Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I think the root of the problem is that the diary format just doesn’t work for this installment. In book one, it was interesting enough to follow Miranda’s personal journey via her written thoughts. She goes from a girl who has the whole world open to her to a girl trapped in a dark, cold room with only her starving family (and, yes, the family cat). However, this time around, Miranda’s character arc is so scant that it can’t sustain 256 pages of her whining.
The diary format also makes the creation of three-dimensional supporting characters difficult. I do recall caring about the fate of Miranda’s family in the first book, but here all we see through Miranda’s eyes is mom being an agoraphobic shrew, older brother Matt being a selfish jerk, and everyone else just kind of existing.
Unfortunately, the romance between Miranda and Alex (the “hero” of book 2) is dead in the water. These two have so little chemistry together, I cringed when they touched. And c’mon Miranda – I know you don’t have a lot of options for romance, but Alex is NOT boyfriend material. He wants to be monk. He’s super controlling and stubborn. And he’s obsessed with his sister. (Good at finding food though. I’ll give him that.)
And what’s up with everyone just moping around the entire novel until a tragic event (in the last 20 pages) forces them into action? Why couldn’t we have gotten more exploration of the “safe town” idea for instance?
My advice? Read LIFE AS WE KNEW IT and stop there (unless you are just totally in love with it and would read anything with the same characters, no matter what).
My rating: 1 Zombie Chicken - For Dystopian completists only.
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT (read my review)
THE DEAD AND THE GONE (skipped it!)
THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN (available in hardcover)
Find out more about the series at the official website.
See index of all Dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore