I had heard so many good things abou this dystopian ya novel, that I expected to be swept away when I finally got to read it. I wasn't. I'm afraid I was rather disappointed.
The premise of the story is a girl is looking for her brother in a land that resembles a wasteland more than anything else. So she begins with a journey and end up with... a lot more. Maybe growth should be one of those things, and maybe it is, but I didn't really see it. She also ends up with a love interest and a bunch of new friends, or allies, even though her relationships with them sounded cold to me and selfish on her part.
By now I should maybe tell you something rather unique about this book (although it's by no means the first time I've seen in in a book) which was also my main problem with it.
It's the way it's written.
No grammar, no duotation marks when someone speaks. Instead, it is written down like a flowing narrative, told in the 'dialect' of the main character. The dialect seems to consist of a few misstypes, like fer instead of for and so on, and of omitting the g in the end of ing words. For example, wakin instead of waking.
Some people said it made the story difficult to understand and to follow. I didn't have much of a problem with that, after a few pages I gor used to it. My problem was elsewhere.
This is what cowboys talk like!
It was really hard for me to get into this book while all the time picturing Lucky Luke and John Wayne as the main characters. Or wearing Stetsons. I mean, come on. They all talked like they were from the Far West. I still can't wrap my head around the world of that book.
It was really weird.
I expected Buffalo Bill to jump from a corner at any minute. Seriously?
If it had to be another dialect, another way of speaking, well, the author could invent one all on her own, I suppose. Not steal the Dalton brothers' slang.
Let's get to secondly.
Secondly, I am afraid that I found the story of the book to be almost completely unoriginal.
It was obvious where the author has taken her ideas from, and that isn't to say that all authors should be well-read and, as a consequence, be influenced by everything else that is out there. No, but it shouldn't be obvious. It shouldn't be stolen. This book read as though it was a compilation of every other popular dystopian book that's out there. And I even recognized some I haven't really read, by their summaries.
I hated the book for that.
I mean, I can put up with anything, with the bad writing even, if at least the story has something to say.
But this story was completely unoriginal. I knew what was going to happen, pretty much by thinking, oh, there's one dystopian setting I haven't met so far, so it must be coming up somewhere in the next pages. And sure enough, it was.
The main character really annoyed me a bit with her selfishness and her immaturity, and I would be able to understand that, only the author seemed constantly to be against her, and to blame her for everything, so even if I wanted to like her, I couldn't, not with the author shoving her dislike down my throat every single page.
Sometimes, I thought the heroine was right.
But those were the times, always, where the author portrayed her to have been in the wrong.
I wish she would have let me decide for myself.
If she had, and if the writing was not Lucky Luke's native tongue, and if the cover of my copy wasn't the worst I have ever seen on a book (pretty much), maybe I would be less inclined to give this book: