March 6, 2013

Book Review: Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Don't miss my interview with the author from earlier today - HERE.  There's a giveaway with it!

Title: Orleans
Author: Sherri L. Smith
Copy Obtained: From publicist

First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.

I absolutely adored this book.  Ok maybe adore isn't the right word considering what happens in the story, but honestly it really fits how I felt about it.  

I will admit that at first I wasn't sure how I was going to do with the book.  The dialect Fen speaks with took a few pages for me to get use to BUT once I did I hardly noticed it.  The dialect was an important part of her character.  It in compassed so much - the years she's lived in the Delta, her survival ability, how she's different from Daniel and the Delta as a whole how it's now so separate from the rest of the United States.  The dialect was Fen. 

The concept of this book was fantastic.  I've read so much dystopia but in most of it there is no United States anymore - at least not in any fashion that you can really recognize.  It was very cool to have this set in a world where most of the US is just as it was (well mostly) with a large chunk pushed off separate.  It was a fresh twist that I liked.  I really wanted to see how a world like this would be.  And it really led me to think about could we ever do this to a part of our country - just cut it off from the rest of us.  I also like that it was centered around blood types because it was something we all can relate to because we all have one.  Now I don't know my blood type, so I couldn't think about what group I'd fall into, but I kept thinking about how it would affect all of us.  And I kept thinking about how it would affect my children and I if we couldn't be together!

The story had a lot of action that kept the tension high.  Fen is never allowed to relax because that puts herself at risk.  Because of how the action is kept strong I felt that.  I was always on the edge helping me see a little how Fen felt.  There were times I just wanted it to stop, but of course it couldn't but it never stops in the Delta.  

Now Fen is not the only character.  There is also Daniel.  The story is partially told from his point of view and that was great.  I loved how I could see how someone growing up in the Delta thought and reacted AND see how someone that really has no clue about what it's like there reactions and thinks.  It just made the story completely whole.  And if you read the interview with Sherri Smith HERE you'd see that this multiple point of view was something she struggled with and wanted to do right.  I think she hit it perfectly.  Daniel as a character was great.  He was so naive and I wanted to shake him, but he needed to be for the story.  I loved how he grew in his understanding and strength.  I really liked him at the end.

The ending of Orleans was perfect.  Would I want to know more? Sure.  But how it wrapped up was enough to satisfy me completely. 

Final Thought: Wonderful book that puts a fresh twist on dystopia
Best stick-with-you image: How Fen gets her scars - wow
Best for readers who: Like strong characters who keep fighting no matter what
Best for ages: 12+

For the Guys? For sure! I think they would like the action but also the concept of the world Fen lives in.  Yes yes yes one of the main characters is a girl but I think she is a girl everyone can relate to.


  1. Sounds SO good. Is it going to be a series or is it a standalone?

  2. I just received a copy of this and am intrigued to give it a try. This isn't really my kind of read but I want to give this different dystopia a try.

  3. Thanks for sharing about this. I've been seeing the cover everywhere lately. I'll have to check it out.

  4. I'm so glad you liked this one because I got it at ALA but hadn't heard anything yet. I see it everywhere, but no reviews to get me excited. Now I'm anxious to pick it up!