Series: Lifelike #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 29, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, dystopian
Format: Print ARC, Paperback
Source: Print ARC, Conference
On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.
Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.
But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.
Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.
When my coworkers got back from TxLA (the library conference for Texas), they brought back tons of YA ARCs and told me to choose from them. I saw Jay Kristoff in the bunch and immediately snatched it up. I really liked Kristoff’s Nevernight series so I was excited to see what he’d do with this one. Unfortunately it wasn’t my favorite. Onto my review!
The things I liked about this book were primarily stylistic. I enjoyed the way that he used different text for Cricket, for instance. I liked how he did flashbacks/dream-like sequences and inner dialogue in italics. I also really liked the way he organized the text in a part towards the end (no spoilers from me).
One other thing I did like about this book was the biblical overtones and the family reference to the Romanov family. I didn’t catch the Romanov reference until the end but it made a lot more sense. There’s a lot of good stuff with those overtones in this book that I enjoyed getting to pick apart as I read.
Some things that annoyed me: the way that the world changed and the fact that they called California Kalyfornia or something along those lines. I can’t find the exact example of it. I also hated that Lemon Fresh (terrible name, hated it the whole time) called Eve “Riotgrrl”. Some of those spelling and name changes and such annoyed me to no end.
The world was interesting enough and I got into the different android and robot stuff, but some of those details just irritated me. I liked the lifelikes and was definitely interested in their origin story and all that. I’m mildly interested to see what’s going to go down with this world later, but I really don’t care about these characters very much. I liked Ezekiel, but that’s about it.
Ultimately my issue with this book comes from the very end. I won’t spoil things but I hated the ending. It was too much of a flip and didn’t feel real. I felt immediately pulled out of the book and couldn’t understand why he chose to do what he did with that ending.