E-Book, 335 Pages
Literary Fiction/ Dystopia
By: Celeste Ng
“If we fear something, it is all the more imperative we study it thoroughly.”
I really love contemporary stories that are basically character studies such as Everything I Never Told You (Really liked it and even gifted a friend a copy) and Little Fires Everywhere (Which I finished in one day). I had been waiting ever since for Ng’s next book and I came upon it by chance two months prior to it’s release. For some reason it did not get much hype when it was announced or the cover was revealed as I usually follow book news and hadn’t seen anything about it.
Unfortunately, I wish that I can say that I enjoyed this one as much but I did not. I believe if it was released a decade ago in the dystopian era it would have been a bigger hit but I think the genre is fading nowadays and personally I am over it.
It is also funny how I read Babel by R.F. Kuang prior to reading this and that both books had very similar concepts and it was a bit uncanny. (The protagonists Birdie and Bird. Babel is mainly about translation and etymology and Bird’s father here was also into etymology. They both discussed racism that is masked within laws)
Our Missing Hearts is a dystopian novel that did not feel very dystopian because we live under similar circumstances. Basically there is a PACT law to help protect the community but in reality it is just concealed racism and trust me I know what that means.
The story line was not the main problem in my opinion. A story like this needs to make me care about the characters and it did so but very mildly and nothing compared to her previous books which have very memorable characters. The writing was good but I felt like there was a distance between me and the story that made it hard to warm to it.
Summary: Technical wise, it is not a bad story and the plot is also good. I think the characters were a bit flat and I am not into dystopians in general these days. I wanted something like NG’s previous books but I know I will forget this story soon which prevents me from giving it anything higher than 3 stars. I hope her next novel is closer to her earlier works than this one.