by Sarah Maria Griffin
My rating: 4 -4.5 stars
Source: eARC for review. Thank you!
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.
I read this book some days ago, but it took me a while to write something about it because I loved it, but I didn’t loved it too much. I still don’t know how to explain it, but I’ll try my best.
Spare and Found Parts was set in a post apocalyptic world where people are missing parts of their bodies, and they’ve been replaced by biomechanical parts. Everyone in that world have to present some kind contribution to help the place they live in. And while Nell is smart and brilliant, she feels as she’s always been in the shadow of her genius father.
The world-building of this book is amazing. It was well developed and I loved reading how things worked and how people lived. They hated computers because it was their fault the old world was destroyed. They called it The Turn. It didn’t feel like a typical dystopian world, it was different and thrilling.
The problem some people I know had with this book was that Nell was too hard and cold. She feels different and alone because she’s the only one with a mechanical heart, but she had a loving (but distracted) father, a lovely best friend and a cute guy in love with her.
For some reason she hated this boy, Oliver, he seemed a little pushy, but it wasn’t a big reason for her to hate him. She was mean to him and used him every time she needed. That’s the only thing I didn’t understand or like about this book. She didn’t like to be touched either, so it made her even colder.
Even I found Nell selfish and bitter, but you know what? I took this as a metaphor. She had a mechanical heart, what if that was the reason she was like this? What if the human heart was what made people warmer?
The first part was the Assembly, how Nell found the parts she needed to create her companion and the reasons that lead her to that choice.
While that first part was a little slow, it was also interesting and intriguing. It was a way to connect with the characters and their world. Did I mention that it also felt gothic?
The second part was ALIVE, the boy made out of spare and found parts came to life. He was an android, but he had her little POV, and it was so good to read. He was a Frankenstein from the future and I loved the relationship between him and Nell.
This book had a final twist I was not expecting, you might think Spare and Found Parts is only about Nelly and her boy, but there’s much more about it.
I also liked the format. Nell’s memories and Io’s (the android) POVs were told in second person and it made the book even more original.
Overall, I loved Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin. It was a good-weird and lovely Frankenstein-like story.