Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Adventure
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Publication: March 7, 2013, by Putnam Juvenile
Format: Paperback Edition (borrowed)
Goodreads Summary: First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
I picked this book up from the library, and then I have to admit that I ended up avoiding it. Scary to admit, I avoided a dystopian-sci-fi novel. And usually, those are my ultimate favourites. So what scarily went wrong here? I don't know. But what I do know is that I was right to avoid it from the start. For a fact, I had to renew this 6 times before picking it up.
Orleans originally sounded like what it seemed to be from the perspective of your above-average dystopia-obsessed human. I suspected that this book would be all about the terms of natural disasters and such. Those kinds of books are unique—and I have an obsession with natural disaster-based stories. This was surprisingly about a sickness, an epidemic, and cruelty and unjustness found in the "so-called" city of New Orleans, or what it used to be known as.
Many major hurricanes have hit the city of New Orleans in the past. Katrina in 2005, was just the beginning. It's into the future, where the city is destructed. The Gulf Coast is now quarantined, and the cities and states we all know today aren't really "there" anymore and anyhow. Flu and fever outbreaks have shattered cities, and survivors are living. But is the outbreak of the Delta Fever really all over? Fen is living in a tribe—but she really doesn't know where or who she is. She has O-Neg blood, and people hunt and kidnap her people to use their blood to cure the outbreaks. They're hiding and waiting everyday, for some relief. At the moment, Fen meets Daniel, someone who can show her the relief and the cure for all of the captivation that her people are left in.
If I honestly knew that this was the real plot, I would've stayed away from the start. The word "hurricanes" got me going and I blurred the rest of the mumbo-jumbo away. Now I'm left here, disappointed in what I was left with.
But I guess you shouldn't get me wrong. I did enjoy this, but I guess you could say for only a small period of time. I was struggling to continue for more than half of the time. But I'm sitting here, happy, giving other books 5 star ratings, right? So that probably proves that I wasn't pushed into some sort of post-reading depression or whatever. After reading this book, you might be mad, but you'll move on and know what kind of things it had in store for us, if you're on the negative side of things.
The book started off intriguing. We were introduced into the problem and world immediately, and Smith let us understand what was going on. There was no mystery here, it was just something that kept going and increased and moved on. But as I surpassed page 100 (for example) I felt like the book lost its contact with me. I dragged further away from the story and I found myself not enjoying "the feel" it had going.
For one thing, the characters. Fen was alright. She kept the story moving smoothly for the most part. But when Daniel was introduced, I was like "nope."
I did get the shivers quite a lot. Thinking about this happening in real life scares me.
As the story did have its perks, such as the average characters, and emotion that it gave readers, I must say that I don't really recommend it, although many people have ended up adoring this. I guess I can say that it'll go either way for you, if you decide to take the chance. (I heard accents in my head the whole time while reading this, the language sure was interesting!)