March 22, 2013

Wanderlust by Karen McQuestion

We weren't given any gadgets, not even binoculars. And none of our cell phones would work here. It didn't feel like a dangerous mission, not at all. Really, what could happen? 
-from Wanderlust by Karen McQuestion

 Caution: This review may contain spoilers for Edgewood, the first book in this series! {buy Edgewood here}

The second book in Karen McQuestion's Edgewood series, Wanderlust picks up right where its prequel left off. After being exposed to supernatural light particles, Russ Becker and three other teenagers from the city of Edgewood are left with respective super powers. Referred to as a "second gen", Russ learns in the first book that his abilities are coveted by a secret group called The Associates who want to use his power presumably for evil. However, another group claiming to be the good guys, The Praetorian Guard, wants Russ and his friends on their side. When The Praetorian Guard invite the four teens to Peru to search for an Edgewood man presumed dead, the kids see it as an adventure. They just may not have banked on how adventurous it turns out to be. 

I was so excited to see that this book was released for the Kindle earlier than anticipated. Similar to the first book, Wanderlust progressively gets more exciting the further you read. A big difference with this sequel, however, is that the story is not told exclusively from Russ Becker's point of view. Most of the first half of the book is told by Nadia, one of the other four teens affected by the supernatural light particles. At first I wasn't so interested in Nadia's perspective; she isn't a huge character in the first book and while I liked her, I thought I would have preferred Russ's side of the story. But as the story progressed, I appreciated Nadia more and more and gained a real love for her. Toward the end of the book, perspectives alternate between her and Russ which made the story feel like it was moving at a faster pace and allowed the reader both sides of their story. In a series where it's hard to trust anyone, I also liked that getting both Russ and Nadia's perspectives allowed me to trust them. 

Another almost-complaint {haha} is that the first half of the book was kind of slow; however, McQuestion more than redeems herself in the last half when I was unable to put the book down. If you put up with all of the dull details that get the kids to Peru, I assure you the story will pick up and become thrilling once their adventure truly begins. Similarly, I grew a little weary at how pedantic the writing felt because, after all, it is more of a teen series. Once the action started I was much more forgiving of this quality and reminded myself that I would have LOVED to have access to this book in junior high, so let's not deprive the current generation. 

I'm really excited for the next installment! While Wanderlust doesn't exactly leave you on a cliffhanger, I'm ready to keep reading and pick up right where Karen McQuestion left off.

Bottom Line: If you liked Edgewood, you have to read this! If you haven't started this series but you enjoy teen/young adult dystopian or sci-fi adventure novels, you should definitely give this series a read! 4/5 {I'd give it 5/5 at a 7th grade level}.

For Fun: If I were to cast this movie, I would cast Steven R. McQueen as Russ; Shay Mitchell as Mallory; Amandla Stenberg as Nadia; and Austin Butler as Jameson. Of course, I don't know that this would really work because Amandla is so much younger, but I imagine a Hunger Games' Rue-like character when I picture Nadia.
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