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Summary and book reviews of Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Midnight at the Electric

by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson X
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2017, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2019, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Szczechowski
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About this Book

Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson's epic tale - told through three unforgettable points of view - is a masterful exploration of how love, determination, and hope can change a person's fate.

Kansas, 2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house more than a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate.

Oklahoma, 1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine's family's situation is growing dire. She must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America. But can she make it that far?

While their stories span thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri's fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In Jodi Lynn Anderson's signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one's fate.

MAY 20, 1934

The dust came again this morning. It kicked up out of nowhere, looking like a gray cloud rolling across the ground instead of the sky. I was just walking out of the barn with a bucket when I saw it blowing across the northeast edge of the farm, but by then it was too late to get to the house. I had to hold on to the fence not to fall over my own feet, and then all those grains of dirt ran their hands against me and polished me like sandpaper, crawled into my eyes and throat. And then it passed, and the sky was that relentless blue again.

Now everything has a thin layer of grit. All Mama's books in the library are powdered. My toast this morning was dusty and so were my eggs. But we are lucky this week. Sometimes the dust blows for days.

I dream about rain and wet leaves, even when I'm awake. I could lie down on a patch of green grass and never get up.

I found this postcard in the bottom of one of Mama's drawers, while I was looking for pennies she might ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Readers who crave fast-paced or thrilling plotlines may be disappointed, but Anderson puts such work into character development that most readers will find themselves hooked. Each of the young women has a delightfully distinct voice, and never feel like three iterations of the same person. Although Anderson won me over with her astute portrayal of heartache and hope, I was less taken with the setting. With stark and honest descriptions, strong writing, and complicated characters, Midnight at the Electric offers a brief escape into the lives of three young women whose stories will linger in your mind...continued

Full Review (753 words).

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(Reviewed by Erin Szczechowski).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Each character's resilience and independence shines brightly, creating a thread that ties them together even before the intersections of their lives are fully revealed. Anderson's piercing prose ensures that these remarkable women will leave a lasting mark on readers.

Booklist
Starred Review. With quietly evocative writing, compellingly drawn characters, and captivating secrets to unearth, this thought-provoking, lyrical novel explores the importance of pinning down the past before launching into the mystery of the future.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. Anderson deftly tackles love, friendship, and grief in this touching exploration of resilience and hope. A must-have for all YA collections.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Deft, succinct, and ringing with emotion without ever dipping into sentimentality, Anderson's novel is both intriguing and deeply satisfying.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Starred Review. Anderson employ[s] a no-frills style that allows her characters to shine through, with each distinct, nuanced, and memorable. Fans of Smith's Orleans will appreciate this multilayered take on the dying days of humanity.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Climate Fiction: A Glimpse into the Growing Genre

In Midnight at the Electric, it is the year 2065, and teenager Adri is part of a carefully selected group departing Earth forever to live on Mars. Although the story takes place less than 50 years from now, massive planetary destruction has already taken place. As Adri puts it early on, "there's no Miami and hardly any Bangladesh and no polar bears…and they're paying billions of dollars to start a colony on Mars because humans need an exit strategy."

Considered by some to be a sub-genre of science-fiction, and by others to be an entirely new genre, climate-fiction highlights climate change and its potential ramifications. Although books exploring man-made climate change date back to the '70s, it was only in 2007 that journalist ...

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