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Adaptation (Adaptation #1)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  3,084 ratings  ·  600 reviews
Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of tra...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
81st out of 710 books — 1,879 voters
Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne PetersAnnie on My Mind by Nancy GardenAsh by Malinda LoKissing Kate by Lauren MyracleThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Lesbian teen fiction
14th out of 242 books — 207 voters

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Community Reviews

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i have got to learn to read the entire dust jacket in the future...

this is what i saw:

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.
Among them are Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David, who are in Arizona when the disaster occurs. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch o
Ash Wednesday
Pretty package wrapped around a skeletal core, padded by lots of glittery styrofoam.

Hey, at least they're glittery.

On their way home from a debate meet in Arizona, Reese, David and their coach, Mr. Chapman's flight back to San Francisco got grounded. Birds have caused four planes all over the country to crash for some mysterious reason. In true post-apocalyptic fashion, the three of them opted to travel by land, getting waylaid by the pandemonium generated by the uncertainty surrounding the str...more
Because my former review was about as accurate to my feelings on this book as the Republican Platform is to my feelings on gay marriage, I'm going to completely re-write the review. (But first, since I'm thinking about it... IRRELEVANT IMAGE TIME!)

But actually, I don't think that image was very irrelevant. (TRANSITION!) Because this novel stars a bisexual character (as of now). Despite the fact that it's science fiction. As little as I want to think about this, I can't help but notice: this is t...more
I'm torn between whether to give this one or two stars. The very beginning was pretty good, so I'm going to leave it at 2. But... mehhh. After the opening action (view spoiler), all of the momentum was completely lost, there wasn't a clear direction that we were moving in. That was really hard to read through. I almost put the book down again and again but such a good premise had been set up in the first 50 pages that I wanted to know what happened w...more
Josephine Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Bisexual love triangle? With sugar, please.
If you have read the synopsis for this novel, you will understand exactly why it is so intriguing. The mystery it promises reeled me in and I began with the intention of reading a few pages but about two and a half hours later, turned the last page. Lo knows how to tell a story. She knows how to reel a reader in and while Adaptation had some flaws, you have to give credit where it is due.

It is inevitable that I will end up discussing the romance in this novel because of two reasons: one, it is a...more
One day, traveling back from a debate tournament, everything goes crazy and awful: flocks of birds cause several plane crashes. Okay, birds are creepy. Then there's a national state of emergency which leaves Reece, her teammate and their debate coach stranded farm from home with phones out/down/whatever and no flights. Highschool students unable to get home or contact their folks during an emergency, that's a hell of a situation. And then things get worse. And worse. And still more worse.

Adaptation was different from the YA I've been reading lately. Very sci-fi, X-Files feel with government cover ups and conspiracy theories. There's an unusual love triangle, but it's not the focus of the story, so it didn't annoy me.

Reece and her debate partner, David, are in an Arizona airport when strange bird behavior results in all flights being grounded. They attempt to drive home to San Francisco and end up in a strange military hospital after a horrible car accident. Neither has any memo...more
Jenni Arndt
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

Actual rating is 2.5.

I grew up watching horror movies, probably long before I should have ever been watching them. When I think back there is one movie that sticks out as having actually scared the crap out of me, that movie is Fire In The Sky. There's something about people being taken aboard an alien ship in the middle of nowhere and being tested on then coming back changed. It's so creepy, because no one knows about it and these people come bac...more
I have a love for this kind of story and I can't put my finger on why. I like good science fiction but there are certain tropes in the genre that work for me and this is one of them. (view spoiler)

Lo's novel is fast paced up until the end, where I found there was a little bit of a drag as the real information and back story was revealed. It's not problematic, but...more
(More like 2 for enjoyment, but I'm trying to give credit for -- something.)

One of those books that you expect to like, and then find about as easy to fall into as molasses. Very cold, bordering-on-solid molasses. There were plenty of elements I thought should have been appealing, but I kept getting thrown out by the characters being flat, flat, flat. Reese sure told us a lot about her crush, and exactly how each kiss made her feel, but it never connected for me in any way. When the big Twist f...more
Joy (joyous reads)
It's taken me at least two weeks to actually finish this book. I started off hooked and completely enthralled with the mystery surrounding the deadly flock of birds but by the time that's over, this book just completely flat-lined. Considering there was a bigger mystery in what happened to Reese and David after their car accident, it's unfortunate that it couldn't sustain my initial hunger.

Do you guys remember those birds that fell from the sky a couple of years ago? There were conspiracy theori...more
I never set out with the intention to read science fiction, but as it happens, I read a fair amount of it anyway. Usually this is because I pick up something that sounds really interesting and it turns out to be sci-fi, but in this case, however, a friend added an ARC of this book (surreptitiously, of course) to a pile I was borrowing and it wasn't until I'd read the first 20 pages that I realized what I was really getting into.

Since the book has yet to be released, I will refrain from any spoi...more
Nemo (the Moonlight Library)
Birds are attacking planes and dropping dead from the sky. Reese and David are trapped in an airport when the planes are grounded, and make a mad dash to drive home. On the way, a bird attacks their car, and they crash. Waking up a month later, Reese finds that she and David have weird new abilities and are being stalked by the government, and also by someone who is not the government…

Um… not sure if my above summary really describes this book that well. Sure, all the above happens, but it’s a l...more
Across North America, birds are hurling themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands die, and fearing terrorism, the United States grounds all flights. Reese is in Arizona with her debate partner, and longtime crush, David when the flights are stopped, trying to get home to San Francisco. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On the drive home, on an empty stretch of highway in the middle of the night in Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights and the car...more
Ana’s Take:

Reese, her debate team partner David and their teacher are at the airport on their way back home from a debate competition in Arizona when reports start to show that across the USA flocks of birds have hurled themselves into planes causing several of them to crash. Fearing terrorism, the government grounds all planes and their flight is cancelled. The trio manages to rent a car and on their drive home, an event of unspeakable violence sets Reese and David on a manic drive along an emp...more
I actually did not read all of this. There, the disclaimer is out of the way.

Although stereotypes are generally negative in that they form prejudices and don't encourage new experiences, I promptly stereotyped this book after 1.5 chapters. Why? Because I took note of these three things in what I did read:

1) Insta-typical female main character in love with guy trying to keep her alright life in order meh-ish infodump!
2) Insta-simile-overload trying to make you superficially start fangirling the m...more
Rachel Brown
Malinda Lo’s latest novel opens with birds falling dead from the sky. Teenage Reese Holloway and her crush object/debate partner, David Li, are caught in a strange near-apocalypse as all over the world, flocks of birds crash into airplanes. Unable to get a flight home from their debate, they rent a car and try to drive back. After adventures which I won’t spoil, they make it back to San Francisco, where life has gone more or less back to normal… except for their strange new abilities, gaps in th...more
Sherwood Smith
Nov 10, 2012 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: sf
Picked this off the giant stack to look at while I was involved in a long, tedious dinner-cooking process, and ended up so absorbed that I nearly burned the food.

Then last night I picked it up again, and read until very late, finishing this morning over breakfast.

First reaction: ARGH! Talk about the cliff-hanger of the century!

Second reaction: a terrific book. I was deeply involved in how Lo managed to blend friendship and relationship conflict within the tense story of seeming apocalypse and go...more
(Full review here:

This isn’t a book for everyone. It wasn’t a bad novel, and it has a lot going for it, but also has a lot working against it. If you do pick this novel up and give it a read, then be warned that if you’re looking for something in the same vein as a lot of other YA speculative novels, you’re not really going to find it. It takes chances, does different things, and they don’t always work. But it’s the chances that it takes that make this b...more
Love Malinda Lo
I was very excited to read this book. Not just because it was a dystopian (I love dystopian settings) but because the main protagonist is bisexual – yay for diversity! I have read many LGBT books but very little seem to cover the ‘B’ (even less so the ‘T’) aspect so I was really happy to discover that the main character Reece is attracted to girls as well as boys.

The story begins with a bang – after taking part in a National Debate competition, Reece and her debating partner David, find themselv...more
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Reece is shocked when several planes across the US are brought down by flocks of birds, and together with her friend and her debate team coach, decides to drive home instead of flying.
When the car they are in crashes, and Reece wakes up 27 days later, she finds herself having been given an experimental treatment, and is sworn to secrecy.
What was this...more
Such an enjoyable read. Once I started, I didn't want to put the book down.

- Definitely a book I rec to X-Files fans! It has government conspiracies, aliens, genetic manipulation gone awry, and human experimentation! What more can you ask for?

- I loved how diverse the cast was -- from the main characters to the supporting characters to the walk-ons who only appear for a scene. I feel like this is how it should be done. The diversity (in race, gender, sexuality & religion, along with intersec...more
I'd love to hear the thoughts of someone who is better qualified to discuss this kind of book -- YA near-future science fiction of the teenage-protagonist-gets-involved-in-a-massive-conspiracy variety is just not my cup of tea.

Appealing to me: the heroine, Reese is (as per usual, I understand) torn between two love interests who symbolize conflicting forces in her life, but in this case one love interest is a boy and one is a girl.

I also liked Reese's relationship with her mother, and the way Lo...more
Katie (Books and Katie)
On My Blog: Books and Katie

Rating: ★★


Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

San Francisco feels like a different place with police enfor...more
Well, given that I just managed to finish this within one day, I'll say that it is a bloody good read. I don't think that I could tell you what I actually enjoyed the most about the story, because yes, the narrative of the conspiracy was very intriguing, the bits of the book where they're attempting to figure things out and piecing the clues together. However, I found the relationships throughout the story were my main interest. I wanted to know whether anything would come of the crush on David,...more
Michelle Arrow

I was so disappointed with Malinda Lo's previous novels, Huntress and Ash. They were horrible, but when I received a ebook (ARC? but it's been out for already 2 years) from Netgalley, I was like "Sure, why not read this?" Plus, the rebellious and captivating summary immediately snuck me in.

I am proud to announce that Adaptation was absolutely awesome and thrilling. It's the best science-fiction book I've read in a while, with you know, the occasional little tweak here and there.

The fir...more
I got an eGalley of this book to review from NetGalley. I am a big fan of Malinda Lo's previous works (Huntress and Ash). I was excited when I saw she was coming out with a new series, but also a bit leery of the fact that is was more of a sci-fi thriller series. This book was okay. I enjoyed the beginning, was confused by how different the middle was, and then thought the ending was just too typical of alien conspiracy types of books.

Reese and David are returning home from a Debate competition...more
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BIO: Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels including the sci-fi thriller Adaptation; the sequel, Inheritance, will be published Sept. 24, 2013. Her first novel, A...more
More about Malinda Lo...
Ash Huntress Inheritance (Adaptation #2) Natural Selection (Adaptation, #1.5) “Authentic” Chinese Food: Chinese American Cookbooks and the Regulation of Ethnic Identity

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“People are always going to think something about you that isn't real. It doesn't matter what they think.” 26 likes
“Kissing Amber was like falling into the sea: Her body surrendered to the pull of the tide, buoyed by the saltwater, every breath tasting like the ocean. Reese lost all sense of where the surface was. All there was, was this. Amber’s lips, her tongue, her hands stroking back Reese’s hair, curling around her head and holding her steady. If their first kiss had been a bit awkward, that was gone now.” 4 likes
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