Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
I will straight up say that YA is out of my lane. I barely read YA when I was YA, so there you go. And I get squiffy when I trawl through the YA shelves in bookstores looking for books for my kids because it is a challenge to find diversity in both characters and storyline. My 16 y.o son once said when I pointed out a book to him "Let me guess, the world is dystopian and the young people are re-enacting some version of Lord of the Flies again?" He is a cynic. I wipe a tear of pride.
But this book caught my eye because the cover. I make no bones about the fact that a POC on a cover is going to get me to give the book a second look and then a probably a look at the blurb and probably a read if the blurb is interesting. Even in a YA, which is not my thing.
I am glad I took the minute to read the blurb. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Here's what I liked:
1) The world building. It was well done and didn't appear in clumps but rather you understood the world as the story unfolded.
2) The pace. Well paced with just the right amount of suspense. I also liked that you were dropped in the middle of things and learned things right along with Sterling.
3) The characters. All of them were well done. Sterling was immediately relatable and I liked his sarcasm and his frustration and just his worldview. Even if it wasn't really ... correct.
4) Tetra. Great character. She was consistent and on a mission. I liked that she made hard decisions because she had to. I think the author did a great job of making her seem just the right kind of out-of-place. Not too much but enough so it felt realistic. I thought she was very well constructed. She made sense! And she didn't get watered down for plot purposes. .. Actually I have to say that for a lot of the characters that they didn't feel like they existed for plot but rather like characters who were caught up in events.
5) Sterling's parents. I liked the decision the author made on how to conceive them. It felt very smart and a little heartbreaking too.
6) Actually there were some real heartbreaking moments in this book, mostly with how some thing ended up and one of the reasons I didn't rate this higher. I loved Sterlings friends.
This was an enjoyable read that I think even my so-over-it 16 y.o would enjoy.