Book Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Posted January 2, 2015 by Stormy in Books / 2 Comments


by Malinda Lo


Original Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Length: 386 pages
Obtained Via: NetGalley Read Now Book
Publisher: Little, Brown

#1 in Adaptation
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the story morning glory

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.



Adaptation was. . . strange. From the beginning I felt a strange disconnect with this book. That was partially my fault, as I didn’t realize beforehand Adaptation was science fiction(should have read the summary better) and thought it was actually fantasy. It was a bit of a jolt, then, to realize what kind of book it was. While I did start settling into the story after that, there was also something off about the pacing of Adaptation the whole way through. The book started off FAST, and not in a fun, action-y way but in a manner that made me lose my bearings more than once.

I found myself enjoying this book much better once the accident mentioned in the summary happened. Whereas the events that occurred pre-accident seemed a bizarre way to start a story, the plot began to take a much more interesting turn afterward. The weirdness never let up, but at least then it was a weirdness that made sense in-story.

For the most part, I enjoyed a good chunk of the middle section of this book. I empathized with Reese as she struggled to this life-changing event and as she realized there were some pretty terrifying things going on. I was just as curious as the characters to figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD was going on because some of it was downright strange.

That being said, aside from the interesting mystery/science fiction plot, I didn’t have strong feelings towards the book. I didn’t find any of the characters particularly fleshed out other than Amber, who becomes a love interest and has more depth. Even though Reese was the main character, it was still hard to get a hold of her personality and character. So while I enjoyed Adaptation for the most part, it probably won’t stick in my mind very long.


Adaptation was a strange, fun science fiction book. I liked reading the story, but the characters didn’t have much depth and nothing was particularly memorable. Reading this book was a satisfying way to spend an afternoon, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again. 3/5 cupcakes.




3 Stars

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2 responses to “Book Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

  1. Haha yes, Adaptation was strange and a lot different of what I thought it would be, but I really enjoyed it and I think the second book (and its ending) is even better 😛

    • Stormy

      I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was definitely not this! I actually think I got some of Malinda Lo’s books mixed up in my mind because before I started I was thinking Adaptation was fantasy. . . when it’s so clearly not. I definitely want to read the sequel, though!

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