March 16, 2013

Review #14: Strangelets by Michelle Gragnon

I seriously need to write this review before I forget what it was about.  Which would be a shame, because I really liked this book.

What is Strangelets about?

Well, six teens wake up in a strange white hospital-ish room in a building that is basically 3 hallways, 6 rooms, and no doors to the outside.  There is no way to get out.  There is no food, although there is water.  The teens are from 6 different parts of the world- India, Ireland, America, the Gaza Strip/Egypt, Switzerland, and Japan.  None of them know how they got there.  Stranger still?  The last thing they remember is being in a life-or-death situation.  Now they cannot figure out where they are or why they are there.  

They manage to escape from the building they are trapped in, but things just get worse from there.  They seem to be in Long Island.  Nico, the teen from Switzerland, recognizes it as the facility where his father works, as he has been there when he visits him.  But the whole place is abandoned. Everything appears to have been abandoned for a very long time.  But how can that be?  How can a parking lot full of cars be rusted?  Where are the people who drove them there?  There are no other people anywhere.  Yet, someone or something is chasing them.  With their individual clocks ticking, they have to figure out what is going on if they have any hope of surviving.

Who narrates the story?

The book is told from the point of view of 3 of the teenagers--

  • 17-year-old Sophie, who was lying on her deathbed in California, waiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer...
  • 17-year-old Declan, a thief who steals the wrong thing for someone and ends up staring down two armed thugs in an alley in Ireland...
  • and 17-year-old Anat who who is attacked in a tunnel between Israel and Egypt, on her way to reconvene with her boyfriend.

What is the pacing like?

Strangelets is a fast-pased read and very engaging.  I am a slow reader and I found myself flying through this book.

What makes Strangelets different from other YA dystopians?

  • The three-fold narration.  You get 3 different perspectives on typically the same events unfolding, since they are usually together, with the story moving along at the same time.  It is an interesting technique that I wouldn't mind seeing more of in books.
  • I like that this book was not just some post-apocalyptic novel of people who grew up in the situation.  I liked that they had no idea what was going on.
  • Also, there are science fiction and physics elements going on as well.

Would you read more from this author?

Definitely.  I thought Gragnon did a wonderful job at creating three-dimensional characters and interesting dynamics between each of the characters.  I also thought the pacing was perfect and it was not long and drawn-out, but to the point without a lot of filler and fluff.  That was MUCH appreciated.

She apparently has a lot of books she has written, so I am off now to check them out and see what I want to try out next!


  1. I like that it's fast paced but I'm not so sure about the fantasy elements.

    1. The fantasy elements take a back seat in this story. The pacing is definitely good.

  2. Makes me wish I had had all these books as a teen!

    1. YA books when I was a teen sucked. Sweet Valley High? Bor-ing. These type of books make me feel like anything is possible, which I like, and which also transports me back to a time when the world was my oyster.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, I wish more YA authors could come up with original ideas like this!

  4. I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it! My other series is the PERSEF0NE trilogy, book 1 (DON'T TURN AROUND) is available now, and book 2 will be released this summer.

    1. Michelle, thank you for checking out my review! I believe I already have Don't Turn Around on my Goodreads to-read list, but I will be sure to check.


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