Illuminae - YA Review by Eli S-M

Reader: Eli S-M
Age: 16
Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pub Date: 01/20/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I would recommend reading this book, if only to experience the strange format. The story is told in a series of memos, interview transcripts, emails, and security feed summaries. This gives the book several unique advantages- namely, its retention of suspense- you actually believe the characters might die- the interest created by the novel format (pun), and the unique ability to hold back detail that results in a twist at the story's end. However, the format also has the disadvantage of removing the reader from the action and the emotions of the characters.
Memorable or Forgettable: The most memorable quality of this book was its format and unique story line. The strange format, of course, made it instantly memorable, but the fact that the novel's plot charted a relatively new course made it memorable as well. Perhaps it was just the lens applied by the format, but I felt as though the story line was very unique, took twists I hadn't seen before, and didn't rely on too many tropes.
Cover: The cover did tempt me to pick the book up, but the giant explosion didn't reflect anything at all particularly well. The redacted document cutaways did hint at the novel's format.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q - Better than most
Popularity: 4P - Broad general teen appeal

tags:  science fiction / dystopian / suspense / ya lit

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