Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
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 disesase 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.
Publishes in US: March 26th 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA dystopia
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Series? Yes. No further info.

Buy it:  Barnes & Noble    Amazon    IndieBound

   This got off to a bit of a rocky start with me. I really liked that Ester was different, and seeing her friendship with Skar made me know that she didn't just blindly follow orders. She had a friend from the "enemy camp" according to her village. I liked her point of view, even while in the third person, I got a good feel for her, and that she really had a good heart. 
   But when it switched to the other villagers, I kinda lost a little steam. I can see why it would be important to get other views, but it just didn't work well in my opinion. Maybe if it would've focused on one other person instead of groups. I did get used to it, but I like the places where it was Ester or Caleb's point of view. 
   I was intrigued at Levi and his ingenuity, working out the trade system, and I wanted to see what his heart really was like when Sarah, Ester's sister went to see him. Levi set up a place that stockpiled water, supplies and such, and the villagers of Prin traded fuel for these things. That is one of the main jobs in Prin, is to go out and search for gas. And while out searching, there is the danger of running into the Variants, like Skar. I was curious at their motivations for the attacks, because they usually went after buildings, although they would hurt humans that got in their way. Which is another reason I was curious about the friendship between Ester and Skar. Skar teaches her their ways, like how to climb and move about. But Ester didn't seem to know at first why they were attacking, or if so, we as readers didn't know that. 
     I didn't know who to trust, and what was going to happen next. There were a few things that were revealed and I couldn't believe it, but I could all at the same time. 
    I liked Caleb. When he entered, I couldn't wait to see how he and Ester interacted, and how their relationship would form, and most of all what Caleb's mysteries and shady past would bring to the story. His story really broke my heart, and everything he did made me admire him even more. 
    The world building was decent, and they depicted quite a dangerous and grim world. Most die before 19, 3 out of 4 babies die before 3 months of age, the rain causes you to get deathly ill and when that happens you are Shunned-sent away from the community to die. The pacing was pretty good, despite my dislike of the pov that wasn't Caleb or Ester. I thought it was neat using a lot of biblical names and then incorporating the gleaning, harvesting words used in Ruth and the old testament. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a religious book, but I just found tidbit interesting. 
    There are still a few questions that I want to know, and I of course want to see more of Caleb and Ester's relationship so I will most likely pick up the next books when they come out. 
    The ending and some of the twists are enough to break your heart. Wasteland is action packed, but it also features a lot of character growth and emotion. 
Bottom Line: Well written dark world with surprising twists at every turn.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you would want to try to have a partner and have a baby in a world like this, or prefer to be alone?


  1. A partner, perhaps but certainly not a baby. Great review, a book I'd pick up at the library though I'm not sure I'd buy a copy.

  2. Wow, so glad you enjoyed this! I saw it on Edelweiss that day, but didn't think to request it. Kinda regretting that right now... :3 Anyway, it sounds like a great read, despite the rocky start. The unexpectedness of the story is another plus, of course.

    Overall, WASTELAND sounds great! Thanks for the helpful review, Brandi. :)

  3. A partner, maybe, if it was the right one, but definitely no baby, considering that I don't even want one in this world. A world of nope!

  4. I am very curious about this book, but I haven't read too many reviews on it though. Sucks there was some shakiness in the different perspectives since I usually like reading from different POVs. This book sounds like it will keep you on the edge :) Awesome review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  5. I like the sound of this one being dark. Great review, glad you managed to like it in the end! :)

  6. Even with the moments losing steam, I think this actually does sound like a good book. thanks for the reveiw

  7. I hate how the summary sounds like all the other dystopias and paranormals out there, but once you get passed that, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)

  8. This sounds like a bleak, bleak world with so much danger and mystery. I guess I'd value trustworthy friendship and partnership but if everyone is afraid of bringing babies into the world, the race would become extinct pretty soon :(

  9. I'm not sure I would want to bring a baby into that world, but it is often human nature.

    I'm not sure I would like this, but I'm glad you did.

  10. I don't think I'd want to have a baby because it sounds like you'd be stuck leaving that baby (if it survives) on its own when the age limit seems to be 19. I wouldn't mind having a partner/husband though, because you're in the same boat. Great review. :)

  11. I'd want a partner, but I would be far too pessimistic to have a baby. I could never bring a baby into the world knowing that their future would be so brutal and uncertain. This world is bad enough!

  12. It's always perfect to have a character different from others, it's so rare. I'm curious about the world too

  13. Usually I like dystopians, the darker the better, but I'm finding that it can get too dark. I'm guessing this could have gone that way, but didn't get too dark to stop the enjoyment. I don't think I could send a baby away to die. That is why I'm wondering how dark this really gets.

  14. Dystopia is always good, so dark and intriguing

  15. Hmmm...I've hear varying things on this one. I'm not sure I would like the alternating POV's either. Great review.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    YA Sisterhood

  16. Puts me in mind of Katniss and her thoughts on not having kids in her world. I think I'd be reluctant to have kids in that setting too.
    Great review, Brandi.

  17. Hey Brandi glad you liked this, I enjoyed your review and it has me intrigued. I am a fan of dystopian:D


  18. This might be a bit dark for me and I've found myself shying away from the dark books lately, but it sounds really good, it's just finding the 'right' time to read it.

  19. This does sound like it could be a pretty grim book, but I can see the potential. Seems like the point of view would make it difficult to connect as well with the characters, but overall this one looks like a keeper. Thank you so much for a great review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

  20. I love books where you cant figure out who to trust! I love guessing! Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  21. I haven't seen this book before but it sounds interesting. I has that dose of mystery and I think I'd like that. Great review :)

  22. I soo want this one. Great review. Can't wait till Mrach...

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  23. Oh geez, grim is right! This world sounds completely depressing. Of course I would like to have a partner for support in a world like this, but bringing a baby into it when only 1 out of 4 survive past 3 months of age? Probably not.


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