Mouse

A Book and a Hug

Content

Adaptation

Reviewed by Katy Manck on January 23, 2013.

Book Information

Title
Adaptation
Book Publisher
Little Brown Books, 2012
Fiction/Non-Fiction

All flights cancelled due to multiple plane crashes with birds? After her dismal performance at the national tournament, now her debate partner David will be stuck with Reese even longer, as they drive from Phoenix to San Francisco – and it all goes crazy.

Speeding across the Nevada desert near Area 51, their rental car flips when a bird flies into it, and the teens wake up 27 days later in a secret military hospital. Confidentiality statements signed, they’re taken home to their very anxious parents, and Reese’s dreams (or nightmares) begin.

She sees doctors from the secret hospital in town – or does she? David doesn’t call her anymore – did he ever realize that Reese had a crush on him? These dreams of dripping yellow, of a red here, a red there – after-effects of the concussion?

Meeting Amber was a welcome change, with her punky pink hair and her see-it-all attitude for the city she’s visiting while she apartment-sits for her uncle. Reese is a bit mystified that Amber is attracted to such an average person as herself, but relishes the attention and affection.

Her best friend Julian helps Reese paint her bedroom to match the glossy reds and yellows of her dream-nightmare-dream, asks her more about Amber than she really knows, and answers the call for help when David finally contacts her to discuss his dreams, the same dreams, the same doctors seen where they shouldn’t be.

How could her scars heal so quickly? Is Amber more than she seems? Has their relationship gone too far, too fast? Why are those doctors following Reese and David?

The city is different without bird song, without any birds anywhere…

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com

********

Mass chaos breaks out after a series of bird related plane crashes kills passengers all over North America. Away at a debate competition, Reese and David rent a car with their coach in order to get home since they can no longer fly.

However, after something goes terribly wrong and their car crashes, Reese wakes up 27 days later in a classified medical facility. Unaware of what type of treatment she has received and unable to talk about it because of a nondisclosure agreement she is forced to sign, Reese is skeptical about returning to her normal life. While people all around her are concerned the unsolved plane crashes are part of a government cover-up at Area 51, Reese is trying to cope with her feelings for David her debate partner, and a new girl Reese meets and feels a strange attraction to. Are the conspiracies true? What happened to Reese and David at the classified facility? Why have her scars healed so fast? Is Reese being watched and followed or is it all in her head? This sci-fi thriller with a romantic twist will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Recommended by:  Carrie Shaurette, New York City Librarian, USA

***********
Compelling, clever, twisted, and tense, Adaptation will have you looking under your bed and in closets, hurrying down dark streets and worrying that the guy in a dark suit might be following you.

Reese and David are at Phoenix Airport waiting on a flight home to San Francisco. They were just in a debate tournament and are looking forward to getting home. Reese knows she blew their chances at the win and worries that David is blaming her. She watches as birds begin falling from the sky onto the tarmac outside. Something’s wrong, Reese feels it. Then news stations start reporting plane crashes all over the country. Birds are downing aircraft. The president cancels all air traffic and Reese, David and their teacher are trapped—along with everyone else flying that day.

Suddenly there’s no cell phone reception either. The kids convince Mr. Chapman to rent a car and drive back home. When they stop for gas, Mr. Chapman is carjacked and shot.  David starts the car and he and Reese race away from the crime scene as the gas station blows up. As the kids race through the desert, they are in a car  accident.

When Reese wakes up, she doesn’t realize she’s been in a coma for twenty-seven days. Where is Reese and why are the doctors keeping everything so hush-hush? David seems 
okay, too, but they both feel “different” somehow. After signing a non-disclosure agreement from the government, the kids agree to keep their treatment and the facility a secret and they are escorted home.

While they were in comas, the country has been put on lock-down. In many cities, rioting has occurred and the feds have enforced curfews and taken back the streets. Reese’s friend Julian has been working with a “conspiracy theory” Internet guru, and finds out about a government plot to keep the bird problem a secret. The government is hiding a lot more that a few thousand dead birds and Reese and David are right in the middle of the government’s secret program. A girl named Amber befriends Reese and soon they become much more than friends, but what is Amber’s secret? She says she’s trying to help Reese, but is she? (She immediately became suspect for me).

Reese and David notice that they’re not themselves. Their wounds heal in minutes and they are starting to understand each other’s thoughts. When Julian starts digging into Area 51 and uncovering government secrets, he unleashes a storm of publicity. Just what is going on in the Nevada desert? What happened to Reese and David?

The government conspiracy was easy to believe and even the fact that aliens had visited Earth was conceivable, but I felt the relationship between Amber and Reese was unbelievable; suddenly a girl wakes up from a coma, is greeted by government agents, is lied to, is forced to sign an agreement that places her in grave danger, and she turns around and trusts a complete stranger  immediately with her secrets and her love? When Reese’s mother catches the two girls kissing, she has no reaction. Also, Reese’s mother is a lawyer with friends in high places, yet she accepts the fact that the government has had held her daughter for 27 days and returns her, yet she still  has no reaction, legal or otherwise. It seemed almost as if Reese’s mother was involved in the conspiracy.

Recommended grade 8-up. Girl on girl kissing. Reese questions whether or not she is gay, but realizes she likes David, too. She has a discussion with Julian about whether she might be bisexual. The Amber/Reese relationship does not go any place and it’s over before it begins. Since there are gay characters in most prime time network television shows, students will likely look past her brief “like” with Amber.  No language. Some violence.

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA

 
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