One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.
In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.
Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.
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“None of us live without consequence. Our personal preferences are not truly personal. One person’s needs will deny another’s. Our privileges can harm ourselves and others.”
I really wanted to love this book and I fervently thought I would, but my reading was full of confusion and it wasn’t entirely what I expected, so far from wanting to give a negative review I’ll talk a lot about some things that just aren’t for me and some complications I had reading it. Certainly, the concept of the book is great, and the plot twist is very good and unexpected, I also liked some settings and scenes. But to be honest the whole book wasn’t for me.
It’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.
It’s never my intention, nor will it be to trash a book with my reviews, so this one will be shorter than usual, I simply don’t have many positive things to say, but I prefer to go to the point of what I don’t like and leave it there. Of course, it’s not my intention that you don’t read the book either, this is my personal experience and I think it’s also super valid to share it.
SO CONFUSED. This book is very confusing from moment one, which isn’t something that’s always negative, because I’ve read very confusing books in the beginning that ended up being amazing, but this time I didn’t stop being confused…. EVER. I feel like the book tries so hard to be super unique, out of the box, intricate, and super clever, but it ends up being just plain confusing and messy. I really see what the author wanted to do, I get it, it just didn’t work for me. First of all, I didn’t know it would be so heavy on the sci-fi and dystopia part, elements I like, but this time I didn’t expect them, this is totally my fault I should have checked before, but I thought it would be more of a contemporary story of two sisters. The sister story is there, and it’s well thought out, I liked it, but it wasn’t enough to love this book.
For those who know more or less what I usually read, you’ll know that heavy sci-fi books aren’t usually my cup of tea, even less when there are new terms, and a technological construction in general, SO confusing to understand, maybe this book is too smart for my brain or something lol, I just think it wasn’t necessary SO MANY new terms and ideas for situations that weren’t intended to be focused on that, in fact, this kind of details are positive when you put them in the right measure and at the right time, here technology is literally everything and it’s everywhere, so no matter if it’s a deep moment with emotions there’s always some techno in the middle that has nothing to do with it, and it’s super annoying since it cuts the intention of the scene itself. I don’t know, I just didn’t like this factor in the book it was exhausting to read for me, it makes it even denser and heavy if that’s even possible.
On the other hand, I do want to highlight some constructions within the world, as I believe that their scientific weight and idea behind them could even be used in real life at some point in time.
I’m really surprised and not in the best way, that there’s almost no world development here, we have some ideas there and here, but nothing specific about how humans came to live there, what else is out there, I don’t know, I need more or just something at least, you can’t just throw out some ideas and pretend that we create everything else ourselves and fill in the blanks, you know. The ideas of interfaces and those super technological things, even if I mentioned that they’re too annoying at times, they can work and the idea itself isn’t bad.
Cee and Kasey as main characters didn’t do much for me, I liked Cee’s story more as such, and I didn’t believe for a moment in Kasey, she’s a character that doesn’t resonate with me at all and I got bored with her chapters, at least I felt that with Cee something was happening. On the other hand, once you know the truth about their stories and everything starts to take better shape, you understand better why these characters are built in this way, their actions and so on, but this happens in like 80% of the book or more, so I can’t feel totally happy about it when I come from not enjoying the first part at all, it’s unfair if just one twist changed my whole concept of a book, I know I didn’t like it, I’m 100% sure of it, but I can say that maybe the final twist will work for other people and even lead you to re-read the book.
We Were Liars & Black Mirror are two of my favorite things, so it’s a shame I didn’t like this book since it’s a bit of a mush up between the two, but hey, I guess it’s just one of those moments when the book isn’t for you. I thought several times about putting it down, but I thought I would regret doing so because it was honestly one of my most anticipated books and I wanted to at least have a very clear idea of what I thought of it so I pushed myself to read it to the end. Talking about that ending is VERY WEIRD, I understand again what it’s about, but at the same time, I think it doesn’t even make sense, it seems like another chapter that’s just there, so honestly, I’m still a little upset, I’m sure I’ll get over it, but OMG, I wanted to love this book so bad!
Would I recommend this book? Honestly, no. Obviously, you can tell by now that I didn’t like it very much, the plot is a good idea, the execution on the other hand is another story, the characters aren’t strong or interesting enough to hook me, the world-building isn’t even there, the sci-fi elements are too heavy for me (I think this factor is super personal, though), the romance I didn’t even want to mention and the plot-twist was simply not powerful enough to carry the whole plot over its shoulder. It just wasn’t my kind of book and I’m sorry to have to bring you this kind of review, but it’s also my commitment, to be honest with you. I hope that even though it’s not my cup of tea, you’ll enjoy it if you decide to read it, even with all this said I’ll be giving the author another chance in the future, I feel she deserves another chance from me, so I can find out if it was just this book or maybe it’s her style that doesn’t resonate with me.
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