Thursday, December 5, 2019

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

Rating: ★★★ | 9 hours 58 min | Sci Fi YA  | Harper Teen | Release Date: 10/22/2019
I Hope You Get This Message is one of those books that asks the question ‘what would happen if everyone on Earth knew they were about to die ?’ I feel like YA does this kind of book every once and a while* but this is my first time reading this trope in YA...and it just didn’t work for me.

In this iteration of the end of the world, Earth has picked up communication from a planet called Alma. They learn from intercepted transcripts that Alma has been incubating Earth for thousands of years and is currently debating whether or not to kill all of humanity in 8 days for what they have done to Earth.

This looming fate runs in the background to the stories of our three protagonists; Jesse, a teen from Roswell who doesn’t believe in Alma but want to use it to make money, Cate a girl looking for her father  and Adeem, an amateur radio enthusiasts a looking for his sister who left the family after coming out as gay. Our main characters start off on their journey as separate individuals but their lives merge and tangle in a This Is Us kind of way.

The biggest weakness for me with this book was the characters. Because they aren't trying to stop the big bad so much of this narrative is reliant on characters and they all felt so underdeveloped. Nothing they did make any sense except for the fact that it had to happen to move the book along. I wanted to feel something at the end of this book and I felt nothing. This wasn’t helped at all by the audio done by Priya Nyaar. Her voice was so stiff and I think the audiobook could have really benefited from three narrators. I'm not sure why they went with a female narrator when most of the characters are men.

The only thing I did like about this book is the interstitials of people sending messages out into the universe to convince Alma was worth saving but other than that I found this one pretty tedious.

*Does anyone remember Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts? It had a similar conceit but that book just got panned by bloggers and readers.

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