After jumping through the vertex after realizing the comet was a hologram, Alex is alone and without her anxiety medication in a foreign and futuristic world. But with truth becoming irrelevant, Alex struggles with finding her place in the world and spreading the fact that Earth was still alive.
Why this book?: I loved Consider, for it’s anxiety representation and the plot. I was VERY excited for this one, and jumped for the ARC.
I would like to thank the people at Jolly Fish Press for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via Netgalley.
Wow, where do I even start with this one?
Consider rocked my world with it’s realistic anxiety depiction and the engaging plot, but Contribute is basically the exact opposite. Half way through, Alex’s anxiety starts to conveniently to take breaks at the oddest (and most convenient) points during the plot that I couldn’t help but think that Acevedo found that having a protagonist with anxiety was too difficult to write, especially for leading a rebellion. And, once again, Alex’s love interest, Dominick, starts making weird comments that just rubbed me the wrong way. There was a scene in which it was revealed that he edited his “hologuide” (the hologram that guides the Earth people around their world) to look and act exactly as Alex did. Except, he added larger boobs, and did something to it’s body that was bad enough that Acevedo didn’t reveal what it was. Dominick even went on to say during one of Alex’s panic attacks:
“I never knew anxiety was so physical. It reminded me of my father before he died. Seeing you go through that only made me love you more. I had no idea it was that bad” – ARC, location 2601.
Dominick’s comments and behavior sounds so much like romanticism and eroticism that I stopped reading for quite a while. Dominick is such an unhealthy person for Alex, especially for her anxiety, and it was ridiculous that she stayed with him and tolerated this behavior.
Not only was the anxiety rep diminished already from what it was in Consider, but everything else lost it’s luster as well. The plot was everywhere, scenes happening and finishing within a paragraph, so much so that it didn’t even register with me when characters died. And, most of the time I couldn’t even tell if they died or Acevedo just forgot about them! Characters were so often left to the side, coming in only when convenient and forgotten otherwise. Where was Marcus for half of the book? Rita? Or maybe Dominick’s family, or Nolan? What about Nolan’s grandmother, who we never learned the name of? So many characters were left aside that I legit forgot they existed, and honestly wondered if I missed their death scene or not. Random characters were introduced or cut based on whether or whether not it added enough chaos to the plot.
One last thing, because I’m really trying to curb my rant here. There were two, two, gay characters. One died, and one just disappeared off the page. What kind of representation is that? Yea, one was brave and died for their family, but when the only two gay characters are brushed to the side, then you know there’s a problem.
Oh, and anxiety was called a “liability”.
Final Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
I’m just really, really, disappointed right now. I still love Consider, but Contribute was just one problem after another. Most scenes didn’t even make sense. Why would someone who lives off the grid feel so strongly about rations he didn’t even use to be reinstated? Why were most of the scenes spent explaining technology?
Would I Recommend?
I, personally, would stay away from this one. Read the first one, that’s fine, and if you’re still curious, read this one. But I seriously would recommend to just stay with the first, and make up your own idea on what could have happened in this book.
Trigger warning for graphic suicide, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, death, death of loved ones, implied suicide, kidnapping, and ableism.
Note: I sent an email to the publisher regarding a graphic suicide scene, and recommended putting up a trigger warning for it. They responded with that it would be a disservice to readers because scenes can be interpreted in many different ways.
Published: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Page Count: 330
Genre: YA/Science Fiction/Dystopia
Synopsis: via Goodreads
The holograms lied to everyone on Earth and only Alexandra Lucas knows the truth. Now she’s trapped in the year 2359 without family or friends—worse, without her anxiety medication. Alex attempts to reconcile the marvelous scenery, technological advances, and luxurious living with the knowledge that the holograms weren’t being completely honest—what else are they lying about? With a secret that could shatter her society, Alex tries to find her place among strangers, convicts, and a rebellion striving to bring the holograms down. Alex struggles to find the best way to reveal the truth and reunite with those she loves. But when surrounded by beauty and every convenience, Alex wonders if truth becomes irrelevant in a perfect world.