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The Social Potato Reviews

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Strangelets - Michelle Gagnon If you follow my earlier reviews, then you should know by now that I am a big fan of mystery and thrillers. There is just something about these fast-paced stories that keeps me awake in the wee hours of the mornight; there's just something about the sense of urgency that's common in the genre that keeps me riled and pumped up with excitement. When I saw Strangelets' synopsis, I didn't really absorb all that text. I only saw, in big, bold, capital letters the words MYSTERY and THRILLER. You can pretty much say it was like being blinded by a dazzling ray of light, and the next thing I knew, there was this craving and longing inside me whispering I must have it I must have it I must have it I must have it...

So I did have it. And I've read it. To the very last page; to the very last word. And all in all, all I can say is this: holy smokes sweet mother of jesus so frigging awesome I LOVE IT TO THE MOON AND BACK!!!

There were so much to love and adore in this book. It definitely did not disappoint,. Yes, it is a thriller and a mystery, but it also touches upon paranormal and science fiction elements, too, which makes it a hundred times more fantastic, as it successfully interweaved all these factors together to make one KABOOM-POW story. No kidding, the whole thing felt a roller coaster ride from beginning to end, and didn't fail to keep me at the edge of my seat.

Here are the following that garnered this book a satisfying four stars:

* The mystery aspect of it was pitch-perfect, and together with the fast pace of the story and the strong sense of urgency, it resulted to a highly fulfilling read. The book begins with three seventeen year old teenagers (Sophie, Anat and Declan) who find themselves lumped together in an uncanny-looking facility, with three other kids from all over the world. Unfortunately, it would seem they're the only humans around, and what waits them outside is their dying world - the remnants of the planet they used to call home. What happened? This was their country, their motherland, but why does it look so different now? Where are the other people? Are they the only people around now? Why only them?

These are only some of the questions you'll find yourself asking, and as you go on, you'll find your answers and get even more confusing questions as a result of those answers. All I can say is the premise of this book was such a breathe of fresh air. It plot and the mystery that surrounded it was definitely creepy and strange, that you certainly know something is off about it. What makes it such a fun read is how we are given the information about the world slowly but surely, resulting to an effective building up that would make the reader hungry and craving for more. Kudos to the author for making this happen!

* I love the quantum physics involved. I mean, there weren't a lot, but it was so fun to read them, and the possibilites it offered. The multiple universes were definitely a nice touch. You can say this is my favorite part of the book. I've always been fascinated by quantum physics. I even think it's the most important science out there because of its explanations and its potential to explain the wonders of the universe to us, so it made me one happy reader to see it influencing the storyline here. Multiple universes. Time travel. So many possibilities could sprung out from this concept alone! I reckon those who are looking for something new will appreciate this part of the plot.

* Narrative was really good, too! The story is told in three point-of-views, those of Anat, Declan, and Sophie. I usually try to avoid books with multiple POVs, since they oftentimes backfire in their attempt to make the reader see the world of the book in a wider view, but the distinctive voices of the three made it really easy for me to relate and emphatize with them. The individual voices not only gave me a clear view of the world, but they also allowed me a deeper look into the feelings of the characters, making it a personal read.

Truly, these were the factors that made the book so, so enjoyable to me. They were so fun to read, and it made the experience absolutely pleasurable. However, it is not without its faults. If it were perfect, I would have given it 5 stars. Here are the following that prompted me to decrease a star:

* Annoying characters. As memorable as the internal narration were, that doesn't mean to say the the three cast of heroes were equally striking personality-wise; they were downright irritating - as in can-I-please-kill-these-people-now-before-I-gouge-my-eyes-out irritating. Behold: a girl described as protective and feisty, but downright rude to others; a charismatic know-it-all pseudo-brave guy who made things worse; a sick girl who was the epitome of Mary Sue-ness. A lot of them made stupid decisions (that moved the story, fine, but stupid is stupid) that made me want to go, once again, HULK, SMASH!!! on everything. Fortunately, as infuriating as they were, the previously stated good points made up for it.

* Romance was so... ugh! I was not a fan of the romance. It felt so forced and unnatural, making it hard for me to believe, much less appreciate it. I even wished the two people who developed a mutual understanding and care for each other just stayed as friends or something - the would have spared me the trouble of rolling my eyes every 5 minutes. Oh, well.

* Convenient ending. Like seriously convenient. I did not appreciate it. The ending definitely could have been written better. I don't remember it much, but I think I was reading the climax and then... something bland happened... and it was wrapped up in the next 5 pages or something, with me going HELL NO THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN. I don't know, it was probably just me, but the ending really turned me off, that they all got off so easily, that it went so well for them. Some of you guys may like it, but it kinda ruined my experience for me...

All in all, it was a great, awesome read. The positives definitely outshone the negatives, so despite all my complaints, it was still highly enjoyable. The plotline was engaging, the narrative and writing were compelling, and the twists and turns were frigging awesomesauce. Come April 9, you MUST get this book at the bookstores near you!