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Adaptation by Malinda Lo

All across North America, birds are plummeting from the sky, a perplexing and dangerous phenomenon that’s causing planes to crash.  For safety, the United States government has delayed all flights for the near future until they can complete a thorough investigation—leaving Reese and her debate partner David stranded in Arizona. They don’t really know what’s going on, but they’re desperate to get home to San Francisco any way they can. But things go wrong, and they’re in a terrible car accident. When they finally wake up, they’re in a strange medical facility and neither can remember anything that happened in the last twenty seven days. All that they know is that they’ve been miraculously healed—and that they’re not allowed to tell anyone what’s happened to them. When they return home, everything is different. The city enforces a strict curfew, dead birds are treated as biohazardous waste, rumors of government conspiracies are circling, and Reese seems to be developing some strange and disturbing abilities. What really happened to Reese and David during those twenty seven days? And how is it connected to the government cover up of the birds?

I’ve been very into science fiction of late, mostly because there are just so many possibilities in this genre, so I was very excited to see where Lo would take the idea of birds falling from the sky. I was initially so intrigued by this premise and rather anxious to figure out what was really going on in this near-future. However, I found that Lo did not sufficiently develop this concept for my tastes; as more details pertaining to the conspiracy were revealed, I had more questions than I received answers. And unfortunately, there was a point at which I could no longer suspend my disbelief, and I found it hard to buy into the overarching explanation that Lo gives. This was rather frustrating to me because I quite enjoyed the rest of the story, particularly the way in which Lo develops Reese’s relationships with those around her. In the end, I still found Adaptation an interesting read, but I was disappointed by what I felt to be inadequate worldbuilding.

Adaptation will still be enjoyed by fans of Skinned by Robin Wasserman, Tankborn by Karen Sandler, and The Lab by Jack Heath.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from publisher Little, Brown

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