Monday 21 April 2014

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Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Adaptation by Malinda LoNetGalleyAdaptation by Malinda Lo (eProof) - 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?
From Goodreads

I have been intrigued by Adaptation for a while, but after not really enjoying Malinda Lo's Ash, I have been wary about picking up. I recently saw a few reviews really singing it's praises, so finally decided to give it a go. Although it starts of promising, the rest of the book was really disappointing.

When birds start hurtling themselves at planes, causing multiple plane crashes, all flights are cancelled, fearing a terrorist attack. Out in Phoenix with her debate partner David, and their coach, Reese has no other way to get back to San Fransico than to drive. But on route, they're in a car accident, and Reese and David wake up in a military medical facility. They have undergone advanced treatment, and are sent home after signing a non-disclosure agreement forbidding them to talk to anyone about where they were or the treatment they received. Then strange things start happening to Reese and her body Reese, like super healing. Confused by what's happening to both of them, her feelings for David, and the arrival of the magnetic Amber, Reese's life just got complicated. With conspiracy theories flying left, right and center, Reese is determined to find out the truth.

I was originally intrigued by Adaptation when I first started reading it.. First quarter of the book was awesome, with the birds, and the road trip, and the car accident. All the conspiracy theories about what was happening were really interesting, and kept me turning the pages, wanting to know what was really happening. But after everything has happened, and after Reese meets Amber back home, there are no surprises. You keep reading because it feels like you'll find out more, but you never do.

Adaptation is also very predictable. As I said, the conspiracy theories kept me turning the pages, wanting to know the answers, wondering where the story was going, but the big reveal... well, it was pretty obvious what happened to them because of those conspiracy theories. A whole book went by for no reason, it seemed. Sure, the characters had to find out, but really? It took that long, and that's all there was to this story? About a quarter of the way into the book, you, as the reader, know what happened, because it's that obvious - the hints couldn't be more obvious. So when the rest of the book is all about them getting to the point when they find out themselves, it just felt like a waste of time.

The attraction between David and Reese was sweet and felt very natural. However, Amber and Reese... not so much. It just felt cheesy and over the top. As the story progresses, you could say some of this is maybe explained, but not completely. It just didn't feel real to me, and fell kind of flat. There was a lot of eye-rolling on my part. I didn't mind Amber as a person, but the two of them together just didn't work for me.

Really, by the time I finished the last page, I was so disappointed. Adaptation did keep me reading, and did have me wanting to know what would happen, but I was expecting more than what I got. It's a page-turner, for sure, but just didn't give me what I wanted. That's two books by Malinda Lo that I haven't enjoyed now; I'm not sure I'll be reading anything by her again. Do read some other reviews before deciding based on my review alone, you might really enjoy Adaptation.

Thank you to Hachette Children's Books via NetGalley for the eProof.

LGBT+ April

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Published: 3rd April 2014
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Malinda Lo's Website


  1. I completely agree with your review. I felt the same: it started out so good and I was expecting more and that's why I kept turning pages... but it just wasn't happening :(

    1. Right! So frustrating! I was mostly enjoying it - mostly, as I said, the romance didn't really work for me - and was eager for the answers, and they just get told what I had already worked out several hundred pages ago?! Ridiculous. I don't want to be left hanging like that. Really annoying.

  2. You know it's funny, but I have to agree with you too. It was predictable, and yes, the romance with Amber was a bit cheesy BUT I still enjoyed it. I don't know, I guess sometimes I just love me some cheese. Plus it also "helped" that I read Inheritance right after I finished Adaptation. And there were some... things I really, really liked there ;)

    1. Ahh, maybe that was a good idea. But I don't think I want to read Inheritance. I just can't be doing with Lo anymore, sadly.

  3. I did enjoy reading it but like you, it was a bit disappointing. It was predictable and it didn't reach out to me that much. Even so, I really liked it and I want to read the second book! :D

    1. I guess some books work more for some than others. I don't want to be disappointed by Lo again, so won't be reading any more of her novels. Glad you enjoyed it, though!

  4. Sad to hear you didn't like it! I totally understand the flaws that you see in it though. I think the interesting thing about Amber and Reese's storyline is that I kind of really like that we got a cheesy f/f romance? Straight people get to see cheesy m/f romances all the time; I want to be able to indulge in some cheesy f/f romances from time to time too.

    I didn't really enjoy Ash either, but I remember I liked Huntress. I think that's probably my favourite book by Lo. But I'd totally understand if you don't feel like trying it, since I wouldn't either if I already disliked two books by the same author.

    1. I guess that's true. But I just didn't feel it. It just didn't feel real to me, sadly.

      To be honest, I don't like the sound of Huntress, the plot doesn't appeal to me, so I wasn't going to pick that up anyway. Thanks for the rec though!