(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Amazon Childrens Publishing on June 23rd 2015
Genres: Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
When a killer storm unexpectedly hits Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Lilah Stellow's dad insists that she and her younger sister, Flori, take refuge at their cabin in the mountains. But instead of joining them with the experimental drug that keeps Lilah alive, he disappears just as news reports name him as a prime suspect in an act of ecoterrorism. As days pass without her medicine, Lilah finds herself teetering on the edge, caring for her sister, and growing increasingly certain they're being watched. In her search for answers, Lilah is thrown into the center of a mystery involving an off-the-grid research facility and finds herself drawn in by Daniel, an intriguing boy who is the son of the lead scientist. As she dares to seek answers, Lilah slowly realizes that even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.
The Stellow Project by Shari Becker was one of those books where I read the blurb and immediately thought I needed to read it. I love a great sci-fi and when you mix in solid characters and an “off the grid” research facility…count me in!
Lilah has never been healthy. Since she was a child she has had problems breathing and now at seventeen, she still isn’t able to be without her medication and seems to do better when she is with her family at their cottage, away from the city. When her father calls and tells her to get her sister and her best friend and head to the cottage, she doesn’t really think twice about it. As they are headed out of the city though, they realize just how dangerous things are…not just because of Lilah’s problems breathing.
When they finally make it to the cottage, the girls realize that they just missed a tornado and they are worried about their families. On top of that, Lilah has some time to think and also gets an odd call from her father. She has never had a reason to not trust her dad but as things get weirder for Lilah, she starts to question what is really going on and it turns out, her parents are right at the center of everything.
I really liked seeing how Lilah grew over the span of this book. At first she comes across as a very fragile girl who doesn’t really know how to take care of herself, much less her little sister. She has always blamed her illness for her inability to do anything and eventually she gets called out for it.
As the story moves forward, we find out what Lilah’s parents have been up to. The last half of the book moves fairly quickly and I have to admit, until Lilah and Daniel start to figure things out, I wasn’t sure where Becker was really going to go with the story. I do wish we had found out more about why Lilah’s parents did what they did and what their real endgame was and as I hit the very end, I couldn’t wait to dive into the next book to see what happens next for both Lilah and Flori.
I thought that Becker did a great job of building out the research facility and the mystery around it. There are definitely some more secrets and I hope that we learn more about what Daniel’s mom is trying to accomplish as well.
There is a bit of romance in this book and I thought it was blended in well. Daniel is a solid character and while I wouldn’t say he was super swoony, he was the balance that Lilah needed to realize she is more than just her sickness. As their friendship, and then relationship, begins to develop, Daniel and Lilah lean on each other for courage. It is their relationship that causes Lilah to think twice about what Daniel would have to give up if he helps her so instead, she makes the decision to figure things out with Flori on her own.
Overall this was a great book one. As I mentioned, the beginning felt slow as Lilah tries to figure everything out but trust me, once things hit a certain point, the story picks up and I found myself quickly turning the pages to see what would happen next. If you’re looking for a science fiction story with some action, romance, and some definite twists, check this book out! I am absolutely looking forward to the next book in this series…and although this isn’t listed as a series I am optimistic just based on that ending!
Thank you to the author for the review copy!