Spare and Found Parts
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Nell Crane has never held a boy's hand.
In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts-an arm, a leg, an eye-Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses. But she's the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. And 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 ideas when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a lost mannequin's hand while salvaging on the beach, 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.
Spare and Found Parts is quite a dark book, yet I found it to be kind of sad at points too, mostly thanks to Nell. While the world was intriguing and vivid, and I pictured it to be quite dark and gritty, the story kind of fell flat for me. Towards the end I was fully invested, but I will admit the start was heavy going for me and it was quite slow paced...so much so that I resorted to speed reading to reach a point when things really started to get going.
I liked Nell well enough, I was on her side and I understood her and empathised with her, although she did come across as a little bit...I don't want to say crazy and unhinged seems a bit too harsh, but she did come across a certain way that had me side eyeing her at one point. She seems a bit Frankenstein-ish. I get that she just wants a friend and doesn't like being touched and so on...but she has two perfectly good friends ready and waiting, a fact she does eventually realise.
I didn't really like Ruby much to be honest, and Oliver seemed like quite the creeper but I think that was largely down to Nell and her narrative because I'd changed my opinion by the end of the book and quite liked Ruby and Oliver really wasn't that bad. Nell kind of bias's you against certain characters. Odd seeing as Ruby is supposed to be her BFF.
The flashbacks to Nell's childhood and how she grew up started out interesting but then I couldn't quite see what they had to do with the main story at one point, and the ominous letters from her Nan where a nice touch to add a sense of creepiness. Her father I quite liked at the beginning, he was oddly supportive but I reached a point when I was getting really bad vibes from him. Like you know when you can sense something is wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on what?
Io's POV was interesting and shed Nell and her relationships in a different light. For me, the ending of the book was when things really picked up and everything started happening at once, with these huge reveals and twists but it just took so long for everything to get started and for Nell to even have her idea to build Io. The pace was just too slow and heavy going for me and I honestly was going to put the book down, but I know a lot of people where raving about it, so I sped read until things picked up, I have to admit. So it's possible I missed some things but overall this book was just okay for me.