My rating: (4 / 5)
Interesting YA take on aliens and dystopia.
The first chapter of the book seems oddly disconnected from the rest of the book. (Spoiler alert!) The author attempts to use the unreliable narrator technique and it falls flat, because it isn’t that the narrator is unreliable, it’s that she’s outright lying to the reader and herself, is misrepresenting things in such a way that later it seems completely unconnected to her character. It’s almost as though a different author wrote the first chapter (badly) and a more talented writer who understood the characters better took over from there.
After this initial speedbump, the book is a cute, fun read about a young alien girl and her family, struggling to survive after leaving the Earth of today for another dimension, where the government has been overthrown by big business, and a public kept in perpetual stupor works endless days for the reward of being put down at age 65. Oh yes, I yelled “Soylent Green is People!” the first time I saw the vacation 65 bus, I’ll admit it. Anyone who is a fan of classic sci-fi will find familiar themes here, stolen from Brave New World, Farenheit 451, 1984 and other classics, reinterpreted for kids in an approachable format with likable characters.