Book Review #14: Reboot

Reboot by Amy Tintera

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’d been hearing plenty of buzz about “Reboot” long before it came out, without ever thinking I should read it. Then I saw it named on a list of anticipated YA Novels and fell in love with the premise. I added it to my pile and kept my fingers crossed that–when I got to it–it’d be worth the wait.

When I checked this out, it came with a stack of other books. Most of those had been on my TBR list much longer, and I promised myself I would read through the novels in order or oldest to most recently added.

That lasted almost a week. Maybe. As soon as I picked up Amy Tintera’s debut, I read the first 80 or so pages without stopping. If I hadn’t had to get up early the next morning, I would’ve kept going.

Though I’ve read a lot of great YA novels with hardass female protagonists, I was immediately taken with the idea of a girl who follows orders without emotion because she doesn’t know what else to do. Reboots are young people who have come back to life after death. Wren, who was dead much longer than the others, is the most powerful reboot in what remains of the U.S. And until she starts training the significantly weaker Callum, she doesn’t bother to question who commands her loyalty.

The questions of humanity and what defines it were a large portion of what fascinated me about this story. Watching Wren make the subtle shift from being removed from reboots and humans alike, to learning to recognize the humanness she still possesses was what made Tintera’s novel shine. In spite of what both sides have been taught to believe, humanity in this post revolution world is far more complex than being on round one of life or not.

The side characters shone brightly, and the revelations Wren makes about some of them accounted for many of the most moving parts of the story. Callum, in particular, was an awesome character–one whose eternal cheerfulness acts as his own defense. Usually love interests who actively pursue the protagonist garner more suspicion than interest on my part. And yet, I can’t help feeling that what we’re going to learn about Callum in the next book will only make me like him more.

If I had one issue with “Reboot,” it was the abruptness of the ending. Even though this is only book one, I expected a lot more complications in the final climactic scene. From the minute the final plan goes into effect, I thought Wren and the others had way too easy of a time reaching their goals and putting phase two into action. Part of me was expecting some large kicker of an ending, something that would befuddle and mesmerize me, leave me salivating for the next book. Instead of being desperate for more pages, I was confused that we’d reached the ending so easily.

With any luck, Tintera will up the tension like crazy in the sequel, but regardless, “Reboot” is definitely worth the wait.

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