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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Twins on Thursday: Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: Strangelets
Author: Michelle Gagnon
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Publishing House: Soho Teen
ISBN: 9781616951375
Source of Copy: Requested from the publisher via NetGalley


17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer...

17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland...

17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt...

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital - only to discover that they're not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they're to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light Sophie, Declan, Anat, and the rest must decide what to do with a second chance at life - if they can survive to claim it.

(Image, summary, and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Gagnon's characters lacked personality and could not elicit much emotion from us aside from indifference and maybe a little annoyance. The story is told in the alternating points of views of Sophie, Declan and Anat. Sophie was sick but after dropping into an alternate dimension, she finds herself miraculously cured, she's a little fragile and scared, a totally nondescript character. Declan is in a word, a thief. He stole something, got chased down by some goons and as he was supposed to get shot, he gets sucked into a black hole and ends up in this alternate dimension. He's supposed to be this witty, charismatic guy but we just couldn't see it. He was actually quite boring. Anat is this surly girl who was supposed to meet her beloved this one fateful night but after an incident that traps her inside a tunnel, she gets sucked into yes, an alternate universe. Anat is cold, harsh and angry most of the time and it's a wonder that she wasn't eaten by the alien monsters first. 

Strangelets is a dystopian/sci-fi/paranormal/time-travel hybrid, and it didn't work for us. We didn't feel any compulsion to be pulled into the story line, and we had no idea which way the story was going. Descriptions were made, but were hardly convincing enough to engage us. The monsters, in all their alligator-insect hybrid, didn't even excite us! (And you know us - we love our monsters.) Despite the short time Sophie, Declan and the rest were together, they still found the time to quickly harbor crushes on each other. Forgive us, but it's a tad bit annoying to know that even in strange and harsh circumstances they were subject to, hormones were still apparently very much functioning normally. Strangelets also plays with the possibility of alternate universes - something that is yet another fascinating thing for us - its premise just felt flat and obscure. 

While having an interesting blurb, the novel just failed to deliver. Uninteresting and ho-hum characters, bizarre - and in a not in a good way, at that - story progression just won't do it for us.


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