Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: Spare and Found Parts

Spare and Found Parts
By: Sarah Maria Griffin
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genre: YA dystopian
384 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

What is a girl to do when she feels isolated in a community that has huge expectations for her to prove herself a mechanical genius? Solve both issues with one idea: create a mechanical companion.

Nell lives in a community recovering from tragedy: an epidemic has caused most of the survivors to have physical abnormalities. Her father spends his days creating prosthetics and fitting them to the citizens. Nell was especially fortunate; because her father is the go-to person in her community for medical miracles, she was able to get care immediately when she needed it. The downside to that is that she now has the constant tick of her mechanical parts to contend with.

There were a couple of details that I had trouble reconciling as a reader- such as societal acceptance of technology so advanced that a mechanical heart responds to adrenaline, but the refusal to accept computer technology. Once I was able to put that aside, however, the book was quite enjoyable, and I had fun with some of the other aspects.

My favorite novel of all time is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I really enjoy the exploration of what it is to be human, and the implications of creating/extending life by unnatural means. I like that this book explores a lot of those same issues, but it isn't just a reboot of the same story with a young, female protagonist. Points to the author for examining the good stuff, in a package that is much more accessible to a modern teen.

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. 


  1. Interesting book cover and an equally interesting story. Great review. I'm adding this to my tbr, and will hopefully read it someday.

    Great review :)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex


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