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Wasteland (Wasteland #1)

3.12  ·  Rating details ·  930 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
Welcome to the wasteland...

At fifteen, the citizens of Prin marry.

At seventeen, they reproduce.

And at nineteen, 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 en
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by HarperTeen
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Shanna_redwind There is one PG sex scene in the book. The romance is a fairly minor part of the plot. Important, but not dwelt on a great deal.
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I like to begin my reviews with the good stuff about a book in most cases, before transitioning into my criticisms. Well, here's what I can offer about Wasteland: it's an easy read. The fairly simple sentences are quick to plow through. Also, it's mostly boring, which actually ended up being a sort of good thing, since, when it isn't boring, unfortunate things are generally happening. Be warned that there will be spoilers toward the end of this review.

The World Building
The foundation of this pos
Emily (Book Jems)
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

Are you looking for a book that doesn't have characters you can connect with, sloppy point-of-view switches, so many points-of-views that you lose track and an unbelievable world with so many inconsistencies that it will make you want to punch things? Then Wasteland is the book for you!

Apparently, this book is about a girl named Esther, though it's told from many perspectives. She lives in Prin, where everyone in residence is under the age of nineteen. By the time
Faye, la Patata
If you read the synopsis of this book, you can see it gives a lot of promise. A dystopian world? Check. Post-apocalyptic? Check. Shady characters and possible conspiracies?! DOUBLE CHECK! If you're like me, then you probably got super excited, imagining a book that will ultimately blow your mind. But before you get too thrilled, I must say this now: this book, unfortunately and sadly, is nothing but a disappointment. A huge, flat disappointment. In fact, if there's anything that Wasteland is, th ...more
Dec 12, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Made it to 25% and just couldn't go any farther. Writing isn't that great and the premise is very strange....a town of creepy children being attacked by vicious hermaphrodites just doesn't do it for me.
Reading Teen
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
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
15-year-old Esther lives in a world where everyone dies of a horrible sickness by age 19.
In order to survive the teens must scavenge gas, which they then exchange with a boy called Levi for food.
The ‘mutants’ – strange mutated people with violet eyes, are kept at bay, but increasingly seem to be attacking the town.
Why are the mutants attacking the town? Where does Levi get the food from? And what happens when the food runs out?

This was an interesting dystopia
Rachel V.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked Wasteland and can't wait for the next book in the trilogy. It's about a future where all the grownups have died, you are considered old if you reach 19. They live in the old buildings scrounging for food and bottled water. The water and even the rain are deadly. There are a new race of people, the Variants, kinda like Native Americans in that they've learned how to live off the land, but their eyes, skin, features, and abilities, are very different from the others, basically adapt ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia-utopia
The world building in this book was absolutely terrible. Y U NO EXPLAIN ANYTHING AUTHOR?!
Romance was horrible + a love triangle. ish.
I was so, so close to DNFing, but thought I'd press on in hope that it would get better. Nope.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the spoiler in the middle of the book. Just really was not expecting that. I had no idea that (view spoiler)
I was also confused because throughout the whole book because I thought Joseph was (view spoiler)
I also liked how Esther was friends with Skar, which was predictable, but in the end
DNF at 25%

I did not finish this book so I am not going to rate it or properly review it, but I am going to briefly tell you why I didn’t finish it.

Frankly I found this book quite bizarre and not in a good way. There were some un-pc moments which I am not going to talk about in detail, I was not offended but some people might be. I will leave that for you to decide if you chose to read it.

I stopped reading this because I felt it was a little all over the place.

There was a lack of information and
Stephanie Enright
With so many great dystopian novels on the book shelves at book stores.. I was very disappointed by this one. The characters weren't well developed, the world building was awful and the writing was atrocious. I don't like to give bad reviews so I will end on the positive that at least I will only have to read the first one in the series.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars: A dystopian that lacks detail and world building.

Esther is tired of her mundane existence. She is bored by the endless hours spent scrounging for gas and other articles that go to Levi in exchange for food and supplies. Levi holds all the necessities for survival in a small fortified building known as the Source. He hoards all the supplies and doles them out to the surviving citizens in Prin in exchange for their hard work. Esther would much rather spend the day playing with her fri
*Genre* YA Dystopian
*Rating* 3.0

*First thoughts*

I went into this book with my eyes opened along with a pen and paper to take copious notes. I left all preconceived notions behind and allowed the author to sway me into either liking this book, or not. This is all my opinion, and subjective to my likes and dislikes and nobody else's. You may find that this is the greatest book since the creation of the Bible or sliced bread. I will politely disagree and move on.

According to the synopsis, this is t
Dec 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So two award-winning journalists decide to try their hand at the current craze of YA dystopian novels. But WASTELAND is what happens when non-fiction writers think that writing a coherent, engaging, and imaginative YA novel is not so hard. Throw in a controversial situation, maybe some race-themed antagonism, a couple of clever adjectives for spice, and voila. Easy peasy, right?

They should keep their day jobs.

Esther is our main protagonist. She's fifteen, the prime age for partnering and havin
Dec 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Review is also on my blog My Friends Are Fiction

The Story:
I wanted to be riveted and engrossed in this book, I really did. I even stopped midway and read a couple of books thinking perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for it. Unfortunately, when I resumed reading the flaws were still glaringly present. For me, the story jumped around erratically and details felt generally glossed over. Perhaps its because its narrated by an omnipresent voice that jumps from one character's story to another with no
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
To be honest, I have a lot of thoughts about Wasteland. While I wish they could all be positive, they are not. In fact, looking back at Wasteland, I sometimes think it was a miracle that I finished this one at all. Which is really disappointing due to its interesting concept and potential.

In Wasteland, no one lives to see age 20. Life is bleak. Water and food are scarce. It is survival of the fittest. In small town called Prin, they make due... surprisingly so.

From the beginning, Wasteland drew
Jul 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a post-apocalyptic adventure about teenagers desperately clinging to their survival after society has crumbled, but what I got was a childish tale about kids fighting with other kids for stupid reasons and with stupid weapons. Seriously? They can't get any weapons oh boo hoo but there's glass everywhere, it wouldn't take Levi's "smarts" to work out that you can craft makeshift weapons out of stuff. There are characters around 17-19 years old, and yet everyone in this book seems t ...more
I literally put this book down after reading it and said hmmm. I just wasn't quite sure what I thought of the whole thing. There were times in this dystopian novel where I was really into and I wanted to know what was going on and there were other times where I found myself thinking that I didn't really care about certain things. I hate that! I was pretty excited for this novel as I love reading about dystopian societies. The book was marketed as a book where everyone dies at the age of 19 and t ...more
Millie Dixon
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally written over at Millie D's Words.

*A review copy was provided for me to review*

The first time I got a glance by this cover, I was instantly intrigued. There's just something about it that caught my eye. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but that was quite alright. Hermaphroditic outcasts and a mystery were sure to keep me interested.

Esther was a different girl compared to the rest of the inhabitants of Prin. She didn't mind the Variants and did not agree with
Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay)
Esther and all of the others living in Prin are just trying to live through one day at a time. The difference between her and them, is that she is friends with a Variant named Skar and they believe Variants are an abomination. Then the Variants begin to attack the town of Prin, firebombing buildings and killing innocent citizens for seemingly no reason. Around this time Caleb, a stranger, comes to town on a mission. Caleb is determined to find out who murdered his wife and kidnapped their infant ...more
This was one of those books that I finished in a day, more because I needed something to occupy me than because I was engrossed in the story. Don't get me wrong--it's not a bad read. It's just not all that interesting. Perfect for a day stuck inside with kids, though. I will say the quality of the writing and the plot improved toward the end of the book, so I will probably give this author another chance.

Anyway, the book is about a group of teenagers trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world
Wendy Hines
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dystopian world where you marry at fifteen and you die at nineteen, Wasteland is set in a compelling world. In the small town of Prin, the citizens work for The Source, a huge manor house that takes a lot of gas to run it. In return for the gas and other scavenged items, the townfolk receive food, clothing and water. What they don't know is that the one who runs The Source, Levi, has a hidden agenda.

Esther spends her days playing with Skar, a variant. Variants are human-like, but aren't. They
Once Upon a Twilight
With the success of Hunger Games more novels have drifted away from the paranormal and closer to the more dystopian style genre. Whether or not these new novels find success, is all up to the quality and creativity of the book. In my opinion Wasteland does a great job in both of these categories. The two authors paired together create an enticing piece of fiction. With excellent characters and fresh but sometimes rightfully grim storytelling, this book has all the characteristics of a bestseller ...more
See this review and others like it at!

Wasteland has left me feeling pretty neutral. It wasn’t a horrible book, but it didn’t wow me in any way either. The story was a basic dystopian where everyone is struggling to survive, but we aren’t given any type of setting context to ground the story. Why is the rain poison? Why doesn’t anyone live past 19? Why is the world so destroyed? None of that is explained. Instead, this felt more like an installment from a larger series, like
Tasha Robinson
Great premise, so-so execution. I loved the authors' graphic novels Brain Camp and City Of Spies, which also have great premises and plotting, and the storyline here is compelling, with characters in a tough, potentially complicated Dying Earth situation. But the writing is frustratingly blunt and simple, and so are the emotions that drive people. Everything feels rushed, with people veering from one emotional extreme to another and reversing their motivations — or instantly falling in love — wi ...more
sasha shamblen
When I received this book in the mail I read he back and was like this sounds so amazing. I mean teens getting married at 15, having kids at 17 and dying at 19, .wow. I don’t know what I would do if I was alive in this world, I would only have 2 years of life left at maximum. Any way I ended up really liking the book, but it definitely wasn’t what I had expected from the summary.
I really liked the storyline. There were so many twists and turns that I hadn’t expected. So many layers to the plot t
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esther and her sister, Sarah live in Prin. A town that may have once been beautiful but has not been almost all but destroyed. The survivors are just that. Surviving. People in Prin have three jobs…harvesting, gleaning, or excavation. Their leader Levi lives in a fortress called the Source. Levi is a mean leader. However the people of Prin have to worry more about the variant or mutants. The variant live on the outskirts of Prin. Lately, they have gotten more violent.

The people receive a hero i
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Main character was too juvenile for me to like, the plot was a little too forced and it was kinda boring. As other reviewers have said, much better than I, the world building stinks. There's no timeline of how long after the fit hit the Shan this book takes place, so it's hard to imagine some of the kids as literate with most not and the food and gas situation as bad as it is. Also, if they all know that they die at 19, why in the world would any of them try to become powerful and control everyo ...more
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What's The Name o...: Distopian (maybe) YA story about marrying and dieing very young [s] 14 63 Apr 03, 2014 03:14PM  
Gone Series Anyone? 3 17 May 10, 2013 06:00PM  
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Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family spen ...more
More about Susan Kim...

Other Books in the Series

Wasteland (3 books)
  • Wanderers (Wasteland, #2)
  • Guardians (Wasteland, #3)