Adaptation by Malinda LoAdaptation by Malinda Lo


byMalinda Lo

Paperback | September 3, 2013

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Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Among them are Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David, who are in Arizona when the disaster occurs. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway in the middle of the Nevada night, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won't tell them what happened, where they are--or how they've been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction-and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

Adaptation is a bold contemporary science-fiction thriller from the acclaimed author of Ash.
Malinda is the former managing editor of, and an award-winning journalist for her work in LGBT media. She studied X-Files fan communities when she was receiving her MA in Anthropology, which is where she got the inspiration for Adaptation. She now lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. Ash was her f...
Title:AdaptationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.25 inPublished:September 3, 2013Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031619798X

ISBN - 13:9780316197984


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Teen sci-fi whose love triangle manages to avoid the stereotypes I'm consistently pleased by Lo's writing. The beginning of Adaptation is quite scary and I admit to being relieved when it leveled out to a level of excitement that I'm more used to for sci-fi conspiracy YA. This is the first time I've read a modern take on teenage sexuality by Lo (the content doesn't proceed beyond heavy snogging and a single scene with some reference to mutual shirtlessness) but I find her portrayal of it realistic enough to feel natural and subtle enough that it doesn't take away from her characters or plot, which are stronger than I've seen in other YA LGBT lit. The inclusion of both female and male objects of desire is an interesting choice and her portrayal of bisexuality (or potential bisexuality) consciously steers away from stereotypes and the narrative is careful to point out that said stereotypes are inaccurate. It's interesting that I've read two suspense YA books in the last month that also heavily feature minority characters - Tomorrow When the War Began and Adaptation prove that it's not difficult to portray minority populations (Asian and Greek backgrounds in Australia, Asian and Jewish/African/Caucasian mixed backgrounds in San Francisco) accurately, sensitively, and as a natural part of the story even in genre fiction.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Refreshing Here is Reese, a normal sixteen year old girl who is on the debate team with her crush David, and debate teacher when the unthinkable happens. Several airplane accidents caused by birds have grounded all flights out of the country. Reese and David manage to rent a car and try to drive home and on the way they get into an accident caused by you guessed it, birds. She wakes up in a strange place, with very little questions being answered. Reese believes the accident happened around the area most commonly known as Area 51. With David in tow, the doctors tell her she has been healed completely even though the extent of her injuries were so massive, her scars have shown up all over her body. When the following day, her scars simply disappear, more questions pore into the conspiracy that the government is keeping a rather big secret. It’s up to Reese to find the truth. The beginning had me gripped and on the edge of my seat. I instantly devoured it, and as soon as Reese got home, the pacing stalled. Reese still had a lot of questions about what happened to her, and ultimately brings David in to verify their stories, but what I did not understand was the sudden change in her sexual preference. All along, you’re led to believe she is in love with David, but then as soon as she met Amber, she instantly latched on to her for attention. To add to my confusion, Reese even told herself she would never get into a situation where she would fall in love just because she was afraid to get hurt. But I’m guessing she only meant romances with males, because she fully powered on with her relationship with a female. I rather liked how it was Malinda addresses a lesbian relationship in this novel. There aren’t very many YA books that I have read where the main character falls in love with a girl, so it was ultimately refreshing. The pacing definitely had issues, because the story and plot developed rather quickly in the end. Every piece was tied up, and most of the questions are answered in the last few chapters, so that was also a relief to read. I loved the science fiction element in the novel. There’s always a lot of conspiracy stories out there, but this one was rather good to read. I also loved how realistic the portrayal of the government was revealed, and what their actions entailed. Adaptation definitely held my attention, and I can’t wait to read more about Reese and her abilities in the sequel.
Date published: 2014-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Malinda Lo Has Finally Pleased Me! I was so disappointed with Malinda Lo's previous novels, Huntress and Ash. They were horrible, but when I received a ebook (ARC? but it's been out for already 2 years) from Netgalley, I was like "Sure, why not read this?" Plus, the rebellious and captivating summary immediately snuck me in. I am proud to announce that Adaptation was absolutely awesome and thrilling. It's the best science-fiction book I've read in a while, with you know, the occasional little tweak here and there. The first 10% of the book was when the main thing happened. It happened so fast, and I never expected it to "end" like that, I mean, the beginning to the present tense stage of the book. Renee really showed her true kick-ass side in the little point of time, I was truly impressed already. I never expected there to be a lesbian romance, but this has occurred in Malinda Lo's previous novels, and it's not a bad thing, it's a great change. Who would expect this concept to do with aliens? The whole book itself was so theoretical and so deeply staged through science fiction and conspiracy theories. It just made me want to go and search up some interesting theories about Area 51 and such. I'm not a big fan of aliens. I've never strongly believed in them, but I realized that books written about the subject usually end up great. This was just another of those amazing alien books. I would never want to watch a film about aliens, but when you mention books, I'm into the world of theories and UFOs. This really reminded me of James Patterson's hit movie, Avatar. It once was my favourite movie, and so many points of this book just reminded me of that one, except, the world is all the same and it's in present tense, 2014, which is really hard to believe because I do not want June 19, 2014 to come any closer, it's kind of creepy reading a book that takes place in the year you're currently living in... or it's just paranoid me. :l The characters were absolutely fantastic. Reese was so kick-ass and confident and I just wanted to high-five her during so many points in this book. Amber and her made the perfect couple. <3 They were both willing to fight for what they believed in, and for once in a blue moon, they weren't total opposites, in personalities I mean. David was just the poor guy. I felt so bad for him, I would've also loved for him and Reese to be together, but you know... feelings. Julian was just an adorable side character who I just wanted to hug because he was so LOVEABLE, if you know what I mean. :)) The only tiny flaw in this book was the middle towards the end. Something bigger should've happened then, because I felt like I was getting bored with the book, but of course, I would NEVER leave Adaptation. It was just too good to be left behind. Malinda Lo has FINALLY fascinated me with this fantastic novel. Be aware that a review of the sequel will be coming soon because I just can't wait.
Date published: 2014-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adaptation This book is full of real world possibilities, intense, emotional, exciting, and action filled fun . all around a good book despite the moments of dragged out suspense. I would equivalent it to a toned down Enders Game.
Date published: 2013-12-17

Editorial Reviews

"Lo invokes a paranoid X-Files sensibility here, layering conspiracy atop conspiracy and balancing ambitious twists with nuanced relationships that are ultimately as important to the sci-fi plotting as they are to the character development."