Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing me with an electronic advanced copy (e-ARC) to provide a fair and honest review.
I’m about 75% through Strange Exit, and I am not loving it. I’m going to finish it because I don’t absolutely hate it, and I want to push through it to provide the best review possible. I will say it’s an interesting idea; essentially earth has been destroyed, and there are a ship of humans who had to take it to survive. However, they had to be put in homeostasis which seemed to involve this virtual reality system to help them cope with the trip. It seems like they only took kids, for whatever reason, and, honestly, I don’t quite understand why we had this setup. I guess it’s something to do with re-population and an innate “right” to be saved over adults who’ve had a chance to live their life. Unfortunately, it just feels like a convenient way to write a YA novel.
On that note, I don’t love the writing of this book. It reads very YA but not just in style of substance as well. I don’t mind a YA perspective, but I want depth in my story and characterization. I am mildly interested in what is going on , but to me it just all seems bland. Obviously, I wish I was more excited by the book. Something seems to be going on with the ship, and they have to wake up all of the people in the virtual reality to avoid a major catastrophe. The novel, it seems, revolves around this task, so naturally it’s not an easy task to wake them up. I’m not entirely sure how it all fits together because it seems very convoluted, and what I do understand feels like plot convenience.
I understand the nature of writing is creating, but I a good story should sell the idea and plot naturally (particularly the plot given a specific idea). I feel bad because I am very happy to have been granted this arc. However, it just isn’t a book for me. I think YA readers are probably more likely to enjoy it.
I finished the book, and while I enjoyed the ending, overall my opinion isn’t very high. I’ll admit I don’t read that much YA, but it’s a genre that personally I’ve been trying to explore more to figure out what type of way works for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters, and the most exciting thing about the plot was the idea. Of course, an idea doesn’t write a book. There were some things that seemed convenient for the sake of the plot, the sake of action, and for the sake of emotion. Obviously these are all necessary to develop a new story. However, it just didn’t work for me.
By the end, the plot drove everything. It wasn’t a special accomplishment of the characters. The ending was near, so the characters arbitrarily make progress where they couldn’t before. I will probably read another book by Parker Peevyhouse, specifically because I know one Books and Lala gave a decent rating to one of them. I recognize her name for a reason, so I don’t want to give up on Peevyhouse just yet. It may just be at this novel isn’t that great, or maybe she isn’t right for me. Thanks to the publisher Internet galley forgive me that we reviewed this book. 2.5/5 stars
Rating Break Down
Writing Style (7%): 5/10
Plot (15%): 5/10
Characters (15%): 4/10
Ending (1%): 7/10
Engagement (5%): 5/10
Enjoyment (25%): 4/10
Comprehension (20%): 8/10
Pacing (2%): 7/10
Desire to Reread (5%): 0/10
Special (5%): 0/10
Final Rating: 2.38/5
Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance.