“She remembered the bird in the headlights, and she remembered waking up twenty-seven days later. But the more she tried to focus in on that thing that had happened between those events, the more it slid away from her, slippery as an eel.”
Birds all over North America are mysteriously throwing themselves in the paths of planes, causing crashes and widespread mayhem. No one knows why: some kind of bird plague? Terrorism? Weather abnormalities? No matter the cause, the results are scary: flights are grounded, people are hoarding supplies, and conspiracy theories flood the internet.
Does the government know more about the crashes than they will admit? When they crash in the Nevada desert in the middle of the night and wake up in a government facility nearly a month later, Reese and David realize there may be some truth to the conspiracy theories. Both received medical attention, but even the doctor won’t tell what kind of treatment, and they are forbidden from telling even their parents.
Back home in San Francisco, the mysteries continue: Reese is plagued by recurrent dreams, and David is having strange symptoms. The pair are also quite sure they are being followed, but by whom? Who could possibly be interested in the boring lives of two SF teenagers? In the midst of the confusion and anxiety, Reese must also sort out her feelings for a new friend, Amber. Sure, they like each other, but does Amber know more about the bird crisis than she will admit? Can she be trusted?
Meet Malinda Lo’s third book! Her first two, Ash and Huntress were companion fantasy novels, and were fantastic in themselves, but made even more so by Lo’s treatment of GLBT characters. In Adaptation, she does what she does best: placing a realistic cast of characters with diverse ethnic backgrounds and sexualities in the midst of a great story. Here’s a cheer for having a super-rare bisexual character in a YA story! (And here’s what Lo herself has to say about bisexuality and young adult literature.) Lo subtly educates her readers about queerness: coming out, what terms could be hurtful, how to support a questioning friend-absolutely fantastic information that is hard to come by in the real world. She gives us a rainbow of characters and then shows us how to treat them all with respect, all while avoiding preachiness. Bisexual teens, gay and lesbian teens, questioning teens, all plopped in a world where it is safe to be queer. I read her stories and am awash with gratitude. I am so grateful for her writing stories that make queerness a non-issue, and books that help questioning teens find their way. Seriously-it’s a desperately-needed public service, friends. *Dusts hands, climbs off soapbox*
Aside from the diversity-awesomeness, this is a captivating thriller, full of plot twists and secrets and speculation. She’s already working on the sequel, due this fall. I can’t wait!
Author’s website: http://www.malindalo.com
Lo, Malinda. Adaptation. Little, Brown: New York, 2012. 386 pp. Ages 15 and up.
This is the part when I tell you what books you might like to read if you liked this one! But friends, I’ve got to tell you-I’ve been hunting for at least an hour and you know what? There aren’t too many! Here are some that feature GLBTQ characters and fall into the speculative fiction (sci-fi and fantasy) category.
Cycler-A fantasy about a character who switches gender, featuring a bisexual boyfriend!
Vintage-a gay ghost story
Sister Mischief-an all-girl hip hop band featuring a bisexual character! You’ll love this one!
The Water Wars-no queer content,, but plenty of excitement and conspiracy.