Book Review: Days Like This by Alison Stewart

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Days Like This by Alison Stewart
Published by: Penguin Australia
Publication date:  1st August, 2011
Source:  Thanks to Penguin Australia

She has to escape.
But who else is out there?
And can anyone survive days like this?

I want to go back to the days when life made sense. The days before our parents became strange; before the warming ate away at all the living things in the world; before The Committee and their Blacktroopers. Before the Wall.

Lily is a prisoner in her own home. Forced to stay inside by The Committee and guarded by their increasingly distant parents, Lily and her brother Daniel are beginning to ask why. Then, when Daniel disappears just before his seventeenth birthday, Lily knows she is next.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  Lily felt a tiny shift in the air.  The hairs on her arms stood up.  The troopers were coming.  She sprinted along the street, examining the Wall for some notch or hole to scurry into.  There was nothing - just an endless smooth expanse.  Black clouds writhed under the heavy sun as the morning closed on midday.

In one sentence: Fast paced read that has plenty of heart-stopping moments as it climbs to the climax.

Days Like This is a dystopia novel set in in Sydney.  Where there is a water shortage due to global warming effects, the government has collapsed and the committee has taken over.  They have built a wall to keep the poor and people who would question or fight back with the committee out.  The streets are patrolled by the emotionless Blacktroopers.  And the children are kept locked inside their homes.

I love the concept for Days Like This.  Stewart did a great job of writing a believable and well built world.  With all the damage we are doing to our planet, water shortage and extreme weather seems possible and completely scary.  I also love the setting.  Set in Sydney, I was able to picture it perfectly and it definitely felt Australian.

The plot is a constant thrill ride with danger around every corner.  It is just go, go, go right until the end.   Stewart's writing is easy to read but I lacked emotional connection with the story.  I was entertained but not fully invested in what was happening unfortunately.

Lily is an engaging main character.  I always like a character who doesn't give up, who isn't afraid to get amongst all the action but yet is still caring and kind towards others.  Then we have Keiran who is just a genuine good guy.  Brave, loyal and sweet.  We also have a mixed bunch of secondary characters some likeable and some so not so much.

Romance has a very minor role and yet it felt a little out of place and awkward.  Maybe the awkwardness had to do with Lily being locked inside her house for so many years and having no interactions with other teens.  So possibly this is why it didn't feel natural especially towards Luca.  It is has sort of a brief love triangle or rather a moment of confusion.  Thankfully Lily's connection to Kieran felt more honest, just lacking spark.

Also Days Like This is a standalone.  No cliffhanger and your questions answered.  It is so nice to read a book and not be dying for book two.

Overall, despite my issues with Days Like These it is still a good read.  It is a smart novel that gets you thinking about the future of the world while it takes you on action packed ride.

Overall rating: 3.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Cover: 4.5/5

For more info:  Visit Between The Lines

*** Day Like This is by an Australian author for those of you participating in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge 2011.


Jess - The Tales Compendium said...

I'm just about to start this one. I'm interested to see what I think after seeing so many mixed reviews.

Abbey said...

I've been seeing this in a few bookstores lately.
I'm not sure if its my thing though, mainly because i only tend to read books with romance.
I do like the cover though and the fact that its written by an Aussie author
great review Nic :)

Jenny said...

I just finished a book where I had this same reaction Nic! It was a fine read, but I just didn't connect to it at all. I can definitely see how the romance would be a touch awkward if she's been away from people all this time and then suddenly finds both Kieran and Luca. Fabulous review as always!

Bailey said...

Ooh this one sounds great! Too bad the romance felt awkward though. That is usually my favorite part of a book. ;)

Savannah said...

This is another book I have been dying to read! Fishpondworld is going to make a lot of money off of me!!

A Canadian Girl said...

While I tend to go for action-packed dystopian novels, the plot of this one doesn't seem like something that would appeal to me. An out of place romance and your lack of emotional connection with the story makes me think that I'd be better of skipping it. Thanks, Nic!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Despite the romance not being all it could be, I think I could still really enjoy this book. Sounds like a good on the edge of your seat type. PLUS no cliffie!! Whee! :)

Rummanah Aasi said...

The romance does sound awkward, with her not being around with people for so long, but I think I might give this book a shot because of the action and that all questions are answered in a standalone book. Thanks for bringing this on my radar.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I haven't read this before, but I think the sheltered lives the kids have lead definitely explains the awkwardness. It might not be very tempting to read about, but I think it sounds honest.

And it is very scary that water shortage is a real possibility. I've very interesting in checking this one out.

Anonymous said...

It sounds different, I like the idea that it's set in Sydney, :)
I'm still not into dystopians but I'm intrigued :P

Liz. R said...

Shame about the romance, but I like the sound of this one! I'm a big fan of dystopian - glad you enjoyed it, despite the issues you had with it. Thanks for the great review :)

Ange said...

I had this book in my hand today but put it back. I might pick this up one day again when I'm feeling like a dystopian with little romance. Great review Nic! Thanks

Nina said...

Sounds like a great read. It does reminds me a bit of the Gone series. ;)

Anonymous said...

Argh...its so frustrating when a book is good but you dont connect...I find that a lot in dystopians...

Small Review said...

Too bad you couldn't feel invested. It's frustrating when that happens with an otherwise good book.

Unknown said...

I like series, and I like standalones. It's nice to read a book and not have to wait for the other to release a year later. So glad you enjoyed this one, Nic, I'm especially intrigued by that cover.

Jenny N. said...

I can always go for a heart stopping read. The fact that its a stand alone is nice too since so many books these days are part of a series and I'm constantly waiting on the next book.

Julie said...

So many dystopians are set in the US. It's nice to see something set in Australia. I wouldn't mind reading one set in Europe, too. Heck, any place in the world would be great. It would be interesting to see how characters in other countries and different cultures react to the a dystopian world. I agree, yay for the standalone! Great review :)

Flannery (The Readventurer) said...

I still want to check this one out. You know, there are just some genres that even if they aren't perfect, I still want to check them out. Plus, I like adding to my Aussie stats, as you know.

Thanks for reviewing it, Nic:)

Nomes said...

awesome job on this review nic

it is so easy to get a feel for the book through what you've written :D

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