Review: ‘Adaptation’ by Malinda Lo

I received this book for free from NetGalley, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Adaptation’ by Malinda LoAdaptation by Malinda Lo
Series: Adaptation #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 18th, 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, LGBT, Love & Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 386
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley, requested from publisher
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.

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Here is Reese, a normal sixteen year old girl who is on the debate team with her crush David, and debate teacher when the unthinkable happens. Several airplane accidents caused by birds have grounded all flights out of the country. Reese and David manage to rent a car and try to drive home and on the way they get into an accident caused by you guessed it, birds. She wakes up in a strange place, with very little questions being answered. Reese believes the accident happened around the area most commonly known as Area 51. With David in tow, the doctors tell her she has been healed completely even though the extent of her injuries were so massive, her scars have shown up all over her body. When the following day, her scars simply disappear, more questions pore into the conspiracy that the government is keeping a rather big secret. It’s up to Reese to find the truth.

The beginning had me gripped and on the edge of my seat. I instantly devoured it, and as soon as Reese got home, the pacing stalled. Reese still had a lot of questions about what happened to her, and ultimately brings David in to verify their stories, but what I did not understand was the sudden change in her sexual preference. All along, you’re led to believe she is in love with David, but then as soon as she met Amber, she instantly latched on to her for attention. To add to my confusion, Reese even told herself she would never get into a situation where she would fall in love just because she was afraid to get hurt. But I’m guessing she only meant romances with males, because she fully powered on with her relationship with a female. I rather liked how it was Malinda addresses a lesbian relationship in this novel. There aren’t very many YA books that I have read where the main character falls in love with a girl, so it was ultimately refreshing.

The pacing definitely had issues, because the story and plot developed rather quickly in the end. Every piece was tied up, and most of the questions are answered in the last few chapters, so that was also a relief to read. I loved the science fiction element in the novel. There’s always a lot of conspiracy stories out there, but this one was rather good to read. I also loved how realistic the portrayal of the government was revealed, and what their actions entailed.

Adaptation definitely held my attention, and I can’t wait to read more about Reese and her abilities in the sequel.





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  2. Sarah p

    January 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    This book sounds so interesting!! I love books thhat are similar to this one. The cover is really piercing with those green eyes and the water, just beautiful. Great review

  3. Allyson Rida

    September 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I thinks Adaptation sounds good, I’ve seen rave reviews about it, so I am planning on reading it. I haven’t heard of Malinda Lo before, so I would like to try, maybe I’d find a new fav author!

  4. Jaime Lester

    September 22, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    I only recently heard about this book, and it definitely grabbed my interest. I love that cover. It is so creepy, and fantastic. Fantastically creepy. It makes me sad to see that it didn’t get the best review ever. I will definitely read it but it is nice going in without these crazy high expectations which I would have had before your review. So thank you. Very much!

  5. Grace Lo

    September 18, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I haven’t yet heard of Malinda Lo before, but I’m quite interested in the story. Suicidal birds who cause serious automobile and transportation crashes? I have never imagined that. *eyes seagull outside window warily* Honestly, this looks like a good read, and I’ll pick it up sometime round.

  6. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    September 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I really, really enjoyed this one! I actually like the pacing of it, and couldn’t put it down. I’m pretty excited for the next book!

    Great review!

  7. Filia Oktarina

    September 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Love this review. Really got me scared with cover like that.

  8. mada

    September 17, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Amazing review. I’ll put Adaptation on my to read list.

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