What’s it about?
Nate is a GEM – Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate – made in the laboratories of Gathos City to battle lung rot. His mother managed to smuggle him into the Withers, a quarantined zone outside the city gates that is ruled by violence and drugs. Nate is nearly seventeen and his health deteriorates rapidly unless he takes Remedy, a medication monopolised by Gathos City to control GEM.
Warnings: drug use & withdrawal, needles, mention of prostitution, blood, vomiting, mentions of human trafficking, mentions of experimentations on humans, violence
What I think about it
Suddenly a lot of people were talking about Fragile Remedy and I got curious, especially since it was LGBTQ+. By the time I finally got to this ARC I had forgotten what it was about and decided to go in blind – I must have had reasons to request it in the first place 😀
The setting is bleak, the streets are dirty and life is hard in the Withers, a slump-like zone right outside the ever-closed gates of Gathos City, no way to leave, no way to get into the city and no hope for the future. I liked the world-building as well as how the author explained the dystopian setting to the readers bit by bit. In fact, I wouldn’t have complained if the pace had picked up a bit in the beginning. To me, the story just flowed for a long time with no apparent goal other than to set up the plot’s starting point.
Nate is running with a small gang who scavenge for old tech he can tinker with and sell on the market. The gang consists of Reed, the handsome leader Nate has a crush on, the girls Brick and Sparks and little Pixel. Pixel had my heart as soon as I met her; she has a smile like the sun and charms everyone she meets. It soon becomes clear that the gang doesn’t know Nate is a GEM and needs Remedy every few weeks to stay healthy – or as healthy as anyone in the Withers can be. Secrets be pilin’ high.
I’m not entirely sure what to say about the book. I liked it, yes but it didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it. It had a solid writing style and plot – once it picked up the pace. I liked the characters; the gang could’ve been fleshed out more but they weren’t flat either. All in all I liked Fragile Remedy but it didn’t wow me. Maybe because this is the first part of a series and by the end I could tell that there’d be (even) more at stake in the next instalment.
Fragile Remedy has a diverse cast of main characters as well as queer rep 🙂
Fragile Remedy is a solid debut that I’d recommend to anyone who likes to read dystopian YA. Good writing, creative plot and world-building as well as likeable characters. I’m not sure I’m going to read the next part because the book just didn’t knock my socks off. Not saying it’s a bad book because it’s not, it’s just wasn’t the right one for me.
- Author: Maria Ingrande Mora
- Pages: 352
- For Ages: 14 and up
- Publisher: Flux
- Release Date: June 16, 2020
- ISBN: 9781635830569