Saturday, June 16, 2012

Seventeen-year-old Joss is a rebel, and a student of time travel at the prestigious Centre for Neo-Historical Studies. This year, for the first time, the Centre has an alien student: Mavkel, from the planet Choria. And Mavkel has chosen Joss, of all people, as his roommate and study partner. Then Mavkel gets sick. Joss quickly realizes that his will to live is draining away. The only way she can help Mavkel is by breaking the Centre's strictest rules - and that means going back in time to change history.

This book was amazing - it was truly like nothing else I have ever read. I'm so used to reading the typical YA novel (which involves a pretty heroine falling for a hot vampire/werewolf/ghost/etc, and together they go off on an adventurous journey to save the world/uncover a conspiracy/overthrow a corrupt leader/etc) that this was such a nice refreshment.

I think what I loved most was that this book was not about romance or damsels in distress, it was about true friendship. The heroine, Joss, was so kick-ass. She played the harmonica with a blues band, she was a bit of a troublemaker, and she had plain ol' common sense. She also had no problem or prejudice with partnering with the alien Mavkel, whom she nicknamed Mav.

Mav, on the other hand, was something else. I thought he was a sweetheart - he really grew to care a lot about Joss, and it was cute seeing him try to understand humans. Still, I have to admit that he did get a bit annoying at times, but that was only because he kept trying to force his habits on Joss, who was unaccustomed to them. His race, the Chorians, are used to communicating telepathically, and each Chorian is paired with a partner whom they're linked with telepathically 24/7. The sad thing about Mav is that his pair died, so he didn't have a mental link with anyone else - something unheard of on his planet. When Mav was partnered with Joss, he kept trying to form a mental link with her without even telling her, so she kept getting headaches without knowing why. He meant well, but he could have tried actually talking to Joss. Nonetheless, you can see their friendship strengthen over the course of the book - especially when Joss decides to jump back in time in an effort to save Mav when his life is threatened.

Another awesome thing about this book was the lingo. The book took place further in the future, and so the slang was a bit different, which made it fun to try and figure out what everything meant (the most used word was 'screte,' which I figured was the equivalent to saying 'shit'). If you are a fan of the book Feed by MT Anderson, you'll probably love this book - different message, but the same atmosphere. Likewise, if you enjoy this, you'll love Feed. I'm really hoping that Ms. Goodman decides to write a sequel - she had written a short story that takes place after this book, but that just left more questions about the background turmoil between comps (people created from many donors with genes manipulated for superiority) and natural born humans. All I can say is: more please!

Recommended for fans of Feed by MT Anderson

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