2012, 468 pgs
Book Summary from Goodreads
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.
When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.
Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.
“This book is dedicated to the rule breakers, the troublemakers, and the revolutionaries. Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite.”
Kira’s goal isn’t to be a troublemaker. She just wants to make things better. And sometimes to make things better you have to fight what’s established.
Due to the desperation at the time – since no baby has been born immune to the virus in over a decade – the Senate that presides over their small community has issued the Hope Act which requires all women originally over the age of 21 (but it keeps getting lowered until it is 16) to get pregnant as quickly and as often as possible to try to produce a baby that is immune. Kira as a medic sees the damage of this daily in the young mothers’ heartbreak over continually losing their children. When her best friend gets pregnant Kira becomes determined to find a cure for RM even if it means risking her own life and betraying the current government.
The world building is Partials is great – giving you all the information you NEED, while still leaving questions to be answered later. I was tense most of the book due to all the compounding forces that could cause something to go wrong – The Senate, the Voice, Partials. Essentially they are living in a powder keg.
I enjoyed the politics of the book. Maybe enjoyed is the wrong word, but you can see how so much is relate-able to things we see today just in a more extreme form and it makes you ask questions.
Partials story depends on a fair amount of science, but I’m not a huge science person and could generally follow along with Kira’s research discoveries.
Kira is an excellent heroine. My biggest complaint about her is that she’s too likeable – You heard me – too likeable. I was trying to avoid comparing to other YA Dystopian, but I’m going to fail right now. One of my favorite things about Katniss in the Hunger Games is that she isn’t always likeable. Sometimes she’s downright irritating. She’s not perfect, but you cheer for her anyway. Kira felt a little too perfect at times.
I didn’t like Kira’s boyfriend, Marcus, much at the beginning of the book. He’s a great guy, don’t get me wrong, but overly protective and a bit stifling. He improved in my mind over the course of the book, but I’m fairly certain that I am going to be Team…
SAMM! Samm is the Partial that Kira comes into contact with. Nothing romantic happens in this book – I’m just assuming it will in book two, because, Hey it’s a YA novel. We don’t know a lot about Samm yet at the end of Partials because he doesn’t talk much, he lets his actions speak for him, but based on his actions he’s strong, loyal, and cares about Kira. He’s protective but doesn’t try to stop her from doing what she thinks is right.
I don’t have any distance on this one yet – I finished it a few hours ago – and sometimes I’ll notice holes in the story after the fact, but I don’t think that’s going to happen with Partials. It’s up there with The Hunger Games and Divergent as my favorite Dystopian. Definitely going to have to purchase for re-reading!
8 out of 10 stars