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October 22, 2016

Brian Review: Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Title:  Spare and Found Parts
Author: Sarah Maria Griffin
Published On: 10/04/16
Page Count: 384

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5
I had no idea what this book was about going in. I took a look at the cover when it was handed to me and just dove in. The story I found was definitely better than I was expecting. There was a lot of symbolism and meaning in between each line, and I felt that it was able to hit an emotional level that I could really appreciate. Every character has the potential to be great and terrible, joyful and extremely depressing. After I finished, I felt better for having read it.

Cover: 3.5 / 5
Typically I am a big fan of off the wall covers, and when the cover artist tries to depict the meaning of the story through more interpretive designs. However, I felt that this book did enough of that on its own, and there was so much going on in this world that I would’ve appreciated seeing a picture of the artists take on the surroundings the characters were in for this story. A more traditional cover might have been better here, at least for me. The cover they chose was interesting, with a good idea behind the design.

Characters: 4.5 / 5
I really appreciated the depth in the characters for this story. Even characters you didn’t directly interact with often seemed to have their own unique voice.
Nell: The antagonist, and girl our story revolves around. Nell has a lot of inner turmoil and considers herself to be a step removed from everyone around her, including her closest friends. She doesn’t make much effort to fit in, which I appreciated, because it let her be herself. When she finally finds something she is passionate about she refuses to let anyone stand in her way, and does anything necessary to accomplish her goal for better or worse.
Ruby: Nell’s closest friend, Ruby is much more down to earth and approachable than Nell will ever be. She is sweet and kind, and tries to help Nell integrate with their society as much as she will allow, but knows she can only take her so far. Ruby came off as somewhat predictable, but most best friends are like that, and it didn’t detract from the story.
Julian: Nell’s father, the great biochemist / scientist / doctor. You hear a lot about how wonderful Dr. Crane is for his contributions to society, helping to replace lost limbs and parts for members of the town while he spends a majority of the story locked away in his lab. There is always a shadow of doubt, however, on the good doctor’s true intentions.

Plot: 5/5
This story has a lot of deeper meaning, in that if you read everything and take all the words at face value, you’re missing out on half of the story. I felt like it was reaching out to so many different types of people at once, and that there was a character or plot twist for everyone. The book itself can be broken down into fairly simple lines; ‘A post apocalyptic society is recovering from devastation and plague caused by artificial intelligence, watch what happens when some of the old technology is discovered and revived.’ However, there are so many layers to each character and the actions they take, I found myself re reading pages to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.



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