Saturday, 30 March 2013

Review: Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Title: Wasteland (Wasteland #1)
Authors: Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Release date: March 26th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: ARC
Pages: 326
Source: Review copy from author/publisher

Population over age 19: 0.
Welcome to the Wasteland.

The citizens of Prin don't have the problems that plague typical teens. At 15, they marry. At 17, they reproduce. And at 19, they die.
There's also the looming threat of rampant disease, acid rain, starvation, and brutal attacks by the variants - hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin.

Esther thinks there's more to life than toiling under the relentless sun. Her best friend is a variant, and she longs to join the fringe community, to escape the judgement of Levi, the corrupt ruler who controls the Source. When a mysterious stranger named Caleb arrives in town, shady pasts begin to unravel, and the two rebels realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Wasteland is the thrilling first book in a fast-paced trilogy with high stakes... of life and death.

Wasteland is an amazing start to an epic dystopian trilogy! I loved the fast pace, the concept, and the incredible writing. I did have a lot of unanswered questions throughout the novel, but on the whole I really enjoyed this one.

I admit I may be a little biased towards this book since it's a dystopian, but I was totally sucked in! The town of Prin and the people in it are very intriguing to read about, and the variants were another reason why this book really interested me. Esther's best friend, Skar, is a variant, and we get to see conflicting perspectives on these mysterious creatures. But even though I really liked the premise, I would have liked to have a little more background about the 'why' and 'how' of things. Though maybe details about this will be given in the next book. And in that case, I can't wait for the sequel!

I liked Esther from the start, because she is immediately set apart from the norm on account of the fact that her best friend is a variant, and they don't like following rules. Only three jobs exist in Prin - Harvesting, Gleaning, and Excavation. The people of Prin change jobs in two-week cycles. All of these jobs are for the benefit of Levi, the ruler of Prin. He provides the townspeople with food and water, in exchange for gas to power the Source. So basically - no gas for Levi, no food and water for the people. This is why the jobs are so important.

Esther shirks away from Harvesting, choosing to hang out with Skar instead. She's the only one who questions the rules of Prin, and who actually likes the variants. I liked Esther's rebellious attitude, and her bravery. She always stands up for what she believes in, and she's not afraid to show it. Esther is one girl who truly cares about people. She has a stable life in Prin, but everything changes the moment Caleb arrives in town.

Caleb is another character I loved. His loyalty towards his cause is admirable, and I think his ability to make the right decisions is quite amazing. Usually, characters make a lot of mistakes and have to pay for them, but in this case Caleb is simply paying for other people's mistakes. He's almost flawless in this novel! Caleb's relationship with Esther developed a bit too fast in my opinion, but it was sweet nonetheless. They make a great pair, and are really supportive of one another. They'd do anything for each other, and this is evident in the novel. I can't wait to see their chemistry further develop in the sequel!

The rest of the characters are a lot more complex, and harder to figure out. Levi and Sarah especially. Sarah is Esther's sister, but they are so different. Sarah is meek and submissive, always obeying the rules. But she is also very wise, and that's why Esther looks up to her so much. However, Sarah's naiveté is her undoing, and there are a lot of things she does that she can never take back.

Levi is, essentially, the villain of the book. He maintains order in Prin, though from a place further away - the Source. This is where Prin gets food and water from, and Levi basically keeps the town alive. At a cost, of course. Levi is sneaky and manipulative, and incredibly shrewd. He may have been redeemable at some point, but that's soon a lost cause. Even though Levi is tainted and dark, I like how unique a character he is. He's not easy to understand, and the complexity within him is seriously awesome.

Overall, I loved a lot of elements on this book, and I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel. I'm actually surprised there even is a sequel, considering that this one ended really well. But hey, you never know what could happen to Prin next, and I can't wait to find out. Filled with heart-stopping action and amazing characters, Wasteland is one YA dystopian debut you do not want to miss!

*Thank you to Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This book sounds awesome. It sounds like a combination of Matched and Wither, with people are getting married and dying at a certain age.
    Great review! Thank you for sharing!

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl


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