Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Scrapbook of My Revolution by Amy Lynn Spitzley

Title: Scrapbook of My Revolution
Author: Amy Lynn Spitzley
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Curiosity Quills Press via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Book Depository | Amazon

Amber Alexander has gold-colored skin, and she doesn’t much like it. The ability to read emotions isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, either. Then she meets two unusual boys, Malians like herself, and everything changes. Super-hot Jonny, with his apple-red looks and gift of persuasion, encourages her to fight back against those who think the Malians are freaks. Lavender-toned Cam, on the other hand, is a live-and-let live kiteboarder who blends in with the shadows.

Safety is becoming more of a concern for “freaks” like Amber. Sure, Malians showed up in society the year she was born, but now that they’re teenagers nobody seems to know what to do with them. Politicians talk about sending them to Siberia, or even to colonize the moon.

When Amber is attacked by Regulars, the so-called “normal” people, she realizes how she wants to live her life; but if she does, one of her greatest supporters may become her enemy.
Finding a summer job, organizing a support group, boy trouble, beaches, and a maniacal teen idol—it’s all a year in the life of a girl who realizes she may be more than just a “golden goddess” after all…
Review by Nara

I went into Scrapbook of My Revolution thinking that it would be another typical dystopian- class segregation, political intrigue, some sort of epic adventure....but surprisingly, from the first few chapters (and indeed most of the book) it basically seemed to me like a contemporary novel with a slight science fiction twist. I actually enjoyed the novel a lot more than I thought I would- it was quite riveting. Somehow, I was expecting big things to happen, and although not much happened on the world stage, Spitzley went with the realistic route and had Amber and her friends manage to make changes within their smaller community.

Something that was quite interesting was that the book was set up like an actual scrapbook- complete with pictures (newspaper cuttings, photos, drawings) and font that looks like handwriting. Clearly, much care was taken with the design, as there are nice little details throughout to make it seem more like a real scrapbook e.g. fingerprints and smudges (on another note, since I was reading the book on my iPad, I kept scrubbing at the little marks thinking they were on the actual iPad. EVERY TIME.)

"So Amber, what's that guy in the corner thinking?"
It's always about thinking. I don't get "thinking". I get "feeling". And let me tell you, sometimes that's worse.

Our main character Amber, as a "Sensitive" Malian, has the ability to feel the emotions of those around her, but not why they're feeling those emotions. Amber was quite a likable character, with a very strong voice and snarky headstrong personality- as I suppose one would have to have if they could read the emotions of others. I did find it a bit annoying that she was stringing on two guys at the same time (Jonny and Cam, as mentioned in the blurb), although on that note, it was clear that one of them was the better love interest. I absolutely loved the connection between Amber and Cam. Their relationship was built up slowly (some even before the beginning of the novel, as Amber mentions having liked Cam for a long time) and as the reader, I could definitely see the sparks between them.

He was three feet away when all his emotions came rolling at me. Frustration-Anger-Caring-Desire-LOVE.

I found the concept of Malians rather interesting- especially the different skin colours (I can't get the image of this poor hot pink boy out of my head...the bullies would have a field day)- although one thing I would have liked to see explained (once the characters themselves find out, of course) is the background to the Malians- why are they called Malians? Where did they come from?

There isn't a sequel listed on Goodreads...and I'm a bit sad about that because I kind of want there to be one. I want to see what happens to Amber and her friends, and whether the prejudices of the rest of the world can be overcome. Perhaps for the younger young adult readers, this book was still one that was quite unique and interesting.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5

Recent Recommended Books:
1. If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin
2. The Collector by Victoria Scott
3. Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza