Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Review: Strangelets, by Michelle Gagnon

Strangelets is a "light" dystopian that kept my interest, but might be more appropriate for younger teens.

We meet three teens, in very different situations in different parts of the world. As they experience death, they are sucked into a black hole. They all wake up in separated rooms in an abandoned hospital and discover there are a couple more kids with similar stories. They have no idea where they are or how they got there. They begin the process of trying to escape and find other people. Once they escape, they realize they are on Long Island, and things just get more and more confusing.

I had some problems with the actual plot of Strangelets. It seemed like one second it was impossible to escape the hospital, and the next minute they were outside. It was a bit too easy. It was unbelievable that none of these teens caught on that it wasn't just the next day -- everything was grown up with trees and mold, but still they think it is the day after they "died?" No teens are that stupid.

I found the "monsters" to be scary -- but then again, I didn't really feel a build up of tension, because escape always seemed too fast and easy. These creatures appeared over and over again, but some how the kids actually never SAW them until over halfway through Strangelets. Another weak plotting element. And, while I love a happy ending, the ending of Stragelets seemed a bit too unlikely and too happy.

Strangelets is easy to read and fairly fast-paced. I think it read a little slow for me, just because I thought they should have figured at least SOME things out before the big reveal. I got frustrated at their stupidity.

I think younger teens, who have not read the more complex dystopians that are so popular now will enjoy this book. There are plot flaws which bothered me, but a more inexperienced reader will be sitting on the edge of their seat for much of the time.

Published by Soho Teen, April 9, 2013
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
272 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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  1. Ugh, character stupidity is a major turnoff for me. I have seen this one making the rounds in the blogosphere and was curious, but that would be enough for me to probably stay away.

  2. Great review, Annette. Not one for me but I was considering it, so thanks :)

  3. The implausibility would drive me nuts in this book. Sounds like the author didn't fully think through the plot. Great review! I just don't think this one is for me.

  4. Oh no, I'm sorry to see the story didn't really work for you. I thought I might enjoy this one, but now I'm concerned this may irritate me too much to truly be absorbed into the story. I may still give it a try, but thanks for your honest review!

  5. Definitely agree with all you said, esp. re: them not figuring out how much time had passed. All these details were mentioned, like trees growing from within all the rubble, and yet they still think it's the same time period?? Very weird. There was a lot of this book that was SO interesting, so it's too bad that the plot slowed down so much and, like you mentioned, that the ending was so HEA and wrapped in a bow.


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