Wasteland [NOOK Book]

Overview

Welcome to the wasteland

At fifteen,
the citizens of Prin marry.

At seventeen,
they reproduce.

And at nineteen,
they die.

Esther thinks there's more to life than toiling at the assignments—Harvesting, ...

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Wasteland

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Overview

Welcome to the wasteland

At fifteen,
the citizens of Prin marry.

At seventeen,
they reproduce.

And at nineteen,
they die.

Esther thinks there's more to life than toiling at the assignments—Harvesting, Gleaning, Excavating—day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day.

She doesn't care that her best friend, a variant, is considered "the enemy." She doesn't care that Levi, who controls the Source, is the real enemy and might send his Taser boys after her if she makes one wrong move.

Then Caleb shows up. Could there be another way to fight for survival?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—In the bleak, desolate town of Prin, you get partnered at 14, are considered an elder at 17, and die at 19. Resources are scarce, and disease, especially from rainwater, is rampant. Esther, 15, doesn't fit in, and doesn't care; she hasn't partnered and consistently avoids doing the menial jobs that everyone is assigned, such as digging or searching for gasoline in abandoned cars. Her older sister, Sarah, provides for them by earning the meager food rations that her childhood friend (and now powerful leader) Levi gives people for completing their jobs. Meanwhile, the variants, tattoo and scar-covered, hermaphroditic misfits who live outside of town, are staging increasingly violent assaults against the townspeople. When newcomer Caleb, 16, appears and is able to thwart one of the attacks, the inhabitants of Prin believe he may be the key to stopping the violence. But Caleb himself is not sure, and has his own agenda. There is no subtlety here; the authors make clues about what is to come next all too obvious, and the omniscient point of view leaves nothing to the imagination. Repeated violence, death, and a single (if clinical) sex scene limit this selection to older teens, while the lack of foreshadowing and suspense will not satisfy those same readers. The ending leaves some questions, which may be explored in the next two books of the trilogy.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ
Booklist
Kim and Klavan’s world building enticingly trickles through the brutal, fast-paced, multilayered plot, which is fueled by a sweet romance...and plenty of mysteries. Wasteland raises plenty of captivating questions and doesn’t shortchange readers on satisfying answers.
Kirkus Reviews
This trilogy opener imagines a post-apocalyptic, adult-free world in which the life expectancy is 19, due to desertification and disease. Irresponsible, flighty Esther doesn't fit in with the rest of Prin, her town of adult-acting teenagers. She skips out on assigned duties to play games with her best friend, a member of the hermaphroditic "variant" tribe that suddenly attacks Prin. Inexplicably, Esther fails to question why her best friend's people are attacking and is instead furious at the townspeople's desire to retaliate with war. To fight, Prin needs two things: weapons and instruction. Caleb, a mysterious newcomer whose wife is dead and baby has been kidnapped, arrives just in time to take the role of hero and to teach others. Esther and Caleb's romance is inevitable. But for Prin to obtain weapons, the town must make a deal with Levi, a teenager who sits with a personal army on a large cache of supplies. A conspiracy renders the variants the least of Prin's worries. While the ruined buildings and desert climate make an imaginative setting, and the idea of a population without adults in such a ravaged world poses intriguing questions, incomplete worldbuilding keeps readers from entering it. While Esther grows as a character and the story comes to an actual conclusion, the narrative shortcuts spoil the impact; whether readers stick around for the next two books is an open question. (Post-apocalyptic romance. 14-17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062118530
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,116
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family spent a lot of time on the road. Susan enjoyed it, but it made her anxious. In Wanderers, Susan explores her worst fears about being far from home and having to rely on people you don't even know, much less trust.

Laurence has also written the novels The Cutting Room, The Shooting Script, and the Edgar Award-winning Mrs. White and a short-story collection. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics to Bed and Sofa, a musical produced by New York's Vineyard Theatre. Laurence likes being in new places but finds the actual traveling to be challenging and even frightening. Will the plane crash? Does the car have enough gas? Esther and her friends are on their way to being grown up—age nineteen. The idea in Wanderers was to portray their journey and make it just as dangerous, thrilling, and fun as being there.

Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family spent a lot of time on the road. Susan enjoyed it, but it made her anxious. In Wanderers, Susan explores her worst fears about being far from home and having to rely on people you don't even know, much less trust.

Laurence has also written the novels The Cutting Room, The Shooting Script, and the Edgar Award-winning Mrs. White and a short-story collection. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics to Bed and Sofa, a musical produced by New York's Vineyard Theatre. Laurence likes being in new places but finds the actual traveling to be challenging and even frightening. Will the plane crash? Does the car have enough gas? Esther and her friends are on their way to being grown up—age nineteen. The idea in Wanderers was to portray their journey and make it just as dangerous, thrilling, and fun as being there.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 100 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I wanted so much to like this book but it just wasn¿t to be. Wa


    I wanted so much to like this book but it just wasn’t to be. Wasteland turned out to be something of a wasteland itself.

    Most of the characters are rather flat and that probably explains why I felt this reads like a graphic novel without the pictures. Esther is 15 but still has very childish ways and emotions even though, in a society in which death comes at 19, you would expect 15-year-olds to be much more mature. When her sister begs her not to leave a worksite because she could be thrown out of the community, she doesn’t care how her behavior is affecting Sarah. She also doesn’t question why the variants have been attacking Prin. Esther is altogether lazy—she doesn’t even bother to learn how to fix a meal, leaving that task to her sister— and amazingly ungrateful, not to mention incredibly naive.

    Skar, on the other hand, is an empathetic character. She is a variant (while humans are called norms) and she and her family live on the “outside”, not welcome in town. That town is run by Rafe, a mean lout, but the reality is that everything is controlled by the clever, intelligent, supremely psychotic Levi. Then there’s Caleb, whose partner was murdered and his child kidnapped. His search has brought him to Prin and he finds a lot more than he ever expected or hoped, including the dreaded (by me) insta-love. Esther and Caleb fall too hard for each other too soon, especially Esther who has never felt anything towards boys but is suddenly madly in love.

    Worldbuilding is thin and leaves far too many questions unanswered: what happened and when, when is this, why does everyone die at 19, what is the disease with lesions and how did it start, how did the variants come to be, why is the sun too hot for exposure, how could they still be using gasoline unless “it” wasn’t all that long ago in which case why are there no adults, why is there no learning to farm or hunt, why is everyone monogamous, why are the variants hermaphroditic and why mention it since it doesn’t seem to make any difference in the story, how did a 12-year-old gain such power? Levi muses that “he had found drinkable water in Prin where none had existed for decades” so why would anyone have stayed there plus he’s only been handing out bottled water for 6 years at the most so where did the townspeople get water for all those decades? Most importantly, there are only 5 or 6 pregnancies a year and only one baby, at most, survives to 3 months old but it has supposedly been decades since whatever it was happened and everyone dies at 19 so how is there any population left at all? A good dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel will leave the reader with questions at the end but not this many by a long shot.

    Wasteland is not the usual dystopian as the town is controlled only by one person rather than a ruling class or government. That difference is a nice touch and I’m sure the authors will make more of that in future volumes. Unfortunately, as you can tell, there is a lot I don’t care for in Wasteland so I doubt I’ll be finding out what happens in those later entries.

    19 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Plot spoilers

    Whats with the plot spoilers? Do you ppl really have to ruin the book for everyone else? How rude and hateful can you be.
    Plot spoilers should be banned.

    9 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When I read the synopsis of Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence

    When I read the synopsis of Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, it sounded like it was right up my alley.  A Dystopian read with a Hunger Games type feel to it.

    Basically, Wasteland revolves around a settlement called Prin.  There are no adults, and a slew of teens have made a life for themselves.  Assigned with a different tasked every two weeks, everyone is pulling their weight in order for the town to survive.

    Unfortunately 15 year old Esther wants to nothing but play with her friend Skar.  But Skar is not like Esther.  Skar is a variant.  In other words, Skar and her people are considered mutants.  Mutants who are born hermaphrodicitc until the age of 15 where they chose the sex they want to be.  There has been a lot of activity coming from the variant camp.  Lots of destruction to the town of Prin by the hands of these variants.  No one can understand where all this hostility is coming from, and why they are dead set on destroying their town.

    Fortunately, a stranger wanders into town named Caleb.  And Caleb single handedly thwarts the disgusting actions of a group of Variants, and the people of Prin see Caleb as a hero…as the one who will save them all.  But Caleb has his own agenda.  One that includes vengeance and a vendetta to settle.

    With secrets coming to light and an evil plan that has been in the making many years ago, will Caleb be able to save those that he cares about, and will Esther finally grow up and do something that will change her life forever?

    To be perfectly honest, I was a little disappointed in Wasteland, and there were multiple times during the read that I wanted to DNF it.  I felt like the writing was all over the place, and the jumping of point of views was getting to the point of confusion.  There isn’t really a warning that the POV is changing…it just does?  And then it’ll take my brain a little bit to catch up and see whose POV it is and what’s happening.

    It was difficult to grasp that the characters in the book were kids.  All pretty much under the age of seventeen years of age.  And the dialogue and language used would be somewhat inconsistent.  There would be times where they sounded like uneducated kids…which is pretty much what they all are since many don’t know how to read… and then all of a sudden, they would speaking more intellectual.  And with Esther, it was so annoying to see how she would shirk her responsibilities to screw around.  Even knowing full well that she only had one strike left!  And then she’s surprise with how things turn out for her?  Gah!

    But the storyline, once you get through the nitty gritty, was one that was addicting.  A story of revenge…which personally, are my favorite kind of stories.  There were a few characters in the story that were really interesting to follow, such as Caleb and Levi.  And the history that comes to light between these two was a great twist to the story.

    And nearing the end, it was a straight through action packed ride where most everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow.  I recommend this read to fans of reads involving vengeance and who are looking for a Dystopian read that may keep you on your toes.

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

       This got off to a bit of a rocky start with me. I really like

       This got off to a bit of a rocky start with me. I really liked that Ester was different, and seeing her friendship with Skar made me know that she didn't just blindly follow orders. She had a friend from the "enemy camp" according to her village. I liked her point of view, even while in the third person, I got a good feel for her, and that she really had a good heart. 
       But when it switched to the other villagers, I kinda lost a little steam. I can see why it would be important to get other views, but it just didn't work well in my opinion. Maybe if it would've focused on one other person instead of groups. I did get used to it, but I like the places where it was Ester or Caleb's point of view. 
       I was intrigued at Levi and his ingenuity, working out the trade system, and I wanted to see what his heart really was like when Sarah, Ester's sister went to see him. Levi set up a place that stockpiled water, supplies and such, and the villagers of Prin traded fuel for these things. That is one of the main jobs in Prin, is to go out and search for gas. And while out searching, there is the danger of running into the Variants, like Skar. I was curious at their motivations for the attacks, because they usually went after buildings, although they would hurt humans that got in their way. Which is another reason I was curious about the friendship between Ester and Skar. Skar teaches her their ways, like how to climb and move about. But Ester didn't seem to know at first why they were attacking, or if so, we as readers didn't know that. 
         I didn't know who to trust, and what was going to happen next. There were a few things that were revealed and I couldn't believe it, but I could all at the same time. 
        I liked Caleb. When he entered, I couldn't wait to see how he and Ester interacted, and how their relationship would form, and most of all what Caleb's mysteries and shady past would bring to the story. His story really broke my heart, and everything he did made me admire him even more. 
        The world building was decent, and they depicted quite a dangerous and grim world. Most die before 19, 3 out of 4 babies die before 3 months of age, the rain causes you to get deathly ill and when that happens you are Shunned-sent away from the community to die. The pacing was pretty good, despite my dislike of the pov that wasn't Caleb or Ester. I thought it was neat using a lot of biblical names and then incorporating the gleaning, harvesting words used in Ruth and the old testament. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a religious book, but I just found tidbit interesting. 
        There are still a few questions that I want to know, and I of course want to see more of Caleb and Ester's relationship so I will most likely pick up the next books when they come out. 
        The ending and some of the twists are enough to break your heart. Wasteland is action packed, but it also features a lot of character growth and emotion. 
    Bottom Line: Well written dark world with surprising twists at every turn.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In this post apocalyptic novel every day is a struggle for survi

    In this post apocalyptic novel every day is a struggle for survival.  Water is no longer safe to drink, food is scarce, the rain is poison like acid, and the sun's rays can kill.  This is the world that 15-year-old Esther lives in.  This is the only world she has ever know.  Kids and teenagers now make up civilization, if you can call it that.  Practically all are illiterate, with the exception of a very few.  Esther can read a little.  Her older sister Sarah, who is 17 and reads very well, taught her.  Unfortunately, it isn't a skill that is regarded as necessary in the world anymore.  Children are partnered (what we would considered married), by the time they are 15 at the oldest.  Very few are able to conceive, and for those that do, only 1 out of every 5 babies manage to survive.  Then they have the issues of the sickness, and if someone gets that, they are immediately shunned and sent out to die.  There are also the Variants to deal with, and Esther's best friend Skar just happens to be one.  Variants are hermaphroditic beings that decide their sex at the age of 10.  They are also partnered after that.  Though they look nothing like the humans, they talk, have feelings, etc. and really, inside aren't that different.  
    When a strange new boy comes into town one day, everything changes.  Caleb, who knows how to fight the variants, is recruited after saving one of the townspeople in the hopes of teaching them what he knows about fighting.  Caleb is on his own quest though, determined to find the cause of his family's death, and little does he know many answers lie within the boundaries of Prin.  One thing he did not expect to find in Prin was love, which he finds with Esther, something she wasn't looking for either, but when troubles escalates and threats and danger increase, will Esther, Caleb and the townspeople of Prin be able to survive?




    Wasteland is a dystopian novel that has some interesting premises.  I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the friendship that Esther and Skar shared, and I did like Esther's character.  Esther was more interested in having fun than working, and most of the time she did just that.  I enjoyed Caleb's character also.  The other townspeople were not very impressive though, and the parts of the story where Esther had dealings with them tended to be a little slow for my taste.  I would have liked to have seen a little more time spent on the relationship between Esther and Caleb.  One day they meet and then they are partnering before you know it, which seemed a little too rushed, missing the opportunity for some great character building, which I think would enable the reader to connect with the hero and heroine on a deeper level. I would have liked to know more about how the world got into the shape it was in also.  




    Wasteland did have it's exciting and surprising moments to, and the ending felt satisfying.  I wasn't overly impressed with this book, but it wasn't awful either, and if you are a fan of dystopia then you may want to check this out.  

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    While the book has a good story line it leaves a lot of unanswer

    While the book has a good story line it leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I thought the character, Esther, was filled out pretty well. It was obviously written for the teenage crowd. I will say I am glad it was a free book, I would have been disappointed if I had paid money for it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Okay

    The book has suspense, but I agree with another review that there are too many unanswered questions and contradictions. Even sci fi has to have a sense of believeability, and this book is missing that component. Not thought out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Ok

    Interesting story tho the writing is awkward and plot does not really hold together. Certainly expected better from these authors. Glad it was free

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    People who review the whole book must not have much of a life. I

    People who review the whole book must not have much of a life. If ou want to be a critic go work for a magazine or newspaper.

    2 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Thank you

    Thank you for the free book b and n . But i do not care for it some may like it but for me it is just did not make me want read it after about 60 pages in.

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Recommend

    For those who may like to read "futuristic" types of books with very real-life scenerios...this is a pretty good book to read. I am 3/4 done reading it, and thus far, it has held my interest pretty good! I recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    Interesting plot, not enough story.

    I feel this would have been an exceptional story, had more information been given. You don't find out why they live in a dystopian society, or why water is poison. The story just seemed rushed, and lacked anything that would bring it all together. A prequel would be nice, as would a possible sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Not g.ood

    Junk no good at all. Not wtoth thetime and space..

    1 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    A HUGE let down! You can't like a book if you can't like your ma

    A HUGE let down! You can't like a book if you can't like your main character and Esther is whiny, selfish and well stupid. You well no connection with the characters and their actions towards each other feel forced and unrealistic. This is ecspecially true for Esther and Calab's romance (if you can even call it that). I also have a ton of questions that have no answer. What happened to make the world like this? When did it happen? What is making the sun so much hotter? Why is rain water deadly? Where did this diasese come from? Why does it affect people at a certain age? What are the leisons? WHY AND HOW DID THIS WORLD COME TO BE??! I don't think I'm asking to much. When you write a dysotopian you have to have some kind of backstory to explain why this world is the way it is. I mean, that's the point of a post apocoliptic story!! I forced myself to finish this book but I will not be reading the next book when it come out, nor will I be reading anything more from these authors. There are so many good books out there and this isn't one of them. Read the Partials trilogy. Or the Uglies trilogy. Blood red road, Divergent, the hunger games, Under the never sky, the ASHES trilogy is amazing! My chemical garden trilogy, the razorland trilogy,  the birthmarked trilogy, and one of my personal favorites is the study series and glass series. Posion study, magic study, and fire study. Storm glass, sea glass, and spy glass. All of these books are a much better read than this book and there are so many more! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Tap this

    Go tp make a sword result 1 and make swords like this
    ••|:::::::::::::::::::>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Okay

    Simple charcters, unoriginal plot. Quick read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Nice

    I loved this book, I like the realism of what could happen in our future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Good read

    An original plotline with charecters that actually have some personality

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Interesting and funny

    Not my fav

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    I love penis

    It amazingggggggggg!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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