Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
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 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 or death.
I had high hopes for this novel but, unfortunately, find myself feeling disappointed. This was a very “meh” novel. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. There wasn’t really anything memorable about it to me. Wasteland is a dystopia novel, where there are no adults living past the age of 19. And what’s the most important aspect in a dystopia? World-building! Well, this one fell short in that area. I’m coming out of the novel with a ton of questions about the world: Why are there no adults? What happened to the society we live in now? What caused it to change? How is it that the one character, Joseph, has cats? This does not feel like a world where one would have pets — adults can’t survive, but domesticated animals can?
I found the characters to be bland and forgettable. Esther is the main character and I found it very difficult to connect with her, or with any of the characters for that matter. Probably the most developed character was Levi, the villain. We learn about his tortured past and why he is the way that he is.
Overall, I honestly don’t know if I would recommend this book. The story is interesting, but lacking in explanatory aspects. It is definitely a unique premise for a story, I’ll give it that. But, a lot of things fell short for me and I find myself uninterested in reading the sequel. I probably still will, but it won’t be high up on my list.