Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh

Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year, #1)Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Whispers in Autumn was a book I wanted to read ever since I heard about it. The synopsis sounds great, the book covers for this series is simply gorgeous, and the writing is top notch. And yet, Whispers in Autumn also took me two months to complete. I only had maybe 15 pages at one point, but I just didn’t want to read it.

Is it due to the writing? Absolutely not. I enjoyed Trisha Leigh’s writing and will probably read more books by her in the future. Was it the plot? Kind of, but not really. I did like how instead of a traditional dystopian world that we’ve all read and loved, maybe even hated, we had the added bonus of Aliens. You can never go wrong with aliens and I love reading them almost as much as I love reading about zombies. Was it the characters? Again, kind of, but not really. Althea is a pretty typical female lead and Lukas was pretty awesome. The side characters were great as well and did have some depth to them which I appreciated. Was it the romance? I’ve stopped caring about romance in YA, since I feel like it’s never done right and always feels unauthentic. Whispers of Autumn is no different.

So what was it? For me, the downfall of this book was the world that was created. I liked the idea of an alien race taking over. Everyone on the planet, or at least what’s left of it, is mind controlled. They’re always happy and don’t know anything. They don’t know what kissing is or what tears are. If anything happens, they just accept what the authorities say and continue on living their blissfully brain controlled lives. Althea is the only know who isn’t affected by this, which makes for a compelling story.

But here is my problem. Althea is stupid. She’s a nervous wreck. She fidgets, she not as talkative as the others, and she sticks out like a sore thumb. After so many years living under this dystopia, you’d think she’d learn to blend in, but that never happens. When everyone smiles, she frowns. She frowns! How is she able to get away with this knowing what we know about the aliens? Althea constantly mentions that if the aliens figured out that she’s not mind controlled, she would be killed.

I don’t know about you guys, but if I’m going to be killed due to my lack of brainwashing, I’d do my level best in trying to be like everyone else. I’d smile, smile, and smile. And Althea does try to do this. She does, I can’t dock her too many points in this department, but the amount of times she displays other emotions in public just doesn’t make sense.

Althea’s specialness, while interesting, was also another point of confusion for me. If this happens every season, how did the aliens not clue in on this until now?

The world is interesting, but if the aliens are so scary that they’ll kill you if you act out of the ordinary, how is it possible for them to completely overlook someone who looks as guilty as Althea? These are the same types of aliens who will kill you if you ask the wrong question or talk back to them. If they see you fidgeting all the time and sweating buckets when you’re near them, then how are you still alive? [And how are you able to travel to different cities without anyone noticing that this isn’t normal human behaviour? (hide spoiler)]

These questions were constantly in my head while reading this novel and it kind of took me out of the whole experience. I wanted to like Whispers of Autumn, but the world and the actions of Althea just doesn’t make sense or ring true.

2.5 stars out of 5

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