Kara was just kidnapped from her family and home planet and taken aboard a spaceship where she’s forced into a new life based on alien DNA and family lineage from a planet far away from her own. When she is put through tests, Kara is pushed to her limits and realizes that she is much more than ordinary, even if she can’t see it at first. Kara’s next door neighbor and long-time crush is also kidnapped. When he starts to develop feelings that reciprocate Kara’s, will she pursue a relationship, or will other forces keep them apart? And what of this new alien boy who is bemused by her? What will happen on the long journey to her new home?
Selected: A Young Adult Sci-Fi Adventure (The Zaratan Trilogy Book 1) by Evelyn Lederman
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Romance
Release Date: May 2016
On My Shelf: No
I requested this book mostly because of the cover, but also because I liked the description. Regardless of my thoughts/rating of this story, I still think that cover is absolutely gorgeous. Simply Stunning.
But, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
This book says it’s a young adult adventure, but I would actually place it more under middle-grade. The character is 14 – just verging on YA, so I think it would be better marketed toward younger readers. Because I felt that I fell so far outside of this demographic, I feel I didn’t enjoy this book as much.
The writing style is very simplistic and altogether incredibly passive. I did not feel much intensity in the pages and never found myself gripping my seat to find out what would happen next. Even when big events were occurring, they felt lackluster. I also felt that some of the writing was weirdly specific but the storytelling as a whole was kind of vague. (
I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.) The writing is the main reason I think this book would be better marketed as a middle-grade novel. This is great writing for kids who are past children’s books but are not yet into young adult.
I felt the same way about the characters. They were acceptably developed and each one had a unique personality making it easy to tell them apart, yet I still felt that they needed so much more. I was a bit annoyed that our protagonist spends about 1/3 – 1/2 of this book unconscious or recovering from one ailment after the next. She never really had the chance to grow because she was always sick with one thing or another. Also, unrelated to development but related to character, she is way too submissive. Aliens literally just kidnapped her and she’s completely cool with it? Nahhh. I don’t believe that. I needed more from her.
This book needed more emotion all around in general.
What else I didn’t like, especially concerning the protag, was all the subtle sexist undertones. And, I really did not like that Kara constantly needed saving. I mean, I get being a weak character and specifically writing a character as weak, but Kara was consistently described as an incredibly strong leader, yet she always needed to be saved and couldn’t seem to do much for herself. It’s like Lederman wanted Kara to be a super strong female but also mainly wanted her to be a submissive future housewife. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting a domestic life and having those goals, but it was incredibly contradictory in the way Kara’s character, development, and thoughts were written. It was all very strange. I think more character development would have helped.
I don’t really want to talk about it, because I was magnificently uninspired by it, so I’ll just say that the love triangle was very blegh.Matt is trash, and it’s really unsettling that Jim is so much older than Kara and has such a weird obsession with her. It’s honestly verging on creepy. But, whatever, I have about 2 whole feelings about this, and I don’t care who “wins.” Although, it felt very Romeo and Juliet, so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Matt will eventually win this grand pissing contest the two boys are having.
Overall, this book was just very okay for me. However, I feel as if I were still 14 that I would have rated this higher at 3 or 4 stars. Target audience is everything in this case. Even so, there was something strangely addicting about this plot that might cause me to pick up the second book. The jury is still out, but we’ll see.
Book Depository – $11.97
*I was provided with a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. That did not sway my thoughts; all opinions are and remain my own.*
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