Julia's Reviews > Tomorrow Land

Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi
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Mar 23, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, arcs, young-adult
Read on March 23, 2012

The seed of an interesting concept was lost for me amidst a clunky narrative device, melodramatic plotting, and characters that never rose above caricature. Unfortunately, though teen readers may enjoy the concept without realizing that anything is missing, the decadent attitudes portrayed by Mancusi's future teens aren't particularly "YA appropriate". Perhaps the "morality tale" smiting all the sexually active people was supposed to redeem this fact (as per horror movie rules), but that device simply had me rolling my eyes.

I did not particularly like how the heroine treated the dorky boy next door, and having chapters jump from past to present (before and after the apocalypse), kept that unpalatable story line front and center when I'd rather focus on post apocalypse details. It was interesting how Peyton's nanobot modifications were the source of both her strengths and weaknesses, but the contrived melodrama of her on-again/off-again relationship with Chris bored me. Even worse, the potentially interesting global catastrophe was wrapped up with a bow and an overly convenient explanation that was both trite and annoying. I shouldn't have been surprised, as Chris's substance abuse problem had already been a similar source of cheap drama and a convenient resolution.

There was a time when just a titillating plot was enough for me to love a book, and TOMORROW LAND certainly has very romantic bones. Peyton's development from an insecure girl longing to belong to a comic book hero that slays zombies has it's charms (though I would have ignored Peyton's final transformation as another step backwards), and her relationship with Chris has a very WUTHERING HEIGHTS flavor. There's nothing in TOMORROW LAND that Sophie Littlefield hasn't done much, much better in the Aftertime series, from substance abuse to dystopian zombies, but if Littlefield's adult content is a deal breaker, forgo zombies all together and enjoy THE HUNGER GAMES.

Sexual Content: References to underage sex, kissing.
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