Sunday, April 7, 2013
Strangelets (Goodreads | Amazon) is one of those (many) books where the concept is more interesting than the execution.
I'm not sure who told authors that every YA needs romance but they're badly mistaken. There is no need to add romance to a science-fiction/dystopian YA, especially not when it's poorly done. Most of this book takes place in less than a week. In that time, crushes start, relationships between complete strangers flourish and it all detracts from the plot. This isn't summer camp! I buy summer camp romances because everything is beautiful and magical at camp. I don't buy "Oh my goodness we're transported to this scary dystopian world...hey she's pretty cute," romances. Nope. Can't.
This book has a diverse ensemble cast. With a little more development they could've been really interesting. Instead we get more types (with potential) than people. Sophie the girl who was dying of cancer. Declan the badboy with a heart of gold. Rico the strong stubborn uncommunicative type. For me, the character with the most potential was Anat--the strong, tall, feisty girl from Israel. But none of these characters are given time to become anything more than a basic type which is disappointing.
However some people won't mind all that. It's a fun adventurous story. But as a reader I need more. I need characters that leap off the page and science that I actually believe. I don't want to see what inspired your book so transparently (the Large Hadron Collider, Lost, Israel-Palestine conflict). This book stays on the surface which is disappointing because I feel like the concept had the potential to do more.