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Adaptation Hardcover – September 18, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Adaptation Series

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Hardcover, September 18, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Following their loss in the national debate championship, Reese Holloway and David Li are in the Phoenix airport awaiting their flight home to San Francisco when all flights across the U.S. are canceled due to a series of plane crashes caused by flocks of birds. While they are trying to drive home, their coach, Mr. Chapman, is shot and killed and the teens flee, only to crash in the middle of the Nevada desert. They awake nearly a month later and find themselves in a secret facility. Reese and David are told that they have received experimental medical treatments and that they must sign confidentiality agreements before they can return to their families. Reese discovers that she heals incredibly quickly and that she has strange dreams and sensory experiences. Given the location of their crash, their friend from back home wonders if the two may have been treated at Area 51. Before Reese can process any of this, she meets and finds herself falling in love with Amber Gray. This lesbian relationship seems to come out of the blue for both Reese and readers, but Amber's significance is later revealed. Lo pens a near future science-fiction thriller with a romance component. Although readers may find some plot points predictable, the alien-conspiracy theory element and the fast pacing ought to draw in many readers.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The birds seem driven to attack all over the continent. Communication shut-down. Martial law is declared. And high-school debate partners Reese and David see their tournament chaperon killed as they try to get back home to San Francisco. Reese has little memory of the subsequent car accident or of recovering in a strange hospital in the Nevada desert that makes her sign a nondisclosure agreement before her release. Within days, the stitches covering her body disappear, and Reese is left with fleeting recollections of a womblike cell and powerful sensations she has never before experienced. When she meets vivacious and beautiful Amber, her world spins even faster. What does it mean that she is attracted to a girl but still yearning for David? Soon Reese and David find themselves caught in a web of conspiracies that shatter her world but would do the X-Files proud. The pace of this sci-fi thriller picks up even further as secrets of universal proportions are revealed just before a cliff-hanger ending. Sequel? Affirmative. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316197963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316197960
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Despite not being a huge sci-fi fan, I couldn't help having really high expectations for Adaptation. I am a HUGE fan of Malinda Lo's work. Her writing in Ash and Huntress is absolutely flawless and lush, her handling of all manner of love stories is so beautiful done, her intricate story-telling completely blows me away. So, yes---high expectations for Adaptation.

Well, I wouldn't say that I was disappointed. I did really enjoy Adaptation. I just didn't completely fall in love with it. The story was mind-boggling, intense, and extremely fast-paced through most of the book. While government conspiracy and men-in-black are usually two things that leave me bored, this was so well written that even these subjects kept me glued to the page.

Reese was really likeable and fun character to read. She was smart and head-strong, but still unsure in some aspects of her life. She's terrified of relationships because of her parents' divorce, so after a few years of warring with herself over feelings for her debate partner, David, she is knocked sideways (quite literally at first!) by her sudden intense feelings for Amber. Their relationship was a whirlwind to read. Very intriguing to see Reese grapple with this first experience and try to figure out what is happening inside her from the treatment she received in the military hospital. Amber is open and uninhibited and fun and Reese just kind of gets swept up. Still, the main theme of the story, being the mystery and conspiracy of what was happening with the birds and the military secrets kind of got thrown by the wayside while Reese went through all this. It almost started to feel like two different stories, a bit disjointed. We do get back to it, though and the secrets and lies and excitement start again.
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Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book! I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but this is more of a contemporary science fiction YA novel. I really liked that it explored a love triangle with a protaganist exploring her own bisexuality in a non-politicized way. I though this novel was well paced and I enjoyed Reese's (the main character) strong personality - I hate non-capable protaganists and Reese is definitely not that.
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Format: Paperback
The story was alright, but I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed. At almost 400 pages, the plot really dragged and while there was plenty of romance, there just weren’t enough sci-fi elements to keep me very entertained. If it wasn’t such a quick read, I probably wouldn’t have finished it.

The first part of the book is heavy with sci-fi and hints of government conspiracy. I was excited to see what would happen, until 50 pages in we are told that Reese was in a medically induced coma for what would have been the most interesting stuff. Like the book jacket describes, Reese and David are then returned home without being told anything and not knowing what exactly happened to them. After that the book just moves so slowly, broken up only by Reese’s newly discovered sexuality and infatuation with new-girl Amber and the occasional “weird” thing happening to her and David. It’s only toward the very end of the book that we get a little more action and some answered questions about what really happened to Reese and David in that military hospital.

Tbh, I think it was the concentration on the romance that bogged down the book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing a bisexual romance in a YA series and since Reese’s sexuality is newly discovered, I think we not only got a pretty accurate representation of the confusion this can cause in a person but also the excitement of a new, unexpected whirlwind romance. I just think the sci-fi elements got pushed to the back burner and so the plot suffered for it. At times, it didn’t even feel like I was reading the same story that was started at the beginning of the book.

I wanted to read this because I love The X-Files and I knew there were going to be LGBT romance. But I got more romance and less aliens so yeah, I was disappointed. If I get a chance, I’ll try reading the sequel in the hopes of more sci-fi.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reese Holloway and David Li are on their way home from a debate competition when things start to go really wrong. Like, they wake up in a military hospital a month later wrong. When they wake up, they aren't the same as they were. For one thing, they can read minds.

I never quite got into Malinda Lo's first two books, even though I'd been especially excited by ASH, since I love fairytale retellings. I found her style a bit stiff and cold. They were good enough, but nothing I was over the moon about. ADAPTATION, on the other hand, sucked me in and forced me to go to the library and borrow a copy of INHERITANCE so that I could read it immediately.

ADAPTATION is a science fiction novel with some thriller and romance elements. Like many other science fiction novels, it is preoccupied with what makes us human. Unlike many science fiction novels, Reese is also questioning her identity because she falls for a girl. (Although Reese dates both David and Amber in the book, there is no cheating. One relationship clearly ends before another begins.) It's a lovely mishmash between the philosophy of reality and of the imagination. But it's not ponderous - there's lots of crazy, creepy stuff happening, including stalking by men in black.

A highlight for me, in both books, were Reese and David's family and friends. Something strange has happened to them, but they have a loving, fierce support group backing them up. Reese's mom might be one of my favorite parents in YA fiction. Lo does a great job of showing that competent adults don't have to ruin the plot of a teen-oriented book.

If you're into science fiction, I highly recommend ADAPTATION and INHERITANCE. I would say more about specific sci-fi elements that might entice you, but I'm afraid to give anything away. Lo doesn't employ the most shocking twists, but it's still a fun journey. (Side note: I thoroughly enjoyed how the love triangle resolved in INHERITANCE.)
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