This book reminded me of the books I was drawn into as a kid, but more mature. I remember being enveloped in the concept of the book, and enthralled with the characters. This is a feeling I haven’t felt often lately, but this book definitely fulfilled those needs. Grove is masterful in finding and drawing out emotions, drawing readers into the world of her characters.
Natalia Pena and her brother Calvino live in modern day San Francisco. However, the world is not the same as we experience it; in this parallel universe, adults no longer have emotions. This process is called waning and begins when kids turn 10, leaving them emotionless by the time they hit high school. The world has not always been this way, but humans began to evolve this way for unknown reasons.
My main drawback to this story is that there wasn’t more backstory as to why humans evolved away from emotions, but at the same time the reader can come up with lots of logical reasons why this is the case. This book truly inspired thought about where emotions stem from, and why they are important for humans evolutionarily. I can’t imagine living in a world without emotions, where the only option is to take “drops” that are developed to give adults brief glimpses into emotional experiences.
Natalia and Calvino are wonderful characters. Nat is filled with heart, despite her seeming lack of emotions. Her relationship with her brother is very touching and meaningful. She clearly is passionate about many of the people she interacts with, and the way she’s able to calm others down was admirable. All of her interpersonal interactions felt genuine.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.