Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: Spare and Found Parts - Sarah Maria Griffin

Spare and Found Parts
Sarah Maria Griffin
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rating: DNF // 2.5 out of 5 stars

I would just like to start out by saying that Sarah Maria Griffin's prose was so elegant that I had to give some stars to a book I DNF'd 40% of the way through. I didn't feel right not leaving it with a rating.

The writing was just so florid and poetic and really leapt off the page. Every word was so heavy with meaning. I think my favorite line was the very second one: "Never sure if it was just something your grief stitched together from the parts of her you remember and the questions still in your throat."

So why DNF? Even beautiful prose cannot make up for awful pacing.

I am going to back up a little. For those unfamiliar, Spare and Found Parts is the story of a girl -- Nell -- in a post-apocalyptic city where everyone has augmented biomechanical limbs. Nell's limb, however, is a little different from everyone else's in that it's on the inside -- her heart. And it ticks. While she goes through a whole existential crisis about this stuff, she's also gotta contribute to the rebuilding of the city -- which she does through a robot, using technology her people fear. Sounds cool, right?

Right. When I saw the blurb for this book I was immediately hooked. It seemed like such a unique, interesting concept. And then the first few pages were full of such beautiful writing, I thought I'd love the whole thing. The more I read though, the more bored I kept getting and the harder it was to stay focused. How could I be bored reading a story about a post-apocalyptic world rebuilding itself from nothing???

I actually started this book weeks ago and have been trying to convince myself to read it between classes every day, hoping one of these days I will push myself to power through and finish, or will read a bit and reach a really interesting part, but so far neither has happened. The book just moves so slowly. I've read 40% and so far nothing has happened and no characters have really developed much personality. The book seems like it's heading in a direction where it'll take like 70% of the book for anything to happen and then ~So Many Things~ will happen in the last 30% but I don't like that. It's really hard for me to read a book that doesn't have a consistent (or captivating) pacing.

Also, I mentioned that the prose was really lovely, but the dialogue is honestly hit-or-miss. There are some really powerful pieces of dialogue and I appreciate them but there are also some really awkward lines that I pray were removed between the time I got my ARC and the final copy went out.

Honestly, I think I probably will come back to this book eventually, because it's such a freaking cool concept and I do want to see how it plays out, but for now I have so many books to read -- including the ones I impulse-ordered from Amazon that'll be here by the time this post goes up -- that I do not have any more weeks to spend trying to read 250 more pages of Nell sitting around brooding and doing nothing.

If you could replace one part of yourself, what would it be?
Let us know in the comments!

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