Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric

Book - 2017
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6 Starred Reviews and a New York Public Library Best Book of 2017!

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson's epic tale--told through three unforgettable points of view--is a masterful exploration of how love, determination, and hope can change a person's fate.

2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house more than a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate.

1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine's family's situation is growing dire. She must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail from England to America. But can she make it that far?

While their stories span thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri's fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In Jodi Lynn Anderson's signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one's fate.

"Deft, succinct, and ringing with emotion without ever dipping into sentimentality, Anderson's novel is both intriguing and deeply satisfying."--Kirkus (starred review)

"Each character's resilience and independence shines brightly, creating a thread that ties them together even before the intersections of their lives are fully revealed. Anderson's piercing prose ensures that these remarkable women will leave a lasting mark on readers."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"With quietly evocative writing, compellingly drawn characters, and captivating secrets to unearth, this thought-provoking, lyrical novel explores the importance of pinning down the past before launching into the mystery of the future."--Booklist (starred review)

"Anderson ...allows her characters to shine through, with each distinct, nuanced, and memorable."--BCCB (starred review)

"Anderson deftly tackles love, friendship, and grief in this touching exploration of resilience and hope. A must-have for all YA collections."--School Library Journal (starred review)

"In Midnight at the Electric, Jodi Lynn Anderson weaves a shining tale of hope in the face of adversity. " --Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Publisher: New York, NY :, HarperTeen,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062393548
Characteristics: 257 pages


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Sep 06, 2018

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy novels with multiple plot lines that weave together.

This book follows Adri in the year 2065 as she gets accepted to prestigious program to colonize Mars. She must move to Kansas to live with her long-lost (and last) relative 107 year old Lily, while she trains for her expedition. Adri begrudgingly gets to know Lily, and her past as she discovers a diary from the 1930s during the dust bowl, and letters from 1919. She must piece together the stories of brave women from each time period to know her own, and Lily's history.

At first I thought that this book was fun and intriguing, but boy it packed a punch too. For one thing, I was totally immersed in each time period as I read their stories. Once you get far enough into the book, the stories of the different women start to intertwine, and it all makes sense in the end. I loved the variation in characters and how they each chose their own paths. I also loved Galapagos, the tortoise, who made an appearance throughout the entire book. (what a perfect idea!) The ending had me in a puddle of both tears and emotions. It was so satisfying. but tugged at my heart strings as well.

JCLChrisK May 14, 2018

Three equally engrossing, interwoven stories of 17-year-old women from different times and places: England in 1919, preparing to leave Kansas in 1934, and passing through Kansas in 2065. Each story is intimate and personal while intensely impacted by global and societal issues. They are about human connections, both those strengthened and those broken. The parallel pacing of each is perfect, with unexpected suspense about items that might have seemed small in other tales. This book is evocative, thoughtful, and ultimately beautiful.

Sep 23, 2017

What a quietly beautiful and moving book. Midnight at the Electric is centered on a girl named Adri living in 2065. In the weeks before she is scheduled to leave earth for Mars, she discovers a journal from a girl who lived long ago, thus beginning the unraveling of the mystery of a girl named Catherine living in Oklahoma, 1934 during the Dust Bowl. Along the way we also discover the story of Lenore, an English girl living in England in 1919 after World War I. This tale entwines the story of three girls, two from the past and one from the present, all connected by a tortoise named Galapagos. I admit when I first picked up the book I was expecting a science fiction story with concepts of future technology or a contemporary story, but this story is neither. The author is showing powerful perceptions on the sorrow of leaving something behind, but going towards new experiences and beginnings; which is something all three main characters in this book experience. This book is filled with friendships and is tinged with melancholy and bittersweetness. 
- @Lumos of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This was a wonderful novel. So warm, electrifying and heartbreaking, all in a small amount of pages! I was delightfully surprised by this book; it combined variables that I did not expect to work out together but definitely worked well! Three stories, all entwined by a turtle named Galapagos and an infinite spark. The story begins with Adri, a newfound colonist who is amongst the chosen to live on Mars. Despite being a social nightmare, keeping to herself and not making an effort to be a loveable person, her 107 year old cousin Lily invites her to her home during Adri’s training. I have to say the two cousins relationship was one that I treasured the most throughout, it was just so imperfectly sweet! The next two stories are all entwined by the turtle that eventually has her own sweet ending, and I highly recommend this book to be read! Loved, loved, loved it! Rating 4.5/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 14, 2017

First: this is not a sci-fi book. While it is set in the future and technology is discussed, it's not what the book is about at all. This is a book about love, friendship, failure, fixing and probably some other f words. It's definitely a female book. About the power of women alone and together. Beautifully written. I actually looked for this author after reading her May Bird and the Ever After, a children/teen book. I'm amazed at Anderson's versatility, including the three voices in this one novel.

TSCPL_Miranda Aug 06, 2017

I really enjoyed this one, and zipped right through it. It's 2065, and Kansas is the home of the space program. Adri has been chosen as a colonist to Mars, a high honor, but connecting with her family history raises questions that she's never considered. The story flashes from a grim future to the gritty past of the dust bowl, slowly unfolding a mystery that kept me turning pages past my bedtime to the conclusion. Strongest features: relationships between women, a multi-generational family story, grounded in history, and beautifully written.
Adri is a difficult character to connect to, both in the story and for me as a reader, so the book was a slow starter. Stick with it until you get to the first letters and journal entries. If you're drawn to the sci-fi element, just know that there isn't much on the actual space travel or colonization of Mars. It's a book that feels very close to home.

Jul 14, 2017

A beautiful little book! I admit that I had a lot of misconceptions about this book. The cover made me think it was about a circus, while the description and first chapter made me think it was a sci-fi. It was neither. It was a mystery about the history of past generations that lived in the house Adri finds herself living while she is preparing to take a one-way trip to Mars. What I loved most about this book was the way that the main character, Adri, developed throughout the course of the book. Initially an unlikeable character, I grew to love her as she in turn learned to love. This story gave me all the warm fuzzies. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jun 06, 2017

The best sorts of books, to me, are the ones that simultaneously remind you of lots of books you love, and also don't remind you of anything else you've ever read -- and I think Jodi Lynn Anderson manages that perfectly here. This is a weird, multi-layered book -- reminiscent, on a simpler level, of the multiple levels of stories, across time periods, of Cloud Atlas (though without being as intensely literary and complex as that title, as is appropriate, given that this is written for a teen audience). This book is beautiful -- I found myself near tears at multiple points while reading, and yet I could never put my finger on what, precisely, moved me so deeply. Put this in the hands of a teen about to leave for college -- I think this book has appeal for a wide range of audiences, but the themes of coming to terms with your past before embarking on your future will be particularly resonant for a recent high school grad. This was a gorgeous book, from start to finish.

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