Friday, June 9, 2017

ARC Review: Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Midnight at the Electric
Written by: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published: June 13, 2017 by Harper Teen

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own. 

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire -- and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life -- Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most. 

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself? 

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from a friend who went to ALA who received it for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I was so excited to read this book. It totally seems like the kind of book I would love. I'm a huge fan of historical mysteries and anything that takes place in different time periods makes me think we're dealing with that. And this was a really good read though it wasn't what I was expecting.

This is definitely a more demure kind of read. I think that is just Jodi Lynn Anderson's style of writing. This was similar to Tiger Lily in that it relies on beautiful prose and descriptions to pull you in. And it definitely succeeds in that way. This is one of the most descriptive books I have read in awhile. I could perfectly picture the settings, especially Oklahoma and eventually New York City during the 1930's. The Dust Bowl setting was fantastic and descriptive. I could see the farm and the it's dust clouds. I could feel the hardship of the characters. In this way it succeeds in drawing you in by create an atmosphere that isn't thrilling but is incredibly engaging.

This book also does a good job of balancing the plot development with the character development. I usually go for a more plot driven read but I feel like this book was more character driven. There were some really great more personal moments as the characters worked to overcome adversity and find their place in the world. It wasn't really a coming-of-age story but like a lot of YA it had elements of that which I really enjoyed.

But it's also a more reserved sort of book that takes you through a slower kind of story. I have to admit that I did think there was going to be more of a mystery to the book but even without it, it wasn't bad. This was one of those stories where it takes awhile for things to unfold. There are alternating perspectives and alternating time periods each one very different from the last. At first you can't really see how they could be connected, but as the book unfolds the connects come to light in interesting reveals and twists that keep you reading and interested. I loved watching it all come together and was even surprised a few times. All in all it's well-plotted and unfolds in a purposeful and interesting way.

But with these kinds of stories it's hard to make each of these perspectives standout and I don't think it succeeded in that. I think that Catherine's story was probably the most interesting to me. I liked seeing the Dust Bowl narrative and feel like that one could have been it's own story and I would have liked it. Lenore's was probably the least interesting to me, which was a total surprise because I usually love that setting. But I think that one was just the one that got the least attention. But I think Adri's story could have used some more attention too. It was interesting enough and she had some great character moments but she was really just a means to an end when it comes to the larger story.

On the whole this was a good read. It drew me in with descriptive writing and an engaging plot that unfolded in surprising ways as the book unfolded. I do wish the perspectives were a little more balanced and that there was more of a mystery but I did really like it.

I give Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you like the author you should definitely pick this one up, or if you are looking for a more subtle kind of story with an interesting historical element then check this one out.

Have you read Midnight at the Electric? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I saw a review for this today in Shelf Awareness and it reminded me to place a hold at my library. It sounds like a good summer read for me (I often prefer more character-driven books this time of year, don't know why!). Thanks for sharing your review!