3.62 (6,965 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 386 pages
  • 150 x 211 x 38mm | 499g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0316197963
  • 9780316197960
  • 342,888

Review quote

"Suspenseful, girl-powered, contemporary science fiction full of realistically diverse characters making realistic contemporary use of technology- plus hot kissing-make this book hard to resist."--VOYA "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." --BCCB "[Adaptation] would do the X-Files proud..." --Booklist Praise for Adaptation
A CBC Best Children's Books of 2013 selectionA 2013 Top Ten Rainbow Project Book
"Absolutely compelling...the reader is tugged along, just as confused and naively hopeful as Reese herself. A sharp twist at the climax makes everything that happened before an even more satisfying puzzle to unravel."--Horn Book "..Slot this on the shelf between Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and The X-Files."--Kirkus
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About Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including Ash, a retelling of the Cinderella story with a lesbian twist, which was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the Lambda Literary Award. Before she became a novelist, she was an economics major, an editorial assistant, a graduate student, and an entertainment reporter. She lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. Malinda invites you to visit her at
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Rating details

6,965 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 22% (1,530)
4 36% (2,475)
3 30% (2,057)
2 9% (651)
1 4% (252)

Our customer reviews

I really enjoyed Adaptation, maybe for the very same reasons a lot of people might not feel as if it's a strong Science Fiction story. The reason is, the story focused more on the characters than the SciFi element. Adaptation is a story of what happens to Reese after she is treated at a secret government facility, the physical and mental changes she undergoes and how they affect her life, rather than being built around a world into which a character is inserted. What I didn't expect when I read Adaptation was the "sub-plot" involving Reese and a burgeoning relationship with Amber. Maybe I'm getting off point in regards to the intention of the story, but I found myself focused and really invested in this relationship. Reese always considered herself, without direct thought, as heterosexual, and has feelings for her friend David. But when she meets and is attracted to Amber, Reese must acknowledge that her sexuality isn't as concrete as she thought. Through her characters, Lo gives some great insights in regards to sexuality. Adaptation wasn't heavy with the science fiction element, but I did like where it went once that part started rolling. I can't say I was totally surprised by the revelations as to what happened to David and Reese, but I did enjoy it and the plot made sense. Adaptation didn't blow me away, but I truly enjoyed it. For much of the story, I simply didn't want to put it down. I did feel as if the middle portion of the story did drag a bit as I was anxious for the characters to find out what was happening to them and get on with it. As for the ending? I liked it, but come on. The last paragraph felt as if it cut off mid scene. It's not that there was an epic cliffhanger. It felt incomplete. Having said that, I will definitely read book two. If you enjoy young adult science fiction, light on the science fiction, Adaptation may be the book for more
by Andrea Thompson
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