Monday, 14 April 2014

Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Adaptation by Malinda Lo (#1 in the Adaptation series)
Format: eBook
Published by Hodder Children's Books on 3rd April 2014 (first published on 18th September 2012)
Pages: 401
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
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Flocks of birds are hurling themselves at aeroplanes across America. Thousands of people die. Millions are stranded. Everyone knows the world will never be the same.

On Reese's long drive home, along a stretch of empty highway at night, 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.

For Reese, though, this is just the start. She can't remember anything from the time between her accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: she's different now. Torn between longtime crush David and new girl Amber, the real question is: who can she trust?
This book is incredibly entertaining. It's got a cool sci-fi plot, a bisexual female MC, and possibly the most enjoyable love triangle I've ever read.

Also: that cover. I love it. I only own the eBook, sadly, but that is a very nice cover. I'm just so attracted to the colours, the green of the liquid and of her eyes, the pink of her lips, and the blurred title, how eerie it all is.

The plot was definitely engaging. I'm glad we're getting a YA sci-fi series with a bisexual female MC. There were a few interesting twists; some were perhaps a little predictable, but I was never bored. The book was fast-paced and the writing style was simple and sparse, which I felt suited the nature of the book. Admittedly, however, it was more tell than show, and sometimes I couldn't really visualise exactly what was happening because I felt like some of the descriptions were a bit lacking in detail, but otherwise it was fine.

So, let's talk about this love triangle that is so integral to the book: for once, it doesn't make me roll my eyes and it's really not easy to pick a side, either.

Let me tell you first about Amber. Amber, who gives me stars in my eyes. When she was introduced in the story with her bright pink hair and skateboard, I was pretty much swept off my feet the same way Reese was.

The girl gazed at her with anxious gray eyes. She had a trim nose - just slightly upturned at the tip - and lips the color of coral, full and perfectly shaped. Her hair was short and dyed hot pink, cut in a trendy, mussed style. She wore a white tank top and khaki cargo pants, and the strap of her hot pink bra peeked out, bright as her hair. A light sheen of sweat shone on her throat, her pale skin gently flushed as if she had been running. Which, Reese realized, she had.
I swooned.

I think what makes this so awesome is realising that this is all from Reese's POV, of course. This is what Reese sees when she looks at Amber. This is Amber looking really hot in the POV of another girl.

Reese doesn't even realise she might be into girls at this point. I just love watching Reese discover her feelings for Amber. Amber just bursts into her life out of nowhere looking absolutely beautiful and says to Reese, "I don't think you're straight" and kisses her and it is just. so. delightful. Reese is a little confused but she also knows that she just really likes making out with Amber. So she does. A lot.

Amber just seems so brilliant, so full of energy and light, that I thought: well, she must be the one I'm meant to root for. And I did root for her.

But somehow, I grew to really like David too. Over the course of the book we get to see how their shared experience (to clarify, since the blurb isn't clear, they were in the car crash together and both woke up in the military hospital) makes Reese and David necessarily draw closer to each other, because they're the only people who can understand what they're going through. They have some cute moments together, and David seems really respectful of Reese. It's obvious that he cares about her a lot. His characterisation does seem a little muted compared to Amber's, though, but I still like him a lot. I hope we get to know him better as the series progresses.

It was a lot of fun reading about Reese as she struggles to figure out what's happening to her and also how to navigate her feelings for both Amber and David. I did feel that I couldn't really fully connect to her emotions though, even though she had an extremely emotional and difficult journey through the book. I think this might perhaps be related to my complaint above about the writing style, which was maybe a little too simple to effectively convey the full extent of Reese's emotions.

Nevertheless I still found the book thoroughly enjoyable (especially all the bits with Amber in them, just ALL THE AMBER oh my god).

I'm so looking forward to reading Inheritance but that isn't out in the UK till September. Damn you, cliffhanger ending. Damn you. There's also Natural Selection, a digital-only novella dedicated to Amber's coming-of-age story. Which isn't out in the UK till September either. I HATE EVERYTHING. Why can't they just take my money and give me the books? (WARNING: Don't go look up these books unless you've read Adaptation or you'll be spoiled like I was when I foolishly went to look up Natural Selection before I finished Adaptation.)


  1. This book sounds so good! I'll see if I can pick it up some time and read it. =)

  2. Thanks for commenting! (:

    Yeah, it was a great book. It was just a really effortless and engrossing read; the romance element was perfect and the plot was lots of fun! Really kept me turning the pages. I hope you'll enjoy it when you do get round to reading it! (:

  3. Yes, it was a bit predictable, but so entertaining. I liked both Amber and David so while I'm not a huge fan of love triangles, this time it didn't bother me. Haha, you should just order the US edition of Inheritance (if you can...) Anyway, I hope you get to read the second book soon :)

  4. Yeah, I'm pretty impressed with how Lo managed to make me like both Amber and David! It's not often I find myself enjoying a love triangle so much.

    It's ok, I'll just wait for the UK edition. (: I have plenty of other books to occupy myself with in the meantime!


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