Thursday, October 23, 2014
On A Clear Day - or The Call To Action That Wasn't
I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program.
On a Clear Day is one of those books that I wanted to love so much more than I did.
In the year 2035 the world is controlled by corporations. A group of teens decide to basically start a revolution, to topple the corporations, and just maybe change the world. Sounds like a great concept, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, for me, it just didn't work. The book begins well. We are introduced to a group of kids who are inherently cool. They each have their skills and their quirks and you believe that they just might do what they set out to. I liked the characters and enjoyed the unorthodox way the author introduces them.
However, the book suffered for me on two fronts.
First, the world building. Frankly, the world building here is thin. I got that this was near future, but I never really bought into it. It felt like today with a few 'let's make this seem futuristic' trappings. I think I needed more history - more backstory - to explain why the world was the way it was. The entire time I was reading, I was never in the authors world in 2035. Maybe 2035 was too near and a bit harder to build out? I'm not sure, but it just didn't work.
The second place it failed was in the philosophizing. I love that the author is asking teens to think about the world and where it could end up. I love that he wants them to think about how they can change the world and what their values are.
But…it's still a book and it's still supposed to be entertainment. There's a lot of talking in the book. Speeches and discussions which seem more like an opportunity to get the author's view across than to move the story. I would rather the author had simply written an essay explaining his views, and let the story move.
So will teens read it and get something out of it? Some will - the more introspective and already politically minded ones might enjoy this and run with it. But as a call to action to ordinary teens, it fails in the execution, and I fear many will stop reading merely a quarter of the way through.
I liked where the author was going, but unfortunately, I don't think he ever got there.