Hullo everyone! Welcome to my stop on The Ark’s tour!
The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: March 26th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
Book Links: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon || B&N
There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.
With her criminal record, sixteen-year-old Char is never going to get a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect Earth’s survivors. The Arks are reserved for the real goody-goodies, like Char’s mom, dad, and brother, all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.
With Earth on the brink of destruction, Char must use all her tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they want to see her or not.
Once she arrives on the North American Ark, Char discovers that the remnants of humanity haven’t achieved the egalitarian utopia they’d planned for. For starters, the “Officers of the Peace” are anything but peaceful, especially since stealing a spot on an Ark is a crime punishable by death…
REVIEW (More Like Rant) & THOUGHTS
Rating: 3.5 Stars!
I loved the whole premise of this book from the description alone and thankfully this book panned out as something worthwhile of my time.
However, I can only give this one a solid 3.5 stars.
Reason being: The weird-instalove TIMES TWO that took place in a book that REALLY DID NOT NEED IT.
It’s fine when the book is actually classified as a romance or something, but… this is a science fiction — YA yes, but still sci-fi — and that part of it was AWESOME. Yes, I’ll admit, some of the story reminded me of others (but that’s not always a bad thing when told in an interesting voice with interesting characters and — Oh yeah. Did I mention the world’s about to end? RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIIIIVES!)
What did it for me was our main character, Char. I actually liked Char quite a bit. I was genuinely surprised. Sometimes I have a real insta-NO reaction when I hear a book is being told from a female POV, and this was one such instance. (I know, it sounds horrible and I’m a bad person boo-hoo, but it’s the truth. I’ll always quote GRRM, who replied with this when asked how he was able to make all his female characters seem so different and genuine:
“You know… I always considered women to be people.” – George RR Martin
“I always considered women to be people.” Yeah. Well, that’s kinda what I’m talking about here.
Although it should SEEM to be common sense to simply WRITE FEMALE CHARACTERS LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE BECAUSE, I DUNNO, THEY ARE… writers have THE BIGGEST PROBLEM making like-able, authentic, female leads (or not-leads. Because even the female sidekicks often suck — and that’s such a… I mean, wtf, man! Really???).
Which brings me back to why I often shy away from books with female leads or lots of female characters.
I’m not big on teeny, high school reads, so I will almost NEVER read those unless there is something worthwhile in me reading it or I actually think it might be different from all the rest. I can’t stand the whiny shit that seems to go hand-in-hand with most female characters or the “I’M A BADASS, DON’T MESS WITH ME” vibe they give off if they’re NOT whiny bitches. I also can’t stand the chatty know-it-alls, either. Or the boy-crazy, girly-girls who do nothing else but look pretty, (though are often also INCREDIBLY SMART, because dumb blonds are SOOO overrated. Smart blonds are SO MUCH CUTER! 😀 😀 😀 …. UGhh, shoot me now. -_____-;;; )
Oh — and by the way — I hate these “supposed characteristics” in guys JUST AS MUCH as I hate them in the ladies. The only time either one of these scenarios work out is if… I dunno… it’s a SPOOF and that’s the POINT of the book. Otherwise, you expecting me to believe all of this crap is not gonna happen.
….and I totally got off track from Char, didn’t I?
Or did I?
No, I don’t think so. Because just like I went off on a random sidetracked exploration of existentialism and behaviorism, so does she. She’s not pretending that’s she’s the smartest cookie in the jar. She’s got problems — sadly it IS boy-related problems later in the book, but as I said, that is the one thing that irked me about her — but isn’t your usual teen if for no other reason than because she knows full well there are more IMPORTANT problems.
Like say… getting her ass on one of those ships ASAP.
Or finding her hairbrush.
I mean… the damn story opens with her looking around for her hairbrush, understanding fully well that the world is going to end and she REALLY shouldn’t care, but… but that hairbrush was one of the few things her mom tried to instill in her to use to keep her hair neat, and now she can’t find it, so it’s taking up her every waking moment because WHERE THE HELL IS THAT HAIRBRUSH?!
…y’see that? *That* I love. I love female characters just being… people. NORMAL PEOPLE. Not gong-ho slingers, or girly-girl, or whatever other stereotype you can think of. But just normal people who are sorta having a meltdown because the world is ending and they can’t find their hairbrush.
And it’s because this general theme of NORMALCY in the midst of total destruction and mayhem that keeps playing out with Char, that *I* kept reading and inevitably give this book 3.5 Stars.
She’s not perfect. She’s got her flaws. She gets caught up with all the wrong people and makes some bad choices (often not properly explained away by the author which might also be why this book gets the star rating I’m giving it…), but she’s also pretty REAL to me, and that’s what counts.
Were it not for that GOD-AWFUL INSTALOVE SORTA-TRIANGLE (because a simple, normal instalove just isn’t the YA way *eye roll*), this book would have gotten 4, perhaps even 4.5 Stars. Easy. That and the cliffhanger, because unless this book is going to turn out to be a series… that ending was NOT COOL, man. NOT COOL. 😦
The writing was done beautifully. Description and general happenings were all spot-on. I was engaged throughout the book, although my interest did wane a bit towards the mid-end half of the book. The other characters like Isiah, Eren, and Kip thoroughly entertained me for various reasons. And the whole escape plan was quite a bit of fun to read~
Still recommending this one. Especially to those who may not hate instalove as much as I most abhorrently do.
This book fits these 2015 Reading Challenges:
2015 GoodReads Reading Challenge
You Read How Many Books?
52 Books in 52 Weeks
Read A Million Pages
105 Reading Challenge (Categories: 1, 4, 10)
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Author To Me & Brand New “Series” hopefully)
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review. In no way does it affect my rating or review.
Laura grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent an excellent childhood playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. The Ark is the direct result of those stories and a lifelong devotion to space-themed television. It received a Work in Progress Grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Laura has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Texas with her family.
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