Sunday, March 24, 2013

ARC Review: Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
352 Pages

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.


Are you looking for a book that doesn't have characters you can connect with, sloppy point-of-view switches, so many points-of-views that you lose track and an unbelievable world with so many inconsistencies that it will make you want to punch things? Then Wasteland is the book for you!

Apparently, this book is about a girl named Esther, though it's told from many perspectives. She lives in Prin, where everyone in residence is under the age of nineteen. By the time anyone turns nineteen, they are dead. Not only do they have that to worry about, but all of these minors are also having babies, starting at around fourteen-years-old and most of them are stillborns. No one knows why. AND ON TOP OF THAT, they are constantly getting attacked by these mutated hermaphrodites that everyone wants dead except Esther (of course). So Caleb moseys on in to town and screws everything up, or something.

This is, hands down, one of the worst books that I've ever read. There are so many "wrongs" and absolutely no "rights."  I mean, how did the world come to be this way? You can expect me to believe that the world just suddenly went rogue. You need a detailed background story! That is essential for a dystopian story. Where did all these hermaphrodites come from? Why are they the bad guys? Why is everyone dying before they can reach nineteen? What is this plague/disease thing? How is it caused? Why do you get it at a certain age? Why do only a few people have the ability to read and they are all from different age groups? When did the apocalypse begin? Why is rain water bad? Why are so many babies dying? There are so many questions and no answers. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. We are brought into this fog where we know nothing but are supposed to care about every little detail. No can do. It was literally impossible to care about any of these characters. I noted at 25% into my e-ARC that it wouldn't bother me if they all fell off the face of the planet.

As if the unanswered questions weren't enough, there is a god-awful case of insta-love. One of the worst I've ever read (though that fits in well with this book). The two "main characters" fall in love in the span of the maybe one-hundred words spoken between them, after meeting like three days (I think) prior. I laughed and was horrified by the big scene where they get together. 

Wasteland made me so angry and frustrated because it was annoyingly dreadful. Though I have to be honest, I was more than a little bit skeptical when I read the summary. I was willing to give it a chance though, and I regret it. It was just that bad. Not even the prose was very good. The way the authors wrote left me feeling nothing for the characters. Their reactions and emotions were extremely forced, so much so that it was almost painful to read. Their interactions were awkward and often unrealistic. 

I have so many issues with this novel that it's a miracle that I even finished it. Apparently, Wasteland is the beginning of a trilogy, though the ending was very final. I look forward to not reading anymore of this series or other works by these authors.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.

1 comment :

  1. Hot damn! Just posted my review of this two hours ago, and I find we have the same sentiments. Worldbuilding really sucked. I hate it when there are books that go "Dystopian here! Post-apocalyptic here!" but then don't provide enough details and backstory to give us a visualization of the world. It really is that bad, that I agree. One of the worst I read, definitely.

    The love scene WAS more funny than anything else. There was this line that went: "Soon, they were moving together, awkwardly, then expertly, bright with sweat."


    Anyway, nice review. Thanks for the honest thoughts! :)

    Faye @ The Social Potato


Blog design by Imagination Designs using papers from the Santa Monica paper pack by Mally Mac and Me