Review of ‘The Book of Kell’ by Amy Briant
This was a very well written post-apocalyptic book. I’m a big post-apocalyptic fan. Young adult or adult, I’m happy to read them all. So as you can imagine I was really excited to read this. However, I do have to be honest that I have some mixed feelings. Have you ever read a book that you liked but you thought if the author had just written this or that differently then you would have LOVED it? That’s what happened to me with this read. This is my first book by Briant and it’s clear that she can write. This book is well done but my issue is I didn’t love all of Briant’s story choices.
There are some light spoilers ahead. I don’t know how I can talk about some main points without them. And while I really don’t mention more than what is already is some other reviews, I feel I should give the warning here anyway.
This is a young adult read with a trans-boy and bisexual girl main character. Kell was born in the body of a girl but knows that’s not who they feel inside. Since this is a post-apocalyptic book, Kell doesn’t really understand why they feel different since society doesn’t even discuss gender and sexuality. It was an interesting twist because it felt like a book that had taken place in the past instead of the future. Kell’s struggle was really well written and totally heartbreaking at times.
I do want to mention that I would not call this a romance. While there is a sort of love and closeness, it’s not a romance. While I always love a good romance, I normally don’t feel like I have to have one in my reads. But for this book, I do feel like it was missing for me not having one. The way Kell ached for someone, I wanted to see that happiness. A young adult, PG-rated, sweet romance would have been fine with me. I just kept waiting for it to happen and felt surprised when it didn’t.
I thought the first two-thirds of the book were really great. I thought it was gripping and I could not stop reading. I had more trouble once I got passed that point. Besides hoping for a romance that didn’t happen, I felt the book slowed-down and was dragging a bit. And last but not least, the ending. I did not like the ending. I don’t know why Briant picked it. Part of it was nice sure, but it did not agree with my personal tastes. I also found that the ending overall felt rushed. It was odd since the book slowed down right before, then the book instead went at warped speed. I kept looking at my kindle and seeing 99% done and thinking “WHAT!”
Even with this book not clicking with all my personal tastes, I would still recommend it to post-apocalyptic and or YA fans. If just a few things were changed I would have absolutely loved this. Briant showed off what a great writer she is so I will absolutely be seeking out her other books. 3.75 Stars.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.