Google+ Reading Teen: [Quickfire Book & Audiobook Review] WASTELAND by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

[Quickfire Book & Audiobook Review] WASTELAND by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan

Wasteland: Wasteland Trilogy, Book 1
Harper Audio
By Susan Kim
Narrated By Laura Knight Keating
Series: Wasteland Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
Release Date: 03-26-13
Welcome to the wasteland.

At 15, the citizens of Prin marry.

At 17, they reproduce.

And at 19, they die.

Esther thinks there's more to life than toiling at the assignments - harvesting, gleaning, excavating - day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day.

She doesn't care that her best friend, a variant, is considered "the enemy". She doesn't care that Levi, who controls the Source, is the real enemy and might send his Taser boys after her if she makes one wrong move.

Then Caleb shows up. Could there be another way to fight for survival?
At a Glance:

Wasteland was kind-of like a combination of Gone by Michael Grant and Blood Red Road by Moira Young, with all of the action, and none of the magic.  This book was strange (and not in a good way), awkward and disjointed.  I didn't connect with the writing or the characters, the world-building was practically non-existent, and though I tried really hard, I didn't end up finishing it. (80%)


The only reason that I got as far as I did in this book was that I was listening to it on audio.   Laura Knight Keating did a pretty good job of reading this story, though in the end, it just wasn't enough to keep me interested.  If you think you'd like to give Wasteland a try, the audio would be a good pick!


I like the cover well enough.  It caught my eye and is what initially grabbed my attention.


There's a lot of action in this book.  Sometimes it gets pretty gruesome, with kids killing and torturing other kids.  I didn't really understand why the kids hated each other so much, or why they hated the HERMAPHRODITES (yeah, you read that right), but they did, and they showed it.  Also, doesn't really fall under action, but there was one really sick birthing scene.....GROSS!


This was one of the worst romances I've ever read.  This was basically their progress:
Day 1:  Meet and become instantly drawn to each other.
Day 2:  Say a couple of words to each other.
Day 3:  Make out
Day 4:  Get partnered (married), have sex, say it's FOREVER!
....that's as far as I got.


Esther was whiny, selfish and lazy.  While everyone else worked hard for their survival, she ran around with her friend.  Until Caleb came to town, then suddenly she was the hero....only she wasn't very good at that either.


Caleb was decent.  He was mysterious and fought for what he believed in, and didn't conform.  Plus he'd do anything to get his baby back.  (Yeah...he has a baby from his previous marriage....) I liked him, though I couldn't understand why he would be interested in Esther. 

Favorite Supporting Character:

I think I'd have to go with Levi.  He was the only one in the entire book that had a brain, even though it was a sick, evil, twisted brain.

Something I loved:


Something(s) I hated:

No backstory
  • Where did the plague come from?
  • What happened to the planet?
  • Why did everyone hate each other?
  • Why 19?  What made them die at that age?
  • Why were there hermaphrodites? 
  • Why did everyone hate them?
  • Why were the hermaphrodites practically exactly the same (behavior-wise) as the humans?  They even got "partnered" like the humans.  There was no distinction besides looks (and body parts).
....and so much more!


I didn't make it to the end.  I hear it's a series but that this book wraps up.

Would I recommend it?

Take a guess.

Will I buy/keep it?

No, I have it on eAudio, and it will not be taking up space on my iPhone.

Book Doppelgangers:

I feel like I'm doing a disservice to these books but.....
Gone by Michael Grant, Blood Red Road by Moira Young


  • Language: Minor
  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Violence: Heavy
  • Other Notables: Detailed birthing scene


  1. Seriously sad the completed audio book was as bad as the arc :-( I will not be reading any others in this series! Wonderful review...I was so close to not finishing myself.

    1. Thanks Kristen! Yes, sadly you can't blame the unfinished copy for the unfinished feel :P

  2. Great review!! I honestly haven't made it even that far. I keep picking it up and putting it down. I got about 100 pages and it's just not doing it for me at all. I hate to DNF, but I think I am going to have to just give up on it.

    1. JUST QUIT!!!!!! hahaha :D

    2. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm not enjoying it and so many other trusted blogger friends didn't either. I feel like there's no point in trying to finish it if it's going to be a negative review anyways.

  3. Ugh this just sounds so horrible and disappointing. I hate when there's no explanation for the way things are and I despise insta love!

    1. Me too!! I don't know why authors continue to write these insta-love books when NO ONE likes them!


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