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Adaptation by Malinda Lo
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Adaptation (edition 2012)

by Malinda Lo

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2803240,328 (3.53)5
Member:gypsysmom
Title:Adaptation
Authors:Malinda Lo
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:science fiction, YA, teen sexuality, conspiracies

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Adaptation by Malinda Lo

  1. 00
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (knotbox)
    knotbox: A story of girls in love, a military conspiracy, inhumans, and friends who stick with you.
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Reese, her debate partner David and their chaperone are in the Phoenix airport when the news comes on: a plane in New Jersey has crashed, killing all aboard and witnesses say it happened after the plane collided with a flock of Canada geese.

The news sends shock through the airport - but not as much as the subsequent news announced in the next few moments. It is not just one plane that has crashed. Multiple planes have been brought down, seemingly by groups of birds and the FAA has grounded all planes.

With no other way to get home - and sensing that the crashes are more than some flukes of nature, they begin the drive home.

David and Reese somewhere in Nevada when the crash happens. A bird flies into the headlights and the car flips over.

When Reese wakes up, they're in some kind of military hospital. She can't remember what's happened since the crash - despite being told it's been almost thirty days. The doctors won't tell them where they are, how they were treated or how they're suddenly, so surely feeling so much better. Nor are they allowed to tell anyone else they little they do know.

Upon returning home, things are even different than she expected: military enforced curfew, men in hazmat suits picking up the dead birds before speeding off, the feelings she has for Amber, the girl who literally crashed into her, someone who may be following her . . . and her own recovery.

Reese may be the most different thing of all.


Adaptation has one of my favorite opening sections of really any book I've read lately. It builds the tension, the fear and, also, the fear of what's to come incredibly well. While it does involve planes crashing and does, ever so briefly, mention September 11th, it still feels separate from that. The events of Adaptation's opening are so clearly encapsulated in Adaptation that you don't feel like it's a rehash of anything.

It introduces us well to not only the present characters but also to Reese's friend Julian and his love of conspiracy theories - which are a big part of Adaptation and also help push things along.

As much as I loved the beginning, I did feel as if there was a bit of a disconnect between the first group of chapters, the first five or six and the latter parts of the story. They built up the tension and this anxiety . . . and then it didn't quite play out.

San Francisco, a month after all of these events, didn't need to be massively effected, but it felt more like there was a curfew which influenced maybe one or two scenes. Then they picked up birds. Both things are in the synopsis. Maybe that was part of the point, that everything was made to see fine - but if so, then the curfew seems odd.

I liked Reese's struggle with how she was feeling about Amber and what those feelings meant about who she, Reese, was all while she was trying to figure out just what they'd done to her at the hospital. It's nice when characters aren't completely taken over by one side of the story (either their intrapersonal conflicts or figuring out the 'other' aspect).

The story as a whole did lack a bit of tension or drama or anxiety for me. Whether that was due to the stellar opening that seemed to promise a different type of day to day life (not necessarily drastically so) or because the outcome or 'what' for several characters was really quite clear from about midway through, I'm not sure.

The way the ending itself actually played out, was not obvious so I'm looking forward to the second book in this series for where things go.

(egalley provided by the publisher through NetGalley)
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Well, that's a cliff hanger of a book. It all starts with birds falling from the sky, which is never a auspicious way to start a plot (well, for the characters at least, for the author it's a great way). But the 'birds making planes crash' is only the start of the crazy adventure that Lo take the readers (as well as Reese, David, Amber, Julian, and all the other characters) through as we follow Reese trying to figure out what happened during twenty seven days she doesn't remember.

Characters. There's Reese and David. They're debate partners and most of the novel is seen through Reese's eyes. And boy does she go through a lot. She meets Amber, or to be more specific, Amber runs into Reese and Reese finds herself drawn to the pink haired girl. And then there's Julian, Reese's best friend, a gay, part Jewish guy and my favorite character by a long shot. He's also the conspiracy theory guy that nicely keeps the plot moving.

It's a sort of subtle science fiction book, especially at the beginning. But slowly as the story unfolds for Reese it also does for us.

One of the only things I didn't love about it was how the character of David seemed like an afterthought. Amber, Reese, even Julian seemed very well drawn, but David just didn't seem to have the same sort of detail about him.

What I really liked though was how well the plot was put together. In a lot of ways it was like a thriller plot. The reader wasn't quite sure what was going to come next. I also very much liked the place descriptions, both interiors and exteriors (the dram yellow, red thingie-- whoa-- awesome and slightly disturbing).

It's definitely a science fiction novel, but it's also very rooted in real life too, sometimes in a very depressing (i.e. governmentalish) also. ( )
1 vote DanieXJ | Mar 3, 2015 |
A couple of high school students are awaiting a dealyed flight home to San Francisco when dead birds fall from the sky. Before they board, CNN reports a plane crash, and then another. All flights are grounded after flocks of birds have inexplicably downed planes. As they rent a car and begin the drive home, they encounter clogged highways, closed interstates, and jammed phone signals. So a compelling political/SF thriller begins.

I could have done with more action (especially more public reaction to the crisis) and less romance (though it's good to see a sensitive depiction of attraction between girls), but overall I enjoyed this novel very much and will seek out the sequel. I do rather wish books like this could conclude without "tune in next tiem" though.
  bfister | Jan 25, 2015 |
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!



Just as Reese is on an airport and sees some mysterious birds drop dead, aeroplanes start dropping like flies. A number of crashes occurs in one single day, all apparently caused by bird-strikes. All planes are kept on the ground, obviously leading to a lot of panic in America. While driving home through Nevada Reese and her debate-partner David get a strange bird-related car accident. They are never quite the same afterwards...



So far, it looked like a dystopian novel, why are the birds doing these things? (Why does it stop after that day?) The rest of the book is less interesting though. The standard love-triangle is given a bisexual twist, and the big surprise
(spoiler show)

is already revealed in the blurb. I didn't really care for any of the characters. I expected more from this novel, but it didn't live up to my expectations. The solution that is given in the end for the crashes is disappointing as well.

I think there is going to be a sequel, but I'm not sure I'm going to read that one as well... ( )
1 vote Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
Adaptation. By Malinda Lo. Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Book Group, Inc. 2012. 386 pages. $17.99 hbk. 978-0316197960. Grades 8-12.

Reese lives in a world much like our own – until birds start dropping dead all over the country and a surgery she receives after a car crash leaves her with some new abilities. Lo juggles teenage concerns and science fiction elements with grace: Reese deals with figuring out her sexuality, dating, and navigating her family relationships along with coming to grips with how a mysterious surgery on an army base has changed her body’s responses. The premise is interesting (although the work is clearly building to a sequel – an asset for some, an annoyance for others) and Reese is an engaging character, allowing the novel to be accessible for a wide range of teenage readers, whether or not they have an expressed interest in science fiction. Lo’s writing is gripping and suspenseful, and the plot moves along at an exciting pace. Reese’s world of government conspiracy is perhaps not so removed from our own NSA-tinged reality (unlike the distant dystopias offered by works like The Hunger Games): encouraging a little critical thought about the reader’s own current surroundings is a secondary quality of this enjoyable read. Recommended. ( )
  tierneyc | Oct 23, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316197963, Hardcover)

Reese can't remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She's different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won't tell them what happened, where they are--or how they've been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction--and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

Adaptation is a bold contemporary science-fiction thriller from the acclaimed author of Ash.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:27 -0400)

In the aftermath of a series of plane crashes caused by birds, seventeen-year-old Reese and her debate-team partner, David, receive medical treatment at a secret government facility and become tangled in a conspiracy that is, according to Reese's friend, Julian, connected with aliens and UFOs.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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