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Review of Adaptation by Malinda Lo

by - April 22, 2014

Format: eCopy (for review)
Genres: Sci-Fi, Romance, LGBT,
Pages: 432
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 03/04/2013
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter
Book Depository ¦ Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads

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.

Weighing in at 400 pages. I was expecting Adaptation to feel pretty slow. However, I started it before I went to bed and before I knew it I'd already read 30%. I finished the rest when I woke up. Adaptation is... amazing. I have all the praise for a bisexual main character, finally! I feel represented and stuff. The story itself made for compulsive reading, I never once felt bored and that's probably why I read the whole thing so quickly, or at least it felt like I did.

The book was really well paced. It never felt too slow or had too much going on. The accident doesn't happen for a few chapters, which meant that we got to know and care about the main character. After she's released home it feels a little more contemporary as she met and fell in love with Amber and then became suffocatingly scary during the second half of the book and major events happened.

I loved the relationships between Reese and all the other characters. Her Dad sucks but who needs him when her mother loves her so much? They have an easy, almost sibling like relationship that came across beautifully. The romance between Reese and Amber was perfect. They fell in love quickly but it never came across as forced, just a normal teenage relationship without any of the unusual insta-love words. Her relationship and crush on David was very different as David had a different personality to Amber and Reese had known him a lot longer. I think this makes for a very unique, unusual love triangle and I'm curious to find out what will happen in the next book with that.

The science fiction elements were really interesting throughout, from Government cover ups to alien conspiracy theories from Reese's best friend, Julian. Who's gay, by the way. Important. Reese doesn't wake up and find she has a robot leg or anything, it's not that heavy. But she is having weird dreams and her scars from the accident are rapidly healing, which the US Government are very interested in. The story does end on a cliff hanger but not as bad as Catching Fire or anything. I'm really excited to continue the story though!

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