Sunday, January 25, 2015


ally condie
dutton books
published 2013

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above - of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia.  But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below.  Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio's true self - and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden - she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother's death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea.  Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and speak long-hidden truths.

It's been a couple of days since I finished this book and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

Rio and Bay live in Atlantia, an underwater city that was created back when the air on Earth was becoming so polluted people were dying from it.  Atlantia depends on the people Above to provide them with food and other necessities they cannot provide for themselves down Below.  Every year teenagers can volunteer to go Above and leave Below forever.  It is considered a great sacrifice and only one person from each family can go.  After Bay chooses Above after making Rio promise to stay Below (basically tricking Rio) Rio cannot do anything but find a way to get Above to her sister.  Along the way she's confronted with truths she never asked for.  Does it change how she feels about getting to the Above?

I feel like maybe every conflict could have been solved had there been better communication.  Simple as that.  So many unnecessary secrets and no one trusts anyone.  It was a slow, slow read.  It took so long to get to the actual plot that there were several times I just simply lost interest.  There were too many questions.  What was happening to Atlantia? What is Above?  Why did Bay leave Below when she loved it so much?  What's Rio's secret?  Who is the boy who left with Bay?  What really happened to their mother?  What happened between their mother and her sister?  Can Maire be trusted?

There were so many questions and when you finally get answers it's kind of quick and then she moves on because there is so much going on.  And then it just kind of wraps up and there are still a few loose ends.  It was quite unsatisfying.

The world of Atlantia was fascinating and the scope of the project, how far reaching it was....that was interesting, but we never really get much info on that except that they no long exist.  I'm glad this is a stand alone novel because I'm not sure I feel invested enough in the characters to read another book.

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