Emily May's Reviews > Partials

Partials by Dan Wells
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Apr 04, 12

bookshelves: young-adult, arc, dystopia-utopia, 2012, its-me-not-you, boring
Read on April 04, 2012



It seems to me that the first mistake made with this book was to target teenage girls. Here I come with my gender stereotyping and I'm sure there will be other female readers who'll love this book and disagree with me... but despite the protagonist being female and the cover featuring a teen girl, Dan Wells appears to have written a "boy book". The lengthy descriptions and idle conversations were dull enough without the subject matter going from hockey to guns to bombs.

In the words of Mr Presley: "a little less conversation, a little more action please". There was a serious lack of drama, suspense and tension in this book. I braved the first boring 200 pages because I was sure once the hunt for the Partials began we would see something a little more kickass, dangerous, pulse-pounding... something that would make me excited to read on. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This is another one of those books that will be just right for fans of slow, well-rounded plot development, but not one for people like me who prefer something a bit faster-paced and nastier.

This story is about a world where the human population has dwindled to approx. 40,000 because of a disastrous war with genetically engineered soldiers called Partials. The remaining few have congregated on an island, but all the babies born to the women die within a few days due to the release of a virus by the Partials. The adults, however, remain immune to this virus. Now the thing I find quite unbelievable is that we're expected to just accept that expert researchers have been studying the babies for years in search of a cure, and yet it takes a sixteen year old girl to come up the idea that they should also be looking at why adults have immunity to the virus. I mean... duh.

The biggest attempt to turn this into a book that could easily be marketed to teenage girls was the rather boring romance story. But I felt it was so flat and uninteresting that it only served to make things worse. This book is for someone, I'm sure, though I don't know who to recommend it to. Probably those who thought The Book of Blood and Shadow had good pacing.
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Comments (showing 1-42 of 42) (42 new)

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message 1: by Steph (new) - added it

Steph Sinclair Really? 2 stars. Cannot wait for this review.


message 2: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana I am not surprised...


Emily May It was just... boring :/


message 4: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana Emily wrote: "It was just... boring :/"

Tell me about it. I managed to only get through one and a half chapters. I found everything about it to be extremely dull.


Emily May I admit this would normally have been a DNF after a couple of chapters, but this is the first paper review copy I've received from Harper Collins and I want them to send me more in the future ^_^


message 6: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle I suppose this is the nail in the coffin for this book. Wasn't impressed by his debut (it was also boring, despite being about killing a demon), and after enough reviews from trusted friends, this is not my type of book.


message 7: by Steph (new) - added it

Steph Sinclair Great review. What a shame you didn't enjoy it more. Hopefully you next read will be more satisfying.


Emily May Stephanie wrote: "Great review. What a shame you didn't enjoy it more. Hopefully you next read will be more satisfying."

Thank you :) And I think it will, I'm really enjoying what I've read of Starcrossed so far.


message 9: by Maggie (new) - added it

Maggie Emily wrote: I'm really enjoying what I've read of Starcrossed so far."

For a second, I thought you meant the other Starcrossed and nearly had a "I can't trust any of her reviews anymore!" panic attack. Haha. :)


message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Completely off topic, stock art strikes again. I have seen this girl approximately three thousand times on covers in the last year or two.


message 11: by Dija (new)

Dija Great review, Emily! This is a hugely popular book and your review's given me better perspective into how it actually is. I might not be giving it a try as soon as I'd thought, because I absolutely can't stand boredom when it comes to my books.


Emily May Maggie wrote: "For a second, I thought you meant the other Starcrossed and nearly had a "I can't trust any of..."

Nooo! Never, haha :)


Emily May Dija wrote: "Great review, Emily! This is a hugely popular book and your review's given me better perspective into how it actually is. I might not be giving it a try as soon as I'd thought, because I absolutely..."

Thanks Dija, boredom really is the worst thing in a book, it gives you nothing to read on for.


Amy (Turn the Page) Great review - I've just started reading this now and it was interesting to see a review that wasn't just 5 stars.


Emily May Thanks Amy, how are you finding it so far?


Amy (Turn the Page) So so. She's just got back from the salvage hunt and is admiring her legs lol ;)

The narrative seems a bit disjointed/awkward, but that might just be me reading while I was tired.


Emily May Haha, it is slow to get going, if you hold in there hopefully you'll like it when the story gets going a bit more :)


message 18: by Cass (new) - rated it 1 star

Cass Thank you for your review. So many people I usually agree with have have it 5-stars... I abandoned after 100pages.. It was bad.


Emily May I agree Cass. Personally, I think you would have to be a very patient lover of dystopian fiction to enjoy this.


message 20: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. That is exactly what I thought about Partials too.


Vanessa Ahhhhh i felt exactly the same way but you have worded this so much better. I still can't help but follow through to the next in the Trilogy...


Emily May Thanks Vanessa! Hopefully the next book will be better :)


Kelsey Jones Great review!


Emily May Thanks Kelsey!


Cαiтℓуn ~We'll leave behind a world that never cared~ Just because a book has guns and stuff doesn't make it a "boy book" -_-


Emily May You are correct. Anything else to add?


Alyssa Felos the dialogue was also awful. like he was covering the characters to joke and even talk to each other.


Travis Burnett I would def agree that this is slow paced. it was a good concept and more of a dystopian feel then most of the modern teen dystopian. kira was so bothersome!


Emily May I think "offensive" is such a silly and meaningless term but seeing as we're being silly, I find your comment offensive. You equate the stereotypically masculine, science-hard aspects with positivity, whilst viewing the stereotypically feminine as negative and "sappy". As it happens, I'm not a fan of romance-heavy books either but a lot of women are and I'm not going to sneer at them for it. Typically masculine does not equal superior. That implication is offensive.


message 31: by Emily May (last edited Nov 18, 2013 12:05PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Emily May I think perhaps you have misunderstood me twice because - as my numerous friends on GR will tell you - I am not an aggressive or unfriendly person; I do, however, respond with the same tone and respect given to me.

If you look again at my review, I open by metaphorically rolling my eyes at gender stereotyping and go on to critique what seemed to me as another failed attempt by a male author trying to write a book for teen girls. I genuinely think this is a problem: women can successfully write male characters far better than men can write female ones. You seem to ignore my comment in the last paragraph where I note that the author is trying to turn his emotionally-cold book about guns and bombs and robots into something girls will like by including a boring romance.

I actually think there is room to criticise this review, looking back over a year after writing it. But not because it insults girls. Everyone knows that girls read WAY more than boys, the statistics are there and not just for romance - they are far more likely to pick up a classic because reading is considered a typically feminine pastime. If I insult anyone in this review, then it is boys (and I apologise for that). I openly call a book that I think has poor characters, flawed plotting and a lack of grit a "boy book". Female snobbery, if anything.

You presume to know something about me in your comments and you completely got it wrong. I'm a feminist. I take issue with negative portrayals of the feminine - like in Graceling - and don't believe that turning women into men is the way to create equality. I've written many many reviews about young adult and new adult books, criticising the portrayal of abusive male/female relationships, slut-shaming and general woman-shaming. I even wrote my dissertation on female heroes in popular culture.

I don't think this book breaks any stereotype. It's just another example of a male author thinking he can write for young girls and getting it completely wrong (yes, in my opinion). The real problem here seems to be that you enjoyed the book and feel uncomfortable when faced with a differing opinion. I'm sorry for that.


Emily May Well, every piece of writing is open to interpretation, isn't it? Including my review. Though, please understand that I've been using goodreads for several years - back before it was a huge social network and I knew nearly all the active members quite well. I often write my reviews for the friends and followers who know me and will understand that this review was meant to be read in a certain way. The increased popularity of the site in recent years has been quite unexpected and my reviews have received negative attention from members who seem to think I should write with them in mind. Why is it a failure on my part for not providing a review that made sense to you (and others)?


message 33: by Tessa (new) - added it

Tessa Starcrossed <3 XD great book!


Geoffrey Stokker As a boy, I found the novel to be a complete bore and completely overrated and unbelievable to be honest.


Emily May Geoffrey wrote: "As a boy, I found the novel to be a complete bore and completely overrated and unbelievable to be honest."

And, as a girl, I would agree with you :) Sorry if you were offended by me calling it a "boy book", I didn't know how else to explain what I meant.


Geoffrey Stokker Emily May wrote: "Geoffrey wrote: "As a boy, I found the novel to be a complete bore and completely overrated and unbelievable to be honest."

And, as a girl, I would agree with you :) Sorry if you were offended by ..."



No worries, I wasn't offended and it summed it up perfectly.


message 37: by Sawyer (new)

Sawyer As a lover of the dystopian section at the library I am having a hard time finishing this one


message 38: by Sawyer (new)

Sawyer As a lover of the dystopian section at the library I am having a hard time finishing this one


Heather Comparing it to BSG and Bladerunner is completely ridiculous. This book was totally uninteresting. I seriously didn't care if anyone died.


Brenda I'm trying to get thoroug th is book, but after days, I'm still just in chapter 8. There is just too mi ch useless dialogue. all the characters seem to speak too much, and I mean an example is her guardian , Nanita. the second Kiara gets home she imparts some convoluted wisdom for no reason. Just seemed like lists of jumbled dialogue to me.


message 41: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Mcklin I got through the whole book, but I was a little disappointed because it was quite slow paced and I didn't really become as connected to the characters as I usually do in these kinds of books. I never really understood what kind of a person Kira was because in the beginning I found her character and how she reacted to certain situations somewhat childish and unreasonable. For example, when the two soldiers came by their house to talk to Nandita about how she frequently leaves East Meadow to go on scavenging missions, Kira completely overreacted and made the situation worse than it had to be. But then right afterwards she somehow comes up with the idea to test the people who are immune to the disease. Why didn't anyone else think that in the 11 years spent researching the virus that caused all this trouble in the first place? I still liked the story even though some parts were unbelievable and a bit boring.


Heather The whole idea that a random teenager would solve medical mysteries was very far-fetched.


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