Why this book?: Who has NOT been talking about this one? I’ve heard there’s a lot of good rep in here, so I was very excited!!
I would like to thank Entangled Teen for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This review is going to be really hard to write, and I almost regret having accepted the ARC because then I wouldn’t really be obligated to write this review. I do want to say that I know this book will be important to people. I know that it is important to people. But, it also has to be known that, while Tristina was looking to be inclusive, she may have overlooked some rep she wrote, and the nuances that go into writing them.
I want to start with the positive, though, so I’ll get to the rep further into the review.
Tristina’s writing was lyrical with interspersed metaphors and similes that added to the atmosphere of the moon, known as Sahara. Her descriptions and imagery were top notch, and I often found myself entranced with the setting solely from the writing. The action scenes were intense and heart-pounding, although there was a few times when I was confused with what limb was doing what. It was actually fairly hard to follow along with the action scenes, and it was a struggle to figure it out. Despite that, I was engaged with the action and story, and wanted more.
27 Hours starts out with a heart-stopping fight scene, and it barely slows down from there. There are a few spots where you’re heart can go back to beating at a normal speed, but they are fairly brief. As much as I loved the fast-pace, there were times when I was confused on the world-building because Tristina hadn’t taken the time to slow down and develop her setting. The descriptions were there, and were beautiful, but I didn’t know what the descriptions were relating to or why what she was describing mattered. I felt ignorant about the world, and once more struggled with understanding.
Probably the best part of this book was the characters. I adored every last one of the characters, even the bad guy. Just as before, the descriptions left nothing to be imaged for most if not all of the characters. Reaper’s description was really fitting. Rumor and Jude were just *clenches fist* perfect. Dahlia and Nyx were beautiful. Braeden and Trick were lovely. Yi-Min, Kai, George, Angel, Vala, Bailey, and Sara were all amazing characters, and they were all amazingly developed. I can’t remember reading this many developed and well-rounded characters in one novel, and it’s really impressive that Tristina took the time to develop all of them.
But. The rep. There’s a lot of it, and not all of it is perfect. The rep I can come up with just as I’m writing this review is: Deaf, pansexual, asexual, bisexual, Indian, Nigerian, Latinx, non-binary, and transgender. Since I’m not every single one of these sexualities, genders, or ethnicities, I won’t be commenting on all of them. I will be linking other reviews though.
My biggest, biggest problem is with the gender rep. I originally heard of this book because of the trans and non-binary rep, and the way people were putting it–they were saying that one of the main characters was non-binary. That is wrong. One of the main characters is trans, but not non-binary. Now, the non-binary rep that is there, though, isn’t exactly non-binary rep. Is a character really non-binary if they just use neutral pronouns? They were never confirmed non-binary, unlike every other ID in the novel. Is this really the non-binary rep that was promised? There was another non-binary character, and by that I mean another character that used neutral pronouns (but who wasn’t “human”.)
Now, minor spoilers, but I think it’s kind of important. Take note: there’s two characters who use neutral pronouns, and one trans character. One of them dies, and the other two were mortally wounded. Only one other character got an injury of that scale. In a chat with a close friend, it came up how that violence could really translate as anti-trans violence, and the moment this sunk in . . . Let’s just say it hurt. Another thing that really bothers me is that every character is described in detail . . . except the character with neutral pronouns.
Then there was the ace rep. The rep was really stereotypical, and rubbed me the wrong way. While I loved Braeden as a character, his aceness focused on him not wanting sex/never having sex, rather than sexual attraction. Ann Elise Monte has a much more thorough review on this, which can be found here. As someone on the ace-spectrum, I was a little . . . confused with Braeden’s rep. It was being passed off as ace rep, but wasn’t really ace rep, but then aromanticism was never mentioned.
Last thing. Which, basically most reviews of this book will be linking considering the content. (And if it doesn’t, well.) 27 Hours centers colonialist points of view, and basically ignores the side of the indigenous race that lived on Sahara. Yes, the story is to stop the war, but the fact that all four points of views were from humans was a little meh. Aimal’s review here talks about it more in-depth, and it’s very eye-opening.
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to fall in with the hype, and have a new favorite book, but it just didn’t happen. I love Tristina for all the work she does in the YA community, but she still has some learning to do.
Final Rating: ★★½☆☆☆
I’m being generous with my rating, considering everything I mentioned in this review. But just as I said before, I know that this book is going to be important to people, and that it already is. The story and the characters were phenomenal, but Tristina still has work to do with her representation attempts. Hopefully later on, when she’s learned from her mistakes, then we’ll see.
Would I Recommend?
Yes, because it’s a good book. Just be aware that some of the representation can (and has been) harmful, and that the plot itself is insensitive to indigenous peoples.
Published: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Page Count: 404
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.
But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.
Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.
They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.
During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.
27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.