So I had been reading non-stop, and then the last couple weeks of March happened. So I stopped reading because I was super stressed. But! I was reading, and I was doing really terrible about reading reviews.
I have kept up with my page totals though! So despite my terrible review upkeep, that remains accurate. I’ve really been putting a lot of effort into reading new things this year. If I’m being honest, I could probably get to 15,000 pages just within the books I tend to reread. But I really wanted to grow and read more new things, so that’s what I’m doing! And I’m loving it. I’ve been trying to read authors that other authors talk about – because if that’s not the best recommendation, I don’t know what is. The book I’m reviewing today is a combination of hearing the author’s name, Ally Condie, on twitter from other YA writers and readers on a regular basis, as well as the book’s presence (and awesome cover/synopsis) at the bookstore. I won’t lie, I looked at this book every trip for maybe 3 or 4 months before I finally bought it. I had always been looking for other things, but this book really captivated my attention and piqued my interest. I couldn’t resist.
REVIEW: Atlantia, Ally Condie
Plot: Rio and her twin sister, Bay, live in the underwater city of Atlantia. When Bay makes an unexpected – and for Rio, devastating – choice that strands Rio Below on her own, Rio is determined to find out why. Still silencing her siren’s voice, Rio turns to the last person she’d ever have expected for answers about Bay’s decision and their mother’s death. Working with people she’d never expected, Rio needs to find answers to save herself and her city.
Most Memorable Line(s): I had taken a picture of my favorite line, but lost it when I switched phones recently. Check back for an update with it! Going through 300 pages to find the line takes some time…
What I liked: The whole idea behind this story is captivating. I love that Rio and Bay are both named for water when they live under the ocean. I think Rio’s voice was developed really well. I cared about her. When she’s stranded below – despite always wanting to have gone above – I felt her pain and understood her devastation at being abandoned by her sister. I really loved how all of the characters interacted, as well. The way Rio develops relationships with True, a boy whose best friend went above with Bay, and Maire, her estranged aunt, is really special. Each feels very real. Obviously both necessary to the story, neither relationship feels just like a device to move Rio’s story along – they truly feel part of the story. One of the biggest issues I have with YA is that little bit of form – feeling like certain characters are just there because they have to be to move along the story, who don’t really have a purpose of their own. Condie really develops every character superbly, with the city of Atlantia itself becoming one of them.
What I didn’t like: The pace of the novel threw me off a bit. A few times, I thought the story was really moving, but then suddenly slowed in pace. I thought a few kinds of scenes were dragged out a little bit too much, while others that I wanted more of finished too quickly. At some points, I couldn’t tell if there would actually be a resolution or if the book was the first in a series. Having those thoughts in my head were definitely distracting at points.
Grade: 8/10…I just said I wasn’t sure if this was a standalone or not. I liked it so much outside of the minor pacing issues that I’d read the next book ASAP if it was a series.