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  • Unforgettable! A gut-punch of a novel!

    City of Orange, the latest novel by David Yoon will not be a book for everyone. I was fully prepared for it not to be a book for me, but I could not put this one down. What a gut-punch of a novel! I was pulled into this strange, post-apocalyptic style book from the first page, and it’s one I will be thinking about for a long time. I’ve read and enjoyed every novel David Yoon has written, and I knew this one would be a departure from his previous books. However, I knew I liked his writing style so I trusted that history when I decided to read an advanced copy of City of Orange. I have to admit this has probably been the book I was most nervous to pick up so far this year. I haven’t had much success recently with apocalyptic books or books with more serious subject matter—books that I used to enjoy pre-pandemic. So, I’d given myself permission to set this one aside if I started it and discovered it wan’t working for me. But my worries were unwarranted. It’s almost impossible to review City of Orange without giving away spoilers. This book is not what I expected at all, and that’s one of the things that made it so great. Every reader should go into it that way, with no knowledge of what’s to come. In fact, if you know you want to read this book, I’d recommend you steer away from reviews until after you’ve read it. BUT I can talk about how the book opens. We meet our main character when he wakes up in a post-apocalyptic setting, injured and unable to remember much. He’s forced to seek out water, food, and shelter, and piece together his scattered memories as they surface. And as he slowly unravels who he is and where he came from, things are not as they seem. It’s a book with depth, but Yoon does such a phenomenal job, his delicate touch carefully giving the reader clues, gently unraveling our main character’s situation, that I was too fascinated and engrossed to stop reading. Some readers may find the book slow, but the chapters are short and it’s a book that could be read in one sitting. The slower pace allows the reader to absorb new information and speculate on our character’s true reality. Despite its more serious tones, it’s a book with wit and humor, and I found it ultimately a hopeful book. If you’re a fan of character studies, science fiction fantasy, or books that are unlike anything else, you should give City of Orange a try! I’m so glad I did, and it’s a relief to know I can still enjoy books outside of my comfort zone.

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