Authors: Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
Rating: 5 Stars
Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin. -Goodreads
The story told in "Wasteland" is the story of a people. A people divided by lies and mistrust. A people used and abused by a tyrannical leader with a hidden agenda. A people destined for more.
Esther is just a girl. She only wants to live what is left of her life with her sister Sarah and and her best friend Scar.
It doesn't matter that her best friend is a Variant.
Until it has to.
At first glance, it's so easy to assume that this is going to be just another "super girl saves the day" story, your assumption would be terribly wrong.
While it is true that the first 15% or so of this read does concern itself with what Esther is, isn't, does, and doesn't do; there is an important story element being built around escalating violence against the town of Prin by the Variants.
"Wasteland" is a story which builds upon stories. Stories of families. Stories of long held beliefs and prejudices. Stories of greed left unchecked, and an all consuming thirst for vengeance at all cost.
This is not a story full of "in your face" plot twists waiting with a sign and flashing lights at every turn. This is a will balanced dystopian, which makes the reader think about he or she is reading. This book is a must read for fans of a dystopia based not on games of chance, where there may or may not be one winner. This is a book based on the fight for life, and the winning is for all strong and cunning enough to survive.