Review: The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

26114412The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

Published January 17th 2017

Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Rising when I started it. I loved the synopsis but I’d seen some mixed reviews.
My favorite thing about The Rising is the concept. It was a really fun sci-fi thriller and I liked the two main characters, even though they were made up of stereotypes. I was disappointed in the creation of Alex though. Everything was set up for him to be a diverse character, last name Chin and it was mentioned that his parents are from China, but he’s actually white. He’s adopted and even though I think it’s cool to have a main character that’s adopted (I don’t see that very often in YA) but there was a perfect opportunity to have a diverse main character. I’m sure the authors had the best intentions but it was very disappointing.

I thought the writing was interesting. It was melodramatic at times and it felt like it was written by someone who hadn’t written Young Adult before and was trying too hard. I think this book would have been a lot better if it wasn’t YA. Not because I don’t like YA, quite the opposite, but The Rising just didn’t feel like most YA books I’ve read. It felt like it was written by adults who’ve never read YA or at least, don’t read it often. I don’t know if that makes sense but it just felt… off.
Once I made an effort to not read The Rising as critically, I enjoyed it a lot more.
Overall, if you’re not a critical reader and you’re looking for a fun sci-fi, you might want to pick up The Rising. But if you’re well well versed in YA and tend to read critically, I’d say skip this book.

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