Skip to main content

Friday Flip-Out: Partials by Dan Wells



Currently Reading:

GUYS. OMG. Stop what you're doing and READ THIS BOOK.

Yeah, I'm wigging out a bit. This review will be more on the informal side.

I regret getting the ebook version only because I can't lend it to friends and family. I think my brother would like this book. I think it's a book that adults, young adults, and new adults (whatever that term is supposed to mean) would like. I'm flipping out this Friday because yes, it really is THAT AWESOME. I mean, look at the dedication:

"This book is dedicated to the rule breakers, the troublemakers, and the revolutionaries. Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite." 



My synopsis:

Kira Walker became a medic because she wanted to make a difference. But on the maternity ward, all she does is watch the future of the human race die, one baby at a time.

Most of humanity was wiped out in the Partial War, when the organically engineered supersoldiers called Partials rebelled and released the RM virus. Kira is part of the 0.04% of humanity immune to RM. What's left of civilization is hiding on Long Island, but even that is starting to crumble. The "Voice of the People" rebels object to the Hope Act, which requires every girl to get pregnant at 18 in the hope of having a baby that will inherit immunity. Kira's almost 17, and the Senate is dropping the age again. Her boyfriend Marcus wants to marry her, but she doesn't want a future of dead children.

Kira wants a cure.

Unfortunately, the only people immune to RM are the Partials. When Kira's best friend conceives, however, she gets desperate enough to try the impossible: capturing one.

My flip-out:

First of all, character. A lot of YA protagonists flip out and forget about everyone but themselves when they learn a devastating personal secret. Forget "strong female protagonists" -- Kira is probably the strongest and most empathetic protagonist I've ever read, period. Also, her strength doesn't magically disappear around her boyfriend or the hot new guy.

Like most post-apocalyptic fiction, Partials makes social commentary on modern issues. Materialism, the environment, teen pregnancy, fascism, terrorism, the military, medically approved rape, treatment of veterans, and race are all topics touched on -- but I never felt like I was being preached at.

Also, it's a relief to see a book that isn't populated entirely by the author's demographic (usually white). Because good luck getting me to believe that only white people were immune to the virus. I won't *hate* a book that doesn't have a diverse cast, but it is important. The representation of race in YA is really lopsided (aka, white).

And the science. YAAAAY SCIENCE. I know most of it is futuristic mostly-embellished science, but still. SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE. As a medic and an aspiring researcher, science is very important to Kira. Her research on the RM virus is described in a way that even mostly-science-illiterate people (like me), would find cool and quite easy to understand. I think Partials is the closest thing I've seen to "hard sf" in YA. It's also fun to see Kira's scientific curiosity at war with her sense of ethics.

Disregarding all that, the story itself is fantastic. Talk about raising the stakes. Talk about suspense. Yeesh. I'm not sure how to describe it without giving away spoilers, but...it's probably safe to say that Partials has everything I like in a book (except for dragons. No dragons).




http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m59gsnhfWg1qba73bo1_500.gif
Just because.
I could geek out all day over Partials, but I won't. One last thing: I have friends named Kira, Marcus, Madison, and Yoon-Ji. They don't look or act like the characters in the book, but it was a fun coincidence. Now, if I also had friends named Isolde, Xochi, and Samm, I would start to be alarmed.

And I'm already flipping out enough.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What if Iago was a Woman?

For all that I'm a theatre major, I hardly ever talk about acting on this blog. But this project is so cool and fantastic and awesome and wicked that I just have to take a minute and tell you about it. What if Iago was a woman? For those of you who don't know, Iago is a villain in Shakespeare's tragedy Othello. He is considered one of the worst, most evil antagonists in all of Shakespeare.  Plot summary: Othello is a Moor, which in those days referred to someone from Africa. He, a black man, marries Desdemona, a white woman. Society flips its shit, but they can't exactly do anything because he's the General of the Venetian navy and there's a war on. Desdemona, unable to stay with her angry father, goes with Othello to Cyprus, which is in rebellion. A storm sinks the enemy navy and our good guys arrive safely. Iago, though, is not happy. Because Othello passed him over for promotion (and assorted other reasons that all amount to "I just want to fuck sh

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène, a YA Book By A Young Author

Review time! Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow is a young adult novel by a young adult, so I was very interested to read it. There's also a #MuslimShelfSpace tag going around, and this review is a nod to that. The idea is that there's been a lot of stereotypes and anti-Muslim sentiment spread around, so buying and boosting books about and by Muslims can help educate people and break down harmful stereotypes.  The author is French with an Algerian background, and  Guène  wrote Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow when she was in her late teens. Although the novel is not autobiographical, she shares many things with its main character. Doria, like her creator, is the child of immigrants and lives in poor suburban housing projects.   Guène   wrote that she realized girls like herself weren't really represented in books, and felt that Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow was a way to tell the stories of people in the suburbs who are ignored by the elites of French literature. Plot: Life Sucks, Until It Doesn

Missing people around the holidays

This winter is highly unusual for many of us because of the pandemic. The holidays are often a trauma trigger in any case, beyond the simple stress of preparing the celebrations. For example, some people have bad memories of spending holidays with abusive people, while others have to deal with the grief of experiencing their first holiday without a deceased loved one.  This winter, so many people are spending their holidays sick or without those who have died from COVID-19. One of my friends used to make and boost threads about being kind to yourself around the holidays, geared towards those for whom the season is a grief/trauma anniversary. This year, my grandfather died. Later this year, that friend died. Every time I think of all the people who didn't survive 2020, I think of them and how fucking unfair that feels. In 2020, we weren't able to hold a funeral for my grandfather. The social rituals around death, designed to help us deal with it, have been disrupted. Distance is