Adaptation by Malinda Lo | Rating: ★★★☆☆
"People are always going to think something about you that isn’t real. It doesn’t matter what they think."
Adaptation gets to the bizarre twisty plot in the story quite fast: there are many plane crashes, believed to be caused by — wait for it — birds. It gives us barely a moment to feel into this plot, before the news feed breaks and our main character is left stranded at the airport with her teacher and another member of their debate team. It’s all very strange, but all very simple and it isn’t long before conspiracy theories start flying; each occurrence setting off a vast chain of tragic and frightening events throughout the country.
Although the novel can be slow and lacking of detail at times, one of the main issues being it moves too quickly and not always in the good sense, it does have some redeeming qualities. It is unique, in some ways but not wholly — I’ve not read something quite like it, yet. And my personal favorite? Although the novel starts with hints of a romance between the two students on the debate team, Reese and David, it progresses to a same sex relationship after we are introduced to the beautiful, fun and mysterious Amber.
How’s that for a new twist to the classic love triangle? Personally, this was the most important thing to our story, the fact that the love triangle represents a lesser touched sexuality. Bisexuality gets a bad wrap, but it does exist — so this was quite refreshing to see this common formula build up that way.
There’s also a female president, who we don’t get to know but do hear from her as she addresses the nation from time to time. It is unknown whether or not we should trust her — personally, I would not.
In one of their opening chapters, (spoilers) there is a bit of action that ends with someone dead. If you must know, due to triggering matters, (SPOILERS!) this specific character is nearly car jacked and gets their face blown via a gunman. Scary stuff, indeed — and so very sad.
And after a long drive through unknown areas, Reese and David hit a snag in their travels, crashing into something and then begin to wake up twenty-seven days later in a mysterious hospital. If you think this is where our plot begins to drop, you’re wrong. It’s only just beginning. Both are reunited not long afterwards and in a short few days they are released back home to their families on one condition: they can’t tell anyone of their fast, advanced treatment in regards to their injuries.
Upon discovering some scars, which soon fade, Reese begins to wonder: what the hell just happened to me?!
During her first days back home she can’t help but to feel a little off. Why were these scars fading? What had happened to them? Why all the mystery in both her treatment and the world around her? What was this government hiding from their citizens? And as she begins to piece various things together and tumble into a newly formed romance with Amber, she discovers more and more strange happenings.
Before long she ends up with a broken heart and is seemingly kidnapped with David. By who, you ask? You’ll have to read to find out. Because this is where my potential spoilers ruin dry, so I don’t ruin the ending for you all.
It’s often very hit or miss with plotlines such as this; sprinkled in with romance, lies and betrayal. And I’ll admit I am on the fence with the remainder of the story. However, I do want to know more.
Amber and Reese’s scenes are equally sweet and steamy. Their romance begins in such a quick manner, it does come across as a bit suspicious, but the scenes involving their relationship are often the saving grace of the whole novel. Only spotted flaw: too much, too soon.
The two just have an instant sort of chemistry that only grows. I do hope they find themselves together in the long run, one day. There is just something you want to root for when it comes to the two of them, even upon learning who Amber really is.
Even David and Reese mesh well. I just could never see a relationship working out between these two. Reese has obvious feelings for the boy, but she is also pretty distant and nervous when it comes to trusting men due to her father’s treatment of her mother. I.E: cheating. We come to see, briefly, that her father is very much so a womanizer.
I applaud the author for her creativity — this is an excellent and quirky plot. I applaud her for the diversity she offers in certain characters — different sexual preferences and races. If you are a fan of The X Files and are looking for a quick read, this book will be your next perfect match. It’s entertaining as it is and makes you wonder, certainly, what else is out there in our universe that we don’t know about.
(But if you read a lot of alien related fiction, this may not be that intriguing to you and may not feature anything new to you. I do recommend giving it a try, if you’re into this genre.)
My only hopes for the next book is that we get more in depth when it comes down to many things in these stories. I want to hear more about the government keeping secrets, more about Amber, more about all these other secretive moments in the world. More on life outside the human race and what we’re familiar with. I’d like to see David more fleshed out, he seemed sort of uninteresting from time to time, more on Reese’s father — hopefully scenes with the two of them — and some growth in the father/daughter dynamic that is lacking.
Finally, I’d love to see more of Julian. If I had to pick a favorite non-romantic relationship from the book, it would definitely be the bond that he and Reese share. I get the practically siblings vibe from them and it’s so lovely.
I’m not sure if I would recommend this to everybody. It has its ups and has its downs, but my taste isn’t yours. So if the plot even remotely intrigues you, give it a shot. I will always recommend that.
But beware, you just might end up looking up conspiracy theories all night after reading it. Not that I am doing that, or anything. Of course not. Why would you even ask me that?