Monday, October 15, 2012

Becky's View: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Adaptation by Malinda Lo
♦publisher: Little, Brown BYR
♦released: September 18th, 2012
♦hardcover: 400 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review:  Despite not being a huge sci-fi fan, I couldn't help having really high expectations for Adaptation.  If you refer to exhibit A and exhibit B, you'll know I am a HUGE fan of Malinda Lo's work.  Her writing in Ash and Huntress is absolutely flawless and lush, her handling of all manner of love stories is so beautiful done, her intricate story-telling completely blows me away.  So, yes---high expectations for Adaptation. 

Well, I wouldn't say that I was disappointed.  I did really enjoy Adaptation.   I just didn't completely fall in love with it.  The story was mind-boggling, intense, and extremely fast-paced through most of the book.  While government conspiracy and men-in-black are usually two things that leave me bored, this was so well written that even these subjects kept me glued to the page.

Reese was really likeable and fun character to read. She was smart and head-strong, but still unsure in some aspects of her life.  She's terrified of relationships because of her parents' divorce, so after a few years of warring with herself over feelings for her debate partner, David, she is knocked sideways (quite literally at first!) by her sudden intense feelings for Amber.  Their relationship was a whirlwind to read. Very intriguing to see Reese grapple with this first experience and try to figure out what is happening inside her from the treatment she received in the military hospital.  Amber is open and uninhibited and fun and Reese just kind of gets swept up.  Still, the main theme of the story, being the mystery and conspiracy of what was happening with the birds and the military secrets kind of got thrown by the wayside while Reese went through all this.  It almost started to feel like two different stories, a bit disjointed.  We do get back to it, though and the secrets and lies and excitement start again.  I loved Amber's character, but I have to admit I saw her part in the story coming a mile away.  David, the other main player in this story, felt just a bit flat.  I didn't feel a lot of connection between him and Reese, so when things were meant to be heating up between them, it felt a bit forced to me. The main storyline goes along in a somewhat predictable fashion, but it's still great fun watching it all unfold.

Adaptaion is a really interesting and entertaining story.  Though I felt a few problems here and there and definitely wasn't blown out of my seat like with Lo's two previous stories, I appreciate the fact that she really went a complete 180 with her storytelling style and gave us something new.  The ending left me excited to know what happens next, so I'll definitely be anticipating the next in the series when it comes out.

Find Malinda Lo online: Website  •  Facebook  •  Twitter

Purchase Adaptation at:  Amazon  •  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound 


  1. Hmm, this sounds interesting. I've seen this book around a lot and I've been wondering whether to read it or not. I haven't read her writing before, but I'm curious. I'll definitely check it out :)

  2. I didn't love Malinda Lo's other books but this one sounds like it could be really cool. Maybe I should try it?

  3. I just finished reading this book and it was just okay for me i didnt like it as much as i thought i would

  4. It would be a nice chllenge to read this story!