Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Expiration Day

What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

I found this book underwhelming and slightly boring. As I browsed reviews by others on Goodreads I found that many people rated it five stars and raved about the genius and thrill of it and praised it for all the many things I felt it lacked. The plot was an utter bore and lacked thrilling twist,s and turns, and suspense, and all the things that make a plot fabulous.  There were lots of loose ends and blunt cut offs. One character disappeared with explanation and with reason. It was logical for the story line but then they were just gone. They weren't really mentioned that much after that and their disappearance didn't really seem to adversely impact the other characters lives as much or in as many ways as I felt it should have with the reason for their disappearance and their role in the story line. Also, as Tania changed her mind on whether or not Sian was a teknoid or a human, there weren't really any transitions. You agreed with what ever her current opinion on the matter was based on evidence provided but then she'd change her mind again and nothing would have happened to disprove the previous evidence. Additionally, there wasn't much of a transition between opinions. When she changed her mind it would happen abruptly and out of the blue just thrown in there and it was almost confusing. Speaking of confusing, the lingo or slang or language, or whatever you want to call it was a bit confusing at times for me. I assume that the terms are British because I eventually found out that it was set in the UK (however this part of the setting didn't become apparent for far too long), and I realized that why yes, the author just so happens to also be from the UK. So, it might have only been confusing to me because I have never heard some of the terms that Tania uses but it was bothersome nonetheless. I tried to think of substitute words based on the context to figure it out that way but frequently that was unhelpful and I had no idea what the term was supposed to mean. I figured out one term out of who knows how many and it wasn't until way later in the book when it was used again and this time the context was a bit more helpful. I am happy to say that I understand the meaning of the word wobbly in UK context! Yay me! (I feel so accomplished. No really I do.) The writing overall was decent and I did appreciate the messages and themes woven into the story. However, sometimes I felt that William would do well to learn the art of subtlety... The fact that the messages and themes of the book practically screamed at you as you read (yes they were that obvious) didn't take away from the book and didn't degrade them thankfully because they didn't stick out from the story but instead fit into the flow smoothly. The downside however, was that in the big finally moment, I knew exactly what would happen and exactly how it would happen down to the very thoughts that would occur before the characters had even an inkling of it all. So it sucked all the suspense and excitement out of the end. Essentially, the book spoiled itself; and I find that rather sad. On another note (yet on a still sort of  similar and related topic), I have a confession to make. I skipped and skimmed through sections of this book out of pure boredom. I know, I know, I am a horrible person! Before you smack me across the face via the internet or even just mentally let me explain. The book is written as a series of diary entries from Tania, but every so often there is an entry from the "Mister Zog" alien that recovered her diary and is reading. Both characters write as if they are speaking or writing letters to one another even though supposedly Tania and her entire civilization are long gone by the time "Zog" is reading her diary. I tended to skip and skim through most of the parts written by "Zog" because I found them to be boring, irrelevant, and there fore irritating. I read a few of his entries all the way through before coming to this opinion though, I promise you. I found that there were often wise and all knowing and chock-full of inspirational crap and advice and life messages. It was utterly ridiculous in my opinion. The messages "Zog" wrote weren't even blended in with plain writing. Messages seemed to be really the only thing "Zog" could say! It didn't work and it was annoying. As I said he seemed rather irrelevant with no purpose (other than to drive me to the brink of madness of course), but then at the end, in his last entry all of the sudden Tania's life and "Zog's" collided and that was how the book ended. I was so confused it wasn't even funny. I understood the gist of what happened but as to how we got to that point or what exactly happened in between Tania's last entry and "Zog's"? No clue what so ever. I don't think I have ever been that confused by a book in my life! I re-read thinking that my skipping and skimming had come back to bite me but that didn't help. It had nothing to do with my reading, there was just this gaping whole in the writing! Maybe William was trying to just leave something up to the readers' imagination or something. I don't know. Whatever the case it was a huge mistake that pretty much ruined the book entirely for me. The ending was the chance for redemption! A chance to change my opinion of the book thus far! The last thing I read is going to be the part I remember most so it should end epic-ly, and of course in a way I can actually make sense of! Sadly, this ending was quite the opposite and an utter failure. The only part of this book I actually liked where the characters. The characters were actually quite vivid with very realistic personalities and relationships that I felt were a lot closer to real life than they are in many YA fiction books today. I enjoyed the characters and in the end the characters and their emotions were probably the only thing that kept me reading. The book was packed with vivid emotions that people from all walks of life can relate too as well of people of many different age groups. Of course, teens can probably relate more than some other age groups. Tania had a complex, relatable, and lovable personality. The other characters did too,  but they paled in comparison to her. However, there was a large portion of the book where I ended up ranting to Catherine and wanting to smack both William and Tania, as well as bang my head repeatedly against a brick wall. That portion of the book was the portion in which Tania was dating two guys, at the same time.

This isn't a love triangle. This is much, much, much worse my friends. Nothing, is worse than reading about cheating, at least how it is written and thrown into this book. Oh, and not only is she cheating on a really awesomesauce guy with a guy that just want's her for her body, but she was in a play with the latter and so she thinks of it as her character Portia dating his character Bassanio. That was the point when I lost faith in her and her mental stability and just everything. I was so done at that point. 
Overall, I didn't like it really. Originally, I was going  to give it two stars because I found it sort of entertaining despite it's flaws, but now I am rethinking that decision. I have decided I will compromise and give it one and one half stars out of five. If you'd like, you can add it on Goodreads or check it out through Liberty Bay Books by clicking the hyperlinked title below the book's cover. It has an expected publication of April 22nd, 2014.


  1. Uh oh! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this as much as you thought you would Briana! That's always really disappointing! I definitely see how this could be confusing plot-wise, and the underdeveloped characters and the love triangle just sounds really plain. I think I'm going to listen to your advice and give this one a miss - even though it sounds like it could have had AWESOME potential! :( Thanks for sharing though, and, as always, brilliant review! :D

    1. I always feel bad giving things bad reviews because I don't want to discourage people if it was just me that got in the way of me liking it, but when it is something that I felt was this unbalanced I feel at least a little bit less like it was just me and more that it was the writing and the story. You're welcome and thank you, that means a lot! Thanks for reading!

  2. Ah. Giant block of text *shields eyes.*

    I'm kidding. I did read it despite the menacing block. This book sounds so... weird. Robots? Musicals? Aliens? Not the good kind of weird, either. (And what's with the name Zog?)

    Thank you for suffering through it before me. Now I know it's definitely one to avoid :)

    1. *cringe* I know I got on a roll/rant and couldn't stop. About halfway through I realized I should add gifs to try to break it up and make it more fun. Thanks for reading it through, I appreciate it, and give you a round of applause for your accomplishment. I know, I mean really Zog? Mister Zog? Haha, You're welcome!