Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…
All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.
Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life.
What I Liked:
Well, this book was quite the change from what I've been reading recently! When I signed up to be part of the tour, I took one look at the synopsis, and knew that it would be different from what I was used to. I don't read a lot of mystery or suspense thriller books.
I liked the idea of this book - time-traveling (ish), alternate worlds (sort of like Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris) and creepy-as-who-knows-what dinosaur things that aren't even the prehistoric kind! The science part of the book was intriguing. I don't believe in alternate universes and time-traveling, but Gagnon definitely did her research to create such an interesting story about those elements. And those dinosaurs... good touch!
There is a bit of romance in this book, and it is obvious. There isn't an active love triangle, but there are two females and one male in this sort-of love triangle. I didn't really care about that - because honestly, it's not really a love triangle. And the romance is obvious. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing for some people, but it's fine with me.
The characters were all very different in their own ways, which is good, because one thing I abhor is when there are many protagonists, and they all sound and act the same. I like Declan, for his easygoing yet protective nature. Sophie is okay at best. Anat is FIERCE - which works for her. Those three are the core of the story, and before you wonder, no, they are not all part of the love triangle (one of them isn't).
The ending was a good one, all things considered. In fact, it was a little too perfect, all things considered. And I still have a ton of questions. And I'm a little confused. But the ending is... good.
What I Did Not Like:
There were several I really didn't like I about this book. The pacing, several of the characters, and the ending.
The pacing was... bad. Okay, maybe bad isn't the right word. But whatever it was, it didn't work for me. I read this book on my Kindle, and let me tell you, I was flipping through the e-pages really quickly. Often times, there were parts of the books that were so slow and so boring, you didn't need to read them. And that is just what I did. I skimmed a ton of this book, and that is something I rarely do.
I wasn't skimming the book because I was crunched on time or anything. I was skimming because there were sections of the book that were really boring, or that just didn't add to the plot. The descriptive paragraphs of the book were too many and not as much needed.
I already mentioned that the characters were very different, which was nice, and that I especially liked Declan and Anat. I didn't really like Sophie. I get that she was sick before the big event, but probably wouldn't be someone that I would want to be stuck with in post-apocalyptic times, for her attitude. She's a bit of a whiner. Not encouraging for a protagonist.
The ending, as I said, is too perfect. For a book about end-of-the-world, post-apocalyptic, dinosaur-ridden madness, the ending was all rainbows and butterflies. Not that I have anything against rainbows and butterflies. But goodness. I expected some psychological damage in the, um, remaining characters. And everything wrapped up too nicely! I don't want to give anything away, but seriously! How did everything just fall into place?! There was like, a billionth of a chance of everything working out the way it did. Boo.
Would I Recommend It:
Umm... sort of. For those of you who like interesting, action books with crazy science? You might like this one. Those of you who liked a good romance with that? Nope. You probably won't like this one. For the rest of you, I doubt this is the book for you.
3 stars. I enjoyed this book to a good degree while I was reading it, but despite what I liked, and bearing its faults in mind, I probably won't read it again. It was worth the read though!
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