I had really high expectations for this book and well, this is going to be a bit of an awkward review. But hey, things could be worse!
One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.
n a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.
Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.
I’ve never been a big sci-fi person. But occasionally, a book of said genre blows me away. I mean, just look at The Lunar Chronicles. And since I really enjoyed Descendant of the Crane, I had incredibly high hopes for this one that should have been thrown into the bottom of the barrel months ago. There’s a reason I don’t touch sci-fi…it’s unfair to both the genre and to me.
I started listening to the audiobook for this back in May, and just sort of let it get returned to the library? And then I got it again in July and didn’t finish until August. And this isn’t to knock the audiobook at all because I think that it was wonderfully done! Although I uh…didn’t pay attention to much of it. There was so much science jargon thrown around in Kasey’s chapters that the majority of it flew right through one ear and out the other. Seriously, I was skipping back more than I was actually moving forward.
Cee and Kasey’s sisterly relationship was so wonderful to read about. They’re each so different but they love one another fiercely nonetheless. I have to admit that I enjoyed Cee’s chapters far more than Kasey’s because Cee’s were gripping, exciting, and very much a tale of survival. But Kasey’s were unique, if only in the sense that Joan He created an incredibly believable future of our world if the effects of climate change are left unaddressed.
I heard a lot about how the last 50% of this book is an absolute whirlwind of twists and turns, and that claim isn’t wrong. I was shocked by one twist at the halfway mark and a couple later on. The only problem? I was pretty confused about most of what was happening. That’s why I say that it’s me and not the book: plenty of people have read this, understood it, and enjoyed it! I just was not one of them. I just wasn’t the audience this book was meant to find*.
*that joke was so bad i’m already regretting this
I really loved the last few lines. Actually, I loved a lot of lines because Joan He is a brilliant writer. Overall, I struggled to be immersed in this world of science-fiction, especially because I can be so ride-or-die with audiobooks. I genuinely don’t think I would have enjoyed this one much more even if I had read it physically though. While I would be less confused, I don’t think that the world, plot, or characters strike the right chord in me. But please don’t let me dissuade you from this book because I think it is actually objectively good! I’ve seen so many trusted blogger friends write beautiful reviews about how much they love it, so go read theirs instead! Tell me: have you read this one? Do you enjoy science-fiction books?