Norwegian title: Vega – Kampen for en ny verden
Hi book lovelies!
How are you all doing on this Monday morning? Are many of you returning to work? Today, I’ll review another great YA/mystery read for you and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you might recognize the author’s name. I reviewed Elin’s book Off the Deep End last fall and I loved that one, so I had to check this one out as well and I was not disappointed! The synopsis is translated by me from Goodreads:
Vega, who is 17 years old, lives a safe and happy life in New Hope after the Energy War almost ruined everything. Vega follows the rules and has her mind set on the future, but her summer doesn’t turn out the way she expected it to, because all of a sudden everything starts to change around her. Piece by piece her familiar society breaks apart. The solar cells are shutting down and the leaders of New Hope starts to make alterations to society like limiting the energy to certain public areas. The government claims to be in control but are they really?
Vega really gave me a book hangover. The worst one I’ve experienced thus far truth to be told. I read this book in two days and had troubles putting it down. We meet Vega, our main character, who lives in New Hope after the world as we know it has been destroyed. The book portrays the journey from innocent child to grownup in a splendid way and we get to join Vega in the battle for the world she knows. I believe that this is my favourite part of the book, Vega’s journey towards finding her voice in a society that is rapidly changing. The teenage struggles Vega goes through makes the book very relatable for both young and old. Everybody has experienced the feelings Unstad portrays through Vega in one way or another at some point. I mean nothing gets more complicated than young love, right? Feelings run high in young bodies and that creates some quite interesting situations where the younger readers might have very different opinions compared to their older counterparts, and this makes Vega a book for both younger and older readers. I like to think I’ve become a bit wiser since I was 17 years old, and hopefully I have!
I like Vega as the main character because I experience her as a very honest person who works hard, has goals, and works towards them without letting things get in her way. However, I’ve seen online from other reviews that people find her somewhat fluttery. I think this is because she is not always confident about herself and her feelings and that this is a part of her development throughout the book. We get to read about all the complications adolescence can involve like love, friendships, betrayal, emotional turmoil, and the curiosity of the youth. There are several remarkably secondary characters in this book as well. First, we have Alexander and Sally who both become very close to Vega but on different premises’ since they both bring forward parts of Vega that is unknown to her but for different reasons. Again, here we get to be a part of Vega’s development and read how she handles these unknown situations which is another reason that I like her. I love these relationships between Vega, Alexander, and Sally because they are the perfect picture of how confusing a teenager’s life can be, and it’s also good fun to reminisce back to one’s own teenage years and do a bit of comparison! Second, there is Pablo who is Sally’s dad. I won’t say too much about him because that would spoil a lot of fun, but I have to say that I love this father figure! He is so supportive and brave, but since he is a parent, he is also very worried for Sally and it shines through in every action.
Vega is a dystopian/mystery/YA book. It’s a perfect combination of action and emotions. The book is written with a simple but good language and this increases your reading experience even further, at least it did that for me. The story builds up nicely with several elements that create a page-turner early on which is why I found it so difficult to put down the book. I agree with Menenia Leser that it could have been a trilogy of some sort where we got to dive even deeper into the world that is New Hope. Maybe we can wish for that in a not too distant future Unstad? New Hope bares a lot of similarities with our own planet. It is the only place on earth which is liveable after the Energy War and we might not be there yet, but we must do something with our own situation on earth today to avoid the total destruction of our home. I found it refreshing to read about a world so familiar yet completely different from our own. It was like experiencing a new country where you have to learn the customs and culture of the people inhabiting it. A lot of the things we experience through Vega seems very foreign for the reader, but Vega takes it all in a stride because she is used to it, so the readers learn about all the quirks of New Hope through Vega with attached descriptions. I think it is important to present young minds with alternative worlds to their own since it increases the imagination and its fun, for both young and old to use one’s imagination. Let’s not grow old too quickly here!
Vega involves many aspects that I love in a novel, and it is definitely one of the better YA reads I’ve read this year alongside Neda Alaei’s This Isn’t Us. This is a book that will get readers in different ages engaged and excited because it is so relatable, but it can also be a good introduction to dystopian novels. We get the classic good against evil, but we are also introduced relevant topics of our society today like clime changes and its possible consequences. If your child or you are curious or interested in dystopian novels I would really go for Vega. If you just need a good reading experience I would really go for Vega!
Theme: Friendship, love, growing up
– The Book Reader