Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Midnight at the Electric

Rate this book
Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.

Kansas, 2065.
Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.

259 pages, Hardcover

First published June 13, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jodi Lynn Anderson

37 books1,686 followers
I write strange and mythical stories about young people.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,619 (27%)
4 stars
2,528 (43%)
3 stars
1,335 (22%)
2 stars
285 (4%)
1 star
50 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,274 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
June 6, 2017
“Earth,” Alexa finally said. “It’s not that great anyway.” And they all smiled sadly. Because, of course, she was being sarcastic. Of course, it was everything.

What a strange, quiet, beautiful book. Anderson is the author of one of my favourite YA books of all time - Tiger Lily - making her someone whose books are auto-buys for me. And Midnight at the Electric didn't disappoint.

I feel like I should issue a warning that those going into this book should prepare themselves for a slow, gentle, but emotional read. Anderson fans will expect this after reading both Tiger Lily and The Vanishing Season. There is something so haunting and all the more effective about the subtle way these stories unfold.

The author reveals powerful concepts and insights into humanity through the quiet interactions between people, and their private thoughts. When she retells Peter Pan, the focus is on the inner turmoil of a young girl and the heartache that comes with growing up, changing, and not having things turn out how you'd hoped. When she tells this story about a Mars colonist in the year 2065, the focus is not on space travel and the future, but on the deep sadness of leaving something behind, and the excitement of experiencing something new.
“I think that’s what you say when you can’t have something you want, isn’t it? You say you don’t want it in the first place.”

Though the book starts with Adri - an orphan who has been chosen as one of the first colonists on Mars - it actually tells three different stories. Adri has been sent to live with her distant and aging cousin, Lily, while she prepares for her new life, but in Lily's home she discovers the diaries of a girl called Catherine who lived during the Dust bowl of 1930s America, and letters to Catherine's mother from Lenore, an English girl who lost her beloved brother in the First World War.

All of these stories are tied together by Galapagos, a tortoise that has appeared in the lives of all three women. And all three women are on the cusp of leaving - Lenore leaving England; Catherine leaving her dust-covered town and the boy she loves; Adri leaving Earth. The book is infused with melancholy... because there is something very sad about change and leaving, even new beginnings are tinged with the sadness of that left behind.

The book is full of relationships, reluctant friendship, love and loss, without ever feeling too sentimental or manipulative. It is strange how a book that has such a sad atmosphere can be somehow hopeful and uplifting at the same time. It contains all the bittersweetness of something ending, and something else beginning.
“Do you think I can change?” she finally asked.
Lily looked at her, curious and thoughtful. “Well,” she replied, “are you dead?”
They smiled at each other, a slow unfolding.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews62.1k followers
January 16, 2019

This is a beautiful, quiet story told in paucal timelines, 2 of which are in an epistolary format. I was surprised by how much I equally enjoyed each section and connected with the characters within in it, being only 250 pages. It was a unique choice to have none of the timelines be in current day, making this an interesting novel to try to shelve. Is it historical fiction? Sci fi? Was it a romance? All I know is it was flawless, thoughtful, and atmospheric as all hell.

Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
March 18, 2019
This book is a quiet masterpiece. The type of book that relies on the empty space, survives off the quiet and the human rather than the rich and the sci-fi. And it's the type of book you remember. The type of book you won't forget.

Don't go in expecting a shocking sci-fi element or glorious worldbuilding; that's not this book's game. This is a book that thrives on questions, rather than focusing on the small stuff.

I'm really not going to say much more, beyond this: Midnight at the Electric is fundamentally a book about leaving. There's a sense of melancholy here, but it never overwrites the book's message of hope and love. It's a clever book and one I can't see myself forgetting soon.

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
July 22, 2018
im pretty sure if you looked up the definition of bittersweet, you would find a picture of this book.

picking this up, the cover and title implied to me that ‘the electric,’ the travelling show, would have some sort of main focus in the book. so i went into this very much expecting a carnivalesque type story, but this was far from that. this was not what i was expecting, not in the slightest.

this was very slow and gentle story about the quiet strength it takes to leave everything you know for the hope of something better - adri leaving earth for a future on mars, catherine leaving her dusty hometown for the health of her sister, and lenore leaving england to follow her best friend. and i absolutely loved how all three points in time connected in such an emotional way.

but despite the melancholy nature of each of the three girls’ stories, there was also something quite hopeful and uplifting about their courage in the face of sacrifice. again, the only word i can use to describe this book is bittersweet - its the perfect portrayal of the feeling of something ending in order to make way for a new beginning. such a well told story.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
841 reviews3,773 followers
February 15, 2021

4.5 stars rounded up, because genuine tears and laughs are the most precious things, aren't they? Midnight at the Electric relates several stories entwined, stories about loss and courage and hope and choices. You jump straight into new characters' lives and you just care instantly and isn't it baffling? When I see that I can read an entire book without giving a damn whatsoever and that Jodi Lynn Anderson manages to create a connection between her characters and I in the span of 2 pages, I feel awed.

"The longer I live, " she looked up at the ceiling, "the more I think our big mistakes are not about having bad intentions, but just not paying attention. Just bumbling along, a little self-absorbed."

I want to label this book as slow and then I don't, because I've noticed that people associate slow and quiet to long and boring and that just won't do. At no moment did I feel anything but enthralled, yet that's true that Midnight at the Electric isn't an action-packed novel.

Action-packed, again an adjective that annoys me, because there's nothing that frustrates me more than trying to explain how futile actions are when it comes to pacing. A novel can be filled with events and a chore to get through all the same. Another - and yes yes yes I'm talking about this beauty - can be one million times more compelling even if it mostly deals with relationships and all that we humans ever feel and dream or fear.

"Lily shrugged. "I think that's what you say when you can't have something you want, isn't it? You say you don't want it in the first place."

Above everything, Midnight at the Electric explores the strings that hold ourselves back. Does leaving is breaking them or is that another thing entirely? This question has been at the heart of my early years as an adult, and at 32 now, the only thing I can say is that I've found my answer, but that I genuinely believe that there's no such thing as an universal one. Go and find yours.

Jodi Lynn Anderson's writing is stunning in all the ways that count for me, emotional without forcing and filled with these thoughtful moments that ring so true, as Leonore's definition of grief :

"Sadness is only something that's part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything - every little thing - different than it was before."

The quote above is why I'll always come back to her books, even if the subjects don't appeal to me at first glance : because I know that in the end, her stories are so full of life that they'll always contain little parts of me, they'll always perfectly capture that feeling of possibility - I guess they just inspire me, and I can't say that's true for many books. I can't recommend them enough.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,244 followers
June 14, 2017
I went into this for all the wrong reasons. If you're looking for a multigenerational YA contemporary read, this is for you. If the science fiction elements are the draw for you, you may be disappointed. I wasn't particularly in the mood for this slower sort of read about loss, relationships and friendship. And I'm sure it didn't help that I never felt a connection to the characters.

Three stories are told tied together by one common character: Galapagos, the tortoise. In 2065, Adri has been selected to be one of the colonists living on Mars. She moves to live with a distant cousin in Kansas while she completes her final trainings. Adri discovers the journal of Catherine, a girl living during the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma 1934, and letters from Lenore, an English girl coming to terms with the loss of her brother in World War I (1919).

While I was fascinated by Adri's storyline because of the destruction of the earth by climate change, the need to put colonists on Mars. It's really all very intriguing how the future is imagined here, though it isn't very expansive. We don't get very much detail on the future of the world, so I wouldn't read the book for only this storyline. We also don't see any of the colonization on Mars.

I enjoyed the atmosphere within Catherine's story. The Dust Bowl setting was excellent. You could feel the suffocation of the dust and the overall bleak tone the Great Depression brings.

If only the story wasn't so slow moving. While some of the settings worked for me, I never connected to the characters. I almost stopped reading, but was curious if I'd get more from the settings. Plus it is a fairly short read, so no harm there. It seems I didn't feel the emotion I should have from the story. Oops.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
February 7, 2018
all this author needed was 257 pages to make me so bloody invested in these characters that i'd go to mars for them.

this was beautiful

Profile Image for Chelsea.
316 reviews2,766 followers
August 1, 2019
This book is a goddamn masterpiece. I can all ready see myself rereading this and taking away something new every time. While this lured me in with the circus tent on the cover, don’t be fooled. This has very little to do with a circus. It’s a sci-fi, historical fiction, literary fiction and just plain beautiful. With themes of time and space being used in a literal and metaphorical sense, this was a book that I needed right at this moment.

Told through three perspectives, two historical and one in the future, I love that present day isn’t a part of this story. The only constant is a sea turtle (don’t get me started on the symbolism of that). This has elements of found families that never actually come in contact. It’s a found family over generations of letters and story telling. I was so invested in every single characters’ well-being and I have no idea how Anderson developed these people in such a short time.

Definitely not going to be everybody’s cup of tea but this was a story that I very much needed and I loved every word.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
March 14, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Maybe now would be a good time for me to pre-apologize. I’m not really a get-to-know-each-other kind of a person. I’m not charming or anything. I’m, like, the opposite of that.”

This was a YA story about a girl leaving for Mars, who finds an old relatives letters and reads them.

Adri was quite a prickly character, and she really didn’t seem to like being around people much at all. I did understand her need to find out how things ended though, and I was pleased that she began to appreciate people a bit more towards the end of the book.

The storyline in this was about Adri going to stay with a distant cousin whilst training to go live on Mars, and finding some old personal letters in the room she was staying in. These letters then gave us the stories of Catherine - who lives in Oklahoma in 1934, and Lenore - who lives in England in 1919. Catherine was worried about her younger sister who had dust pneumonia, and Lenore was coming to terms with her brother’s death during the war, and hoping to travel to America to meet up with her childhood friend. I did find these interlocking stories quite interesting, and I found myself wanting to know what happened next, there was something missing for me though.

The ending to the story was okay, and I was pleased that we got to find out what happened to each of the girls, and how their stories tied together.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Sahil Javed.
258 reviews243 followers
January 27, 2021
Midnight at the Electric follows three different protagonists: Adri, Catherine and Lenore as they navigate love, sacrifice and what it means to leave something behind.
“I wonder if sometimes you can miss something so much it breaks you, and still be happy you left.”

The writing in this book was beautiful but I had no doubt about that. Jodi Lynn Anderson is so adept at writing, it’s actually unreal. Her writing is so lyrical and beautiful. It’s no secret that Tiger Lily is one of my favourite books of all time. This author can make you feel so much with so few words that I actually need this woman to write more books. Like seriously, I’ll actually pay her to write another book because that’s how much I love her writing.
“I think all my life my heart’s been broken,” Adri whispered, “and I didn’t even notice. And I don’t even know by what.”

The best thing about this book is its characters. They felt so realistic and I sympathised with all of their situations. It’s crazy how in just over 200 pages, the author was able to make me feel so much for each of these three different characters. I did cry. A lot. Am I surprised? No. I don’t think this author could ever write a book that would not make me cry. I have to say though, my favourite character was definitely Catherine, followed by Lenore and then lastly, Adri. I just connected a lot more with Catherine and Lenore than I did with Adri but that did change as the novel went on and I learned more about Adri.
“I think that's what you say when you can't have something you want, isn't it? You say you don't want it in the first place.”

There’s something deeply satisfying about reading Jodi Lynn Anderson’s books. I first experienced it with Tiger Lily and now with Midnight at the Electric. There’s this weird sort of sadness that the books make you feel, like you’re hollow and empty inside. But they also leave you with hope. That no matter how dire your situation is, there is always room for it to get better. This novel isn’t really a science-fiction novel about a girl’s trip to Mars, its about the sadness of leaving something behind and the pains of growing up and changing in a world filled with uncertainty. But the ending was perfect for me. It made me feel the same way I felt after I finished Tiger Lily but on a smaller scale and with less tears, that there’s always room for hope in your heart.
“I think the rest of the world is not as cold and lonely a place as you think. At least I have to hope.”

Midnight at the Electric is a beautiful book. It’s just over 200 pages but it packs so much emotion and character development that this author deserves all the praise in the world for her talent in making you feel so much with just only a few words.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,540 followers
December 21, 2017
"Why do you think that is, that you love these people you don't know."

Midnight at the Electric, like Anderson's other works, is a very literary sort of novel. It's quiet, character-focused, with prose that is simple yet elegant.

For that reason, her books often don't get the attention they deserve. It's too highbrow for YA. I confess I'm guilty of that too in this case. While Tiger Lily took my breath away with its quiet ferocity, Midnight at the Electric took me three months to read and left very little impact. I can't remember a single character's name, except for the niggling feeling that I should have enjoyed it more than I did.

What I can tell you is that it's a story of three women spanning decades and continents. It's a story of deep-boned love preserved like a flower pressed between pages.

I do hope you give it a try. I know I didn't rate it high, but that's not a testament to its value. Not this time.

ARC provided by Edelweiss
Profile Image for Dennis.
659 reviews269 followers
December 22, 2019
This is a little beauty.

It's best to know nothing about the story beyond what's in the blurb. Because everything slowly unfolding in front of your eyes is what makes this such a wonderful read.

Just be warned. This is not a science-fiction book. Although part of it is set in the future, it's not about science, technology or expansive world building.

This is a book about people and their relationships. It's about friendship and family and love. About loss and hope.
Mostly it's about leaving. About change and letting go. A book about finding your place in this world and how difficult this can be.

I really enjoyed it. But books like this are often hard to recommend. A lot depends on how you connect with the characters.

I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.
It was a melancholic and also a beautiful read.
I think this book and its characters will stay with me for quite a while.
Profile Image for Zyra .
203 reviews81 followers
June 27, 2017
such a beautiful book. every word just makes you want to read more. so much of feelings & emotions through the pages. the ups & downs of these people. their struggles, love, loneliness, living through their lives is captured beautifully by the author.
Profile Image for Mila.
770 reviews65 followers
February 7, 2019
"Grief isn't like sadness at all. Sadness is only something that's a part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything - every little thing - different than it was before".

While the genres of this book are sci-fi and historical fiction, they're only relevant in the setting - one part of it takes place in the future, two others in the past. Other than that, it's a character novel which is filled with feelings of loneliness, despair, regret; but also hope, unity, and peace. For such a short story, it brought up a lot of topics and really impacted the way I think about the future ahead of us. It made me hope for the humanity again.

"I think the rest of the world is not as cold and lonely a place as you think. At least I have to hope".
Profile Image for Irene Sim.
711 reviews79 followers
February 12, 2018
I'll just go for the noncommital 3 stars cause this book did nothing for me but I can't fault it either.
It's more historical than fantasy (I really can't see a point for the third story taking place in the future, 2065 to be exact) but the two main stories are set in 1920 and 1935.
The plot lines for each story held no mystery for me, I spotted early on the small twists, and even though the writing style is more than average it failed to grab my attention.
I loved two things about this book: Galapagos and the history information about Kansas' dust storms during the '40s. The tortoise was a sweet addition to the story and had an amazing life-journey. As for the storms, I've never heard of them before and they really picked my interest (did a little google-search on the side).
I don't want to dissuade someone else from reading this story, just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it's not a story worth reading.
Profile Image for Katie Grace.
174 reviews6 followers
February 3, 2018

Like I said before, I randomly picked this book up at the library because I thought the title was pretty. I glanced at the back cover blurb, saw the word mars, and knew that I had to at least give it a try.

Wow. It was so, so amazing. (tip: don't start this book at 11:15pm. you will unavoidably stay up past midnight and suffer from an aching back and tired eyes the next morning)

This is the kind of story I want to write. The author has such a way with words, and they flow beautifully and lyrically. It's not a huge action book, there aren't world ending disasters. Instead it's about family histories that span generations. It's about loss and friendship and getting to know the heart of the characters.

UGH IT WAS SO GOOD. The mood occasionally gave me Interstellar type vibes? (which makes even more sense as to why I loved this book) I just... read this book. <3

lil' list of things I loved
- referenced Myers-Briggs in the first 16 pages (!!!)
- it's not a mystery but yet it was a mystery?
- all the characters were so different and I'm jealous of the author's ability to do this
- in no other book can a turtle make me cry :')
- I was equally interested with all three POVs
- quick read
- the writing is gorgeous (already mentioned this I know but it really is)
- the ending was amazing and perfect for the story
- and now you all have to go read this and then flail with me :D <3
Profile Image for Renee Godding.
613 reviews573 followers
April 24, 2020
Read for O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2020, Herbology. Mumbulus Mimbletonia: a book title that starts with M

4/5 stars

Maybe it's the extra time and (for lack of a better word) "headspace" I have during the quarantaine, or maybe just the type of books I've been gravitating towards lately, but I've been on a winning-streak since April started. 4th book in a row that I absolutely loved.
Profile Image for Jillian .
431 reviews1,782 followers
July 15, 2017
"Beth, I've made a discovery, and it's that grief isn't like sadness at all. Sadness is only something that's a part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything -- every little thing -- different than it was before."

there are books that you seek out and there the books that seem to find you. this book found me at a time when i've recently experienced a huge loss in my life. and jodi lynn anderson really knows how to write about loss and how empty it can make you feel but also how when all is said and done and despite the emptiness, life can and will move forward. the human spirit is always resilient. so i'm really thankful this book found me. i loved this. 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Karima chermiti.
815 reviews153 followers
February 2, 2019

To be honest, This isn’t my first time with the book, I picked it up before and I ended up DNFing it but I always knew that I’ll give it a second chance and thank God that I did cause this isn’t a book you want to miss reading; quiet, powerful and melancholic, Midnight at the electric is a beautiful and soft tale of three women linked together through time and human connections.

I wonder if sometimes you can miss something so much it breaks you, and still be happy you left

Really, this book is so lovely yet gut-wrenching that it left a mark on my soul and will stay with me forever. The simplicity of its emotions and the nostalgic vibe the book fills you with is something I rarely came across. This is a unique experience that filled my heart and drowned me in feelings. What a hidden Gem, what a tremendous story about love, loss, friendship and connecting.

Sadness is only something that's part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything - every little thing - different than it was before

I don’t want to say a lot about the plot of the book, it’s really way better if you go blind into this one and let the book take you on a journey you don’t know anything about before, it’s immersive, it’s addictive, it’s impossibly human and in its core, it’s about the idea of home, leaving that home behind in search of something more or staying even though it will break you; Home being different thing for each character in the book, it can be a friend, a place, a lover or a memory.

I think the rest of the world is not as cold and lonely a place as you think. At least I have to hope

I just don’t think you can’t review such a tale without becoming emotional; it’s just not that possible. Highly recommend this one, it’s touching beyond imagination, it’s equally painful and hopeful and that balance, between agony and pure joy is done in a manner that makes you believe.

I’m aware that Midnight At The Electric isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy the quiet and the melancholic, this book is definitely something you need to check out.

I don't care if there are cracks in us, we are still us. We don't have to be perfect to be right

Profile Image for Kristina.
254 reviews73 followers
June 25, 2022
Jodi Lynn Anderson truly knows how to weave a beautiful story. After reading this and Tiger Lily, she has cemented herself as one of my favorite authors. Loved this!
Profile Image for Andreas.
234 reviews105 followers
June 16, 2017
"“Lily?”, she whispered. Lily didn’t move. “Can I tell you something?” Lilly breathed deeply, clearly asleep. “I think all my life my heart’s been broken,” Adri whispered, “and I didn’t even notice. And I don’t even know by what.”

It wasn't because of any one thing – not losing parents she didn’t remember, not growing up in the group home – not the obvious things. It felt more like it had just come from being born, from time existing."

Wow, I haven’t a lot to say about this novel, and even if I had I wouldn’t know how. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting – a boisterous, loud, sort of irritating YA narrative. No, this is a beautiful and quiet novel, full of longing and heartfelt characters trying to discover how to make it in this – and other – worlds. Jodi Lynn Anderson’s writing is so so beautiful here, so melancholy and delicate, and at the same time full of strong whims and turns. It made me… I don’t know, it just left me wishing all the best for the wonderful people she created and that I got to read about. It made me feel and care. And can we talk about this title? Midnight at the Electric. What an amazing and magical and special title, much like the book itself.
Profile Image for Eliza.
594 reviews1,374 followers
June 29, 2018
3 / 5

What a great book to read right before my flight. Really. It’s such an easy and lovely novel. Not spectacular by any means, but definitely enjoyable.

This could’ve been 4 stars if I’d enjoyed Lenore’s part more (I wasn’t into the letter format or her life story); however, Catherine and Adri’s parts made up for it. I really liked Adri’s role and how she was going to live on Mars. I thought that was super neat.

As I mentioned in an update, I literally bought this book because I loved the cover. And did it live up to it’s beautiful cover? Honestly?

Yes and no.

Yes, because I’m not kidding when I say that I enjoyed reading Adri’s part. No, because there wasn’t any carnival scenes (there was a mention of a carnival, but that doesn’t count)! I was hoping for a story far more mystical—one that would match the cover.

Overall, this was a nice read. I highly recommend for those who like books with multiple perspectives that tie-in together. But I don’t recommend if you’re expecting something carnival-like and magic-filled—it’s not that sort of book. It’s the sort of book that shows the importance of love and family, and taking risks to find happiness.
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
282 reviews419 followers
September 26, 2022
4.5 Stars

This book isn’t for everyone, but it is for me.

Jodi Lynn Anderson’s books have low average ratings because they aren’t what people expect.

This isn’t the type of book with a detailed and complex plot. In fact, it doesn’t really even have a plot. But I don’t care because I didn’t read this for the plot. I read this for the characters and just the emotions I would feel while reading it.

I don’t know what it is about her books that make me feel so many things. I feel this ache in my chest when I read them.

Her other book, The Vanishing Season, was slightly lacking but Midnight at the Electric was so good. It was beautiful, and the writing was much better. I wish I had tabbed the parts I liked because then I could’ve reread them.

I wish she had more books I could read. I hope she publishes another book in the future because I will definitely read it!
Profile Image for Zenki the Pixie.
195 reviews100 followers
June 22, 2017
Simplicity is beauty
This book is a really great example.

"I know I'll never see England or China and never have Ellis and never be rich. So I want to hold that ball of lightning in my hands. I want my chance at living too, and this is as close as I can get."

Scattered here and there are utterly relatable passages. Surely the characters are going through something far different that what you're going through but the way they describe their feelings, it's very easy to think of moments where you felt the exact same way.

Even if Catherine and Lenore's POV's were journal entries and letters within Adri's POV, the emotions emanating out of them are still strong and authentic. The writing was raw and vivid. You'll be able to feel how special these papers are.

I adored all the characters but I loved Lenore's personality the most - she was just so hilarious.

"Ellis once told me that if they had a way of weighing people's souls along with their bodies I'd be 2 percent fat, 10 percent water, and 90 percent unattainable desires."

Nevermind that the components won't add up to exactly 100 percent. This book has a way of making me laugh in spite of the gloomy setting.

"I've made a discovery, and it's that grief isn't like sadness at all. Sadness is only something that's a part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything - every little thing - different than it was before."

The reflections are stunning. Words like these arrange themselves on paper only when they are unquestionably heartfelt - when the author is brave enough to part with a little bit of her soul to share with others.

"Her faith never changes, while mine does all the time - blinking out at times, flaring up at others. For the moment, I think maybe there is a God but a different one than she says. I think God might be the dust and the jackrabbits and the rain, that God might be Teddy and the bullet that killed him, the beautiful and exquisite moon and the terrible zeppelins, all spread out and everywhere. I've begun to think that maybe we are God's fingers rubbing against each other to see how it feels. Do you think that is a sacrilegious thought - that God might be everything and its opposite?"

I love this quote most of all. Lenore appeared to be most real here. Critical, philosophical, and blunt. It's a refusal to perceive only in blacks and whites and a refusal to not question.

This book is definitely wonderful. So many beautiful thoughts and the ending was a fresh breath of optimism - not denial, but faith. I didn't see any radical change in Adri and I think I loved that as well.

It's a simple, easy read and definitely worth it.
Profile Image for Lenna • Sugar Dusted Pages .
238 reviews40 followers
March 18, 2019
Read again 3/18/19. Still my favorite

**Warning: this text may contain spoilers**

4.5 StarsJodi Lynn Anderson is one of my very favorite authors. Tiger Lily is my favorite YA book, and that and The Vanishing Season both made me cry.

Her writing is so beautiful, her stories so bittersweet. After reading this I felt sad... but not in a bad way. More like how sometimes you feel lonely when you remember a good memory. Or when something happens that you know is right, but it doesn't make it any less melancholy.

I'm honestly not sure how to review this. I'll try though. *sobs*

As always, each of her characters were so well developed. Which is pretty amazing, as this book is under 300 pages. I got a clear sense of who each person was, and the intricacies of their personalities, motives, and hopes. I thought Adri's development in particular was fantastic. She started out so closed off and lonely, and throughout the book slowly starts to feel okay letting people in.

I'll admit I didn't like her at first. But she grows sooo much.

And then she leaves. And while this was the right ending, it didn't make it any less bittersweet.

I should really stop being surprised by these PAINFUL endings. All of Anderson's books are like this. *sniffles*

I really enjoyed Catherine's journal and Lenore's letters as well, and their individual stories were so sweet and compelling and the way they connected was really well done.

One important thing to know about this book is that there really isn't a plot. Nothing happens. But this book isn't about what happens. It's about relationships, romantic and friendly and familial, and the tiny moments that can change a life forever.

I did feel like Lenore's and Catherine's characters lost a lot of their development the second half of the book. Or maybe they just changed? Either way, I definitely preferred the first half. The second half was still so good, just not AS good. If that makes sense.

Also, didn't like how SHORT this book was. I want more!! I need more!!

But really, the shortness really makes this book powerful. The ending leaves a lot to the imagination, much like real life.

Would you pay $10 for Eternal Life? You Can at the Electric! Midnight Shows Only!"

That quote makes clear both the title and the ending of the book. My emotions are too muddled to discuss it clearly, but it is really poignant and compelling.

And that was a terrible review. But the FEELS. Ugh. Maybe I'll reread this closer to the release date and write a more coherent review...

Also, think it's time to reread Tiger Lily. Because apparently I need more emotional agony in my life.

**Thank you to the publisher for the review copy.
Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews379 followers
February 21, 2018
This book was entirely unlike anything I had read before. Part historical fiction, part science fiction, and 100% beautiful. It's a quick and powerful read that I definitely recommend!
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,651 reviews161 followers
September 3, 2017
"Isn't it strange how a whole life can begin with a little spark?”

What a wonderfully quiet story. About loss and grief and family and a sense of belonging - the idea that your history tells part of your story.

This is the story of 3 different girls in 3 different times. The stories are a bit like puzzle pieces but one of the reasons I loved it was because of how it was written.

First there is Adri. She is in a future time from now. She has applied and been granted approval to begin the process of leaving earth - to have the chance to colonize and start the future of Mars. But she's stunned to hear that she will stay with family, a long lost cousin, while she prepares to leave. Adri didn't know she had any family and isn't exactly excited to find she has some. But she arrives and gets to know Lily. Adri is prickly, not a people person, and it takes time for her to even mildly warm up to Lily. As Adri and Lily try to trace their lineage to each other, Adri discovers a journal and letters in their family home.

The journal is Catherine's story. She is a young girl growing up in Kansas during the great Dust Bowl. Her chapters are amazing and horrifying. She is finding first love and first adventure but she is also watching her farm be buried in dirt and her sister's cough not going away. It's scary and fascinating.

Through Catherine's story, we learn about her mom. Her mother left England during the war but her best friend stayed behind. We learn, through letters from the best friend, who is named Lenore, what the war was like and how much she struggled with the losses in their town and the need to leave and flee and go to America with her friend.

The over all theme of the story is definitely family but it's also environment. Each girl is living through a difficult time and is making life or death decisions. They realize their strengths and maybe find courage as each new generation finds out about the courage and strength and love of the generation (or more) before them. I love the quiet subtle way the story sucked me in. I was so interested in how it all played out. I wanted to know how they all connected and i wanted to know how their individual stories collided but also how each thread ended. It was a amazing way to tell a story and I was hooked from page 1. Thank you Jodi Lynn Anderson, this was a wonderful story.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,740 reviews223 followers
July 10, 2017
Of the three voices that make the whole story I only did find interesting one of them. The other two (Adri, the one who is going to Mart; and Leonore, writting letters to Beth) were without interest to me. Overall, I found this book was slow and around 60ish% of it I had lost all interest on it.
Profile Image for Kristina Horner.
157 reviews1,812 followers
September 9, 2018
I loved this book! It was a random pick at a used bookstore, but I loved every minute of it, and hadn’t really read anything quite like it before. Loved all three narrators and felt totally invested in each of their stories.
Profile Image for Emily Donnellan.
547 reviews432 followers
Want to read
January 4, 2017
This novel sounds really ambitious...I'm not even sure how this story could be told is less than 300 pages. If anyone can do it though it would be Jodi Lynn Anderson.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,274 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.