Getting through this book felt like I was sifting for gold. Exhausting, with only a few good crumbs that were thrown in to keep me going...
The author is obviously a good writer, but in this case the story... or rather the character which the whole story revolves around, was unbearably grating. If it had been done a different way, maybe the premise would have worked. It's certainly a different approach to dystopia, and relevant enough with today's world to cause a pause... but oh God there was so much unnecessary angst and internal monologuing!
Lalla is probably one of my most hated main characters. She's an impossible spoiled brat, unhappy with everything and constantly complaining and looking for something to be miserable about. Honestly, she probably had depression or something and needed professional help, but having her in my head left very little sympathy from me.
She probably had a good point, and it's great that she didn't just accept what was happening and how people were acting, because they really were being weird... especially about her dad. If people had started acting like my dad was Jesus I would probably also have lost my shit... but she was also incredibly stupid and contrary and she kept saying things like "I had never asked for this", but she was literally the one who wanted to, nay, insisted on going on the ship...
Without Lalla, there would have been no reason to write the story about the ship. It was literally 300+ pages of teen angst and complaining. Even the "romance" was bland and lacked any real depth. In fact, even though she kept insisting that she "loved" Tom, she acted like she didn't even particularly like him. Me thinks she clung to the idea of love. Really, the ship was pretty idyllic in my opinion. Yeah there was a certain inevitability to it, but Goddamn, give these people some time to enjoy what they had! They've been through a lot!
Ok there was also her father and the way the other passengers elevated him to the status of a God, which was kind of creepy. It reminded me of a cult in some ways, of a communist community in another, and also a bit of a dictatorship... but considering the situation and the world at the time, I find myself agreeing with Alice... At least Michael is a good man with good intentions and he honestly wants to do good, so yeah, what harm?
In conclusion, I didn't quite enjoy this novel... but I would consider reading something else by the author.