Adaptation, Book 1
Synopsis: 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: Reese and her debate partner David are about to fly home when North America grounds all flights. Dozens of airplanes crashed suddenly when flocks of birds hurled themselves into them. As the population goes nuts over the possibility of terrorist attacks, David and Reese are victims of a car accident while trying to go back to San Francisco… A month later Reese finally wakes up in a mysterious military hospital. After signing a confidentiality agreement, the two teenagers are sent back in their family but things start to get weirder. Reese develops strange connections with people she gets in contact with, she heals way faster than humanly possible, and has the awkward feeling that she is being watched anywhere she goes… What really happened during that whole month she was unconscious in this military facility?
To be honest, I love everything that is related to Area 51 and conspiracy theories. I’m not saying that I believe them but I always found these stories, which gets their start with real events, particularly endearing. So obviously Adaptation was the perfect book for me. A young adult sci-fi thriller whose background is government secrets, lies and experiments? I’m in! And I believe that every reader who enjoys these sort of foundations in books will be pleased by the outcome of this one.
Reese, the main character, is easy enough to like. She has a good common sense and doesn’t blindly/stupidly run in any situation. It is particularly pleasant considering how discreet David, the boy from the book’s description, is throughout the story. I wish we had seen more of him, alongside of Julian, Reese’s BFF who happens to be a big fan of conspiracy theories. We are mostly focused on our main character which is a shame, even though it is simply echoing Reese’s cautious personality when it comes to get involved with people. Her dad left the family when she was still young and it’s evident that’s the reason why she is so persistent on being on her own. She protects herself by keeping others at bay and it’s one of the many things she’ll struggle with the whole story.
The only other character that has some sort of importance is Amber, a young woman Reese meets after she gets back to San Francisco. I instinctively disliked her and I wasn’t too excited about their blooming relationship. I felt like that Amber was always way too convenient and I couldn’t really warm up about her because of this. Though the story hints at a love triangle between David, Reese and Amber which was somewhat original. I’ve never seen this configuration, where a girl has romantic prospects with a boy and a girl, and it’s a nice change from the poor girl stuck between two hot guys that are fighting over her. I’m still not that sure about how it’s supposed to play out since the relationships were a bit shaky throughout this first book, but I’m sure it’ll be developed more strongly in the sequel.
However the main strong part of this book is its story. I liked how well Melinda Lo handled her plot and how nicely things came into place. Of course this first book mostly evolves on characters building but the paranormal aspect wasn’t too neglected either. You can say that Adaptation is a contemporary sci-fi novel, and even though I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi, it totally worked for me.
Adaptation is a nice read mixing contemporary YA and sci-fi very well together. It’s the kind of story you would expect to see as a TVshow (it reminded me of CW’s show where paranormal elements are inserted in everyday settings like high school or family dramas). I particularly liked the tone of the book, the background of government’s secrecies and conspiracies, and I’ll happily read the sequel to see where Reese, David, and the others will end up.