Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
I love Atlantia! I will definitely be buying a hardcover copy as soon as it comes out! I mean, the cover is so so beautiful -- simplistic, yet it conveys the feel of the story very well (a lot like Matched). Also, the cover doesn't seem like a very typical YA cover, which is another reason it caught my eye. I can't wait for it to come out!
Atlantia is a standalone novel that takes place in the underwater city of Atlantia. Most of the book is concentrated on what happens in Rio when her twin sister, Bay, decides to leave Atlantia and live on land. While Bay isn't present in the book for a significant amount of time, a lot of the book focuses on the relationship between the two stories. But, no worries, there are also other plot lines that build up the story -- Rio's secret voice, her mother's death, her Siren Aunt, the relationship between land and sea -- so quite enough to be going on!
I should also note that Atlantia isn't a retelling of The Little Mermaid. Although there are some elements of The Little Mermaid that I recognized in Atlantia, like Rio's desire to go to land, other than that, the story is very unique to itself.
I think that many people will love Atlantia for the same reasons that they loved Matched. While the stories are completely different, they both have the same writing style -- very lyrical, beautiful, and a quiet, serene, but passionate voice. That being said, I think that many people will not like the book for the same reason. Both Matched and Atlantia are written in first-person present and even though there are differences between the characters of Rio and Cassia, I think the differences are pretty subtle and there are enough similarities that this could bother some people. In fact, a lot of people might argue that it's the same character placed in a different story or whatnot, and while I see the truth in that, I still think that Atlantia is a really beautiful story and totally able to stand on it's own.
There are some dystopia elements in the book as well. And though it isn't as strong of a presence as Matched, it might be enough to steer people away from liking this book. It doesn't bother me, but I would keep this in mind if you plan on reading Atlantia and are wary about reading dystopias.
Another reason that I could see people not liking this book is because there isn't a lot of action. There is a plot and everything, but it's not like The Hunger Games in that there are a ton of exciting and tension-building scenes. A lot of this inner conflict and struggle. I loved the book nonetheless, but I fully understand that some others may find the book a bit boring.
Atlantia itself seems like such a cool place and reading about it has made me want to go there! I love the thought that Ally Condie has put into making Atlantia. I especially love the descriptions of the market, the swimming, oxygen packs, the culture -- the atmosphere in general. And I just have to say I love the religion that Ally Condie has created for Atlantia -- sacred bats, temples, figurines! Awesome!
I know it seems like I'm giving a bunch of reasons not to like the book, but I truly truly LOVED it. Ally Condie has this beautiful writing style that I can't get over! I almost want to say it's like poetry or music? It's just this quiet and peaceful and simple beauty. And I especially like that even though it's very lyrical, you don't get bogged down by the language -- the story is just as engaging as the writing.
Writing this review has seriously made me want to read Atlantia again! I can't say enough good things about it and even though a standalone means that I don't have to wait for a sequel, I would love to read more about Rio and Atlantia. Either way, I'm super excited for whatever Ally Condie is writing next and I can't wait to read it! But, luckily, until then, I'll have Matched and Atlantia to hold me over!!
Erin @ The Romance Bookie :)