So… it’s been a long while since I last wrote a review — even though I read quite a lot of books — and here we are in 2016, I’m now back to book blogging, this time with my friend Aggy, and I’ve just finished a book so good I just had to go straight ahead and write this review!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman Jay Kristoff, aka probably the book with the most hype in the last months of 2015. And while I try not to jump into the bandwagon of all-that-hype, Illuminae got me curious. Well, more like I really really wanted to read this book, but I figured I had to get a hard copy… except the hardcover was SO expensive! Luckily, I found a softcover version on sale, so I ordered a copy. This however, took forever to arrive because it was sold out *gasp* but it finally arrived yesterday, and I started reading right away, and lo and behold, I have finished reading! And I really wish the second book is already out, but meh, we all have to wait until probably the last months of the year for that. Torture.
Anyway, first the obvious. Illuminae is not the usual book with chapters of words stringed together (what am I saying?) Instead, it is a “collection of hacked documents” which basically means part of the story isn’t told in narratives. We get e-mails, chats, surveillance reports, conversation transcripts, schematics, and a log of a computer’s thought processes. Brilliantly executed, although if I want to get technical about it some parts don’t quite fit the narrative, especially at the end. Also, the voices weren’t quite as distinct as I would normally expect. Like, if I didn’t read the heading of the documents, I might not be able to distinguish who was talking/writing. Oh, and some people would probably find the whole format pretty confusing, because you kinda have to put pieces together to understand what’s going on. Fortunately, I love having to do that.
Nevertheless, Illuminae tells a great story in a great way, and it was hard to put down. Also, I actually cried twice and I don’t usually cry much when reading (care to guess which parts made me cry?). I loved that the book was full of surprises I never saw coming, including some plot twists that totally made me go “wait, what?!”. Illuminae is jam-packed with action, but also a lot of feelings, and well let’s admit some parts were cringe-worthy but sweet at the same time. I do think Kady and
what’s his name Ezra seemed to be a little older than their supposed ages, but I guess being stuck in the middle of a life-or-death situation would do that to you. Well except for the blunt age-appropriate fact somewhere in the beginning, and I quote:
Ezra Mason: … It was so stupid. The world is ending all around us and we’re screaming about college application and commitment and <censored>. I mean, can you believe that?
Interviewer: You’re seventeen, right?
Ezra Mason: Almost eighteen.
Interviewer: Then yes, I believe it.
LOL. So yeah. This book, everyone. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me cringe, it made me smile, it made me “aww” and it made me “what?” and I love this book because of all that. Over.