Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles

by:  Paulette Jiles
published by:  William Morrow
publish date:  October 8, 2013

In the coming centuries the world's population has exploded and covered the earth with cities, animals are nearly all gone and drought has taken over so that cloudy water is issued by the quart. It is an unwelcoming world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Abandoned by her parents on a crowded street when she was four, the little girl is shuttled from orphanage to orphanage, foster-family to foster-family. Nadia grows up dreaming of the vacation spot called Lighthouse Island. 

In Lighthouse Island the cities of the United States have grown to such an extent that they all blend together.  There's such a lack of water that building can't be more than 4 stories tall because there isn't enough water pressure to get it up farther than that.  Nadia is an orphan living in this world being shuffled around from one government bureaucracy to another.  She keeps her dreams focused on Lighthouse Island until the day she escapes to make her way there.

I liked this book, but it was different than what I was expecting.  It was more comical than I was expecting.  Usually, dystopian books are so dark and dreary and this one wasn't.  Nadia was a pretty amusing character.  She was very resourceful in getting people to do what she wanted them to do.   She eventually meets up with James, a cartographer and demolitions expert, and they fall in love.  I didn't particularly care for the "insta-love" nature of their relationship.  It didn't feel real to me.   That's just me I guess.

I would recommend this book to the dystopian readers, but set some time aside.  This was a long book.  It could have been shorter.  I think fans of Justin Cronin would enjoy Paulette Jiles.  I found her writing to be similar in style, it had the same feel.  Overall, good book.  I'm going to have to look for some of her other work. 

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