Adaptation by Malinda Lo

adaptationAdaptation by Malinda Lo
 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
400 pages
 Science Fiction/Contemporary 
Romance, F-F, Aliens
How I obtained the book
Library; hardcover

Rating: ✭✭✭

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.


There are spoilers that don’t really spoil much ahead.

Adaptation has to be one of the oddest books I’ve ever read, next to Andrew Smith‘s The Marbury Lens and its sequel Passengerwhich takes the cake for the weirdest, craziest books ever.

Let’s count the reasons why this book is freaking insane:

Actually, it looks like there’s only one. My bad. The reason is still valid as aliens = crazy in around 90% of the books I’ve read featuring them. Ultraviolet was crazy as well though not as crazy as this one. 172 Hours on the Moon was crazy as well.

And by crazy I mean like Doctor Who crazy.

The book started off a bit different but still fairly normal. In fact, you’d never suspect that the beginning of the book and the end of the book were the same thing – if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn’t. The middle of the book is 100% romance based with paranormal aspects.

But the end! That’s freaking wacko. It’s like Doctor Who and Homestuck combined. I suppose that combination won’t make any sense without any background of the two but take my word on it – that’s so not a good combination.

Our main character, Reese, is a refreshing one after the last two books I had read (Mystic City and The Forsaken) which both had horrible main characters. Reese was a good character throughout the book but the beginning was her best time really.

Strong, intelligent, not reliant on a boy. These are the three most amazing things about Reese. She knew what she was doing and wasn’t about to let a boy push her around or do everything for her. Reese was original in not just her personality but another thing.

Reese is bi.

And there’s a love triangle (which normally isn’t a good thing but I’ll tell you why I don’t care later) with a girl and a boy.


Do you know how many bi characters I’ve encountered in YA? None. In any book I’ve read. Yep, none. And here we have an awesome bi character. In a book with an awesome (if weird) plot. FUCK YES. COULD THIS GET ANY BETTER?

The answer: yes, it most definitely can.

The female part of the love triangle is Amber Gray who is probably one of the awesomest people you can encounter in books. She’s so… ASDFGHJKL; I love her. I love her so much it’s crazy.

What I like about Reese and Amber’s relationship is that it starts off being purely physical. Reese is attracted to Amber and vica-versa. There is no love and neither tell the other they love her. Because they don’t. The relationship is never portrayed as something more until much later.

I think this sort of relationship, a purely physical relationship, is common in YA lit. What makes this book different than the rest is that the others make the relationship out to be a love based one when it’s clearly not the case.

Now onto why I personally think that this “love triangle” is not a love triangle. The books starts off with David and Reese. They aren’t together but it is stated that Reese does have a crush on him. It’s not overly done and there are very few directly romantic thoughts towards David which I loved.

Say you’re in a life or death situation, what are the chances that you would be thinking about the way someone’s hair flows or their beautiful eyes? Very little. You’d probably be focussed on staying alive. That was Reese’s mindset in the beginning.

Now, after the first 75 – 100 pages, David goes away. He’s not in the plot or even mentioned till the very end. Instead, they’re focussing on Amber and Reese’s relationship. It’s almost as if there is no other love interest.

There you have it. My opinion on why this isn’t a love triangle. David is only part of this supposed love triangle because it states in the book and summary that Reese has a crush on him and that’s really all it is. There’s nothing else.

David wasn’t a bad character I guess but he has so little actual screen time (so to speak) that I can’t really say anything other than I didn’t hate him or like him. It’s not even a bland feeling. It’s a nonexistent feeling.

Plot and Writing
The plot was crazy. It starts off as birds crashing into random shit like they’re missiles and ends up being some crazy thing that I can’t really explain because of spoilers. It’s so weird and nonsensical. As you can tell, the only words I can use to describe the plot are weird, insane, and crazy.

Because it is!

The whole government conspiracy; bird crashing into stuff plot has been used so many times but I haven’t read one of those in YA lit so I guess this is original if you only count YA. It’s not a bad plot just… different yet the same.


*ten minutes later*

I was looking for an awesome Hank Green gif I saw that would express what I’m trying to say but I can’t find it so that was a waste of ten minutes… yeah… let’s just move on.

I don’t think it was anything special. It was good I suppose but nothing else. The pacing was great though – tense when it called for it but slower when it didn’t. The book never dragged on. The world building wasn’t that necessary in the book. I always feel that contemporaries don’t really need much worldbuilding.

Liked and Disliked
– Characters
– Plot

– Umm… it was pretty weird at times.

In conclusion
I really love this book, even though my rating may not look it. The book was great but for some reason I don’t think it deserves a full 5 stars or even four stars. I definitely recommend it.


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