then LET THEM GO. a) what did they think would happen? No way would they keep it a secret even against threat of death (which they didn’t know about anyway!). They have SUPERPOWERS, it’s going to leak out somehow! and b) they didn’t HAVE to release them because everyone would’ve thought they’d died in the car crash anyway. They could have kept them there and experimented in secret!
But maybe they were trying not to be evil. But then again they messed with their DNA WITHOUT PERMISSION and when confronted with that they didn’t give a crap. They’ve done it before to other people! So. Hm. Not sure how I feel about that. Feels a bit wobbly, plot-wise.
On the whole, though, I very much enjoyed reading Adaptation, and I look forward to reading the sequel whenever it comes out. Yay sci-fi! Yay romance! Yay Malinda Lo!
Read: January 18, 2013
I’m really hoping sci-fi starting showing up even more in YA in the next few years. Especially harder sci-fi! That would be REALLY cool.