I am a 20 year-old college student majoring in Biochemistry, who loves to read and make book-related videos on my YouTube channel. :)
Publication: October 28, 2014 by Dutton Juvenile
Goodreads Summary: "For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths."
I was really hoping to like this, but I just don't think Ally Condie's books are meant for me.
This story has a cool, unique, and clever premise, but unfortunately it did not deliver. The idea of Atlantia is neat and I was very interested to see how a world can exist underwater. However, the world building is so underdeveloped.
I could not picture what it looked like, and it just did not make sense. The elements of the world felt very random and thrown together. I did not buy into it at all and I was confused on how it worked and operated. It is almost like the author is describing it as if the reader should already know what it looks like and how it works.
Rio is supposed to be a siren, but I could never fully grasp what being a siren meant or how they came to be, so it just left me confused.
The characters are generic and dull. Rio has some spunk, but she did not feel real. I could not connect to her or the others. They feel like cookie-cutter characters. Along with that, there is a one dimension romance that made me feel nothing.
I don't want to sound cold-hearted, but honestly, nothing in this story made me care or feel emotion.
The plot is basic and I kept waiting for something exciting to happen, but every plot development is underwhelming. It is fairly predictable, but mostly it's underdeveloped. The writing is simple and not cohesive. I really had to force myself to get through this book.
I admire the creativity of the premise and the world. It is a hybrid dystopia/fantasy, and unlike any world I have read before. I also like the family dynamics. Rio and Bay have an interesting relationship. It parallels the relationship of their mother and aunt. I think this could have been a really great element and layer of the story to explore. I just wish that I believed in it.
I couldn't help but feel disconnected and unemotional towards the story.
Even if a book isn't amazing, I will give it some credit if it kept me entertained. This one, however, was tough to get through. It definitely did not click with me.
*I received a free hardcover copy of this book from Penguin in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own*