Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
Starla has always lived in the city. Ari lives outside it. But, when their lives cross in a twist of fate that sends Starla to the outside, soon the two girls discover that they might have more in common than they imagined. They both want to go to the city, a place that seems to drip with safety and prosperity. But, as they venture across outback towards the city (or Alice, as Ari calls it), both Starla and Ari have to decide why they want to return to the city in the first place.
In a story reminiscent of Mad Max, A Girl Called Ari takes us to a post apocalyptic world where individuals – young and old – just want to survive. Starla and Ari serve as foils to each other: the posh and proper girl from the city with the rough and rogue girl from the outside. Yet, it is clear they both have the same goals: safety, peace, and a full belly. It is their friendship that makes the story overall shine.
A dystopian story can always be fun, especially when it has elements of Mad Max! Filled with action, wild dingos, and flawed characters, there isn’t much to NOT love about A Girl Called Ari. The writing as a whole was cinematic, and I could picture the two girls venturing back towards Alice without difficulty.
My hang-ups lie in pace of the story. The story starts with a bang, as many cinematic post-apocalyptical movies do, and it took a few chapters to really understand the full situation Starla found herself in. The hierarchy of the city, as well as the situation of the apocalypse, are up in the air. As Ari mentions though, it never really mattered how the world changed. It’s just how it has always been. Personally though, I would have liked to have a bit more set up around this dystopian future, just so I had a better sense regarding the stakes at hand.
Overall though, A Girl Called Ari is wonderfully cinematic, and I have full intentions of reading the sequel in the near future to find out what Ari and Starla intend to do next.
So, if you love Mad Max, fast-paced stories filled with action, and dystopian tales, then this will definitely be the book for you!
What’s it about?
In a distant future… A world divided… A walled city in a devastated wasteland…
For Starla, a struggle for power becomes a struggle to survive when she finds herself on the wrong side of the wall. Lost in the wasteland, she faces warring factions, bloodthirsty creatures, and the endless burning sun. And then there’s Ari… who is she really? And can she trust this girl from the wasteland to lead her back to the city gates?
One thing’s for sure, Starla’s once privileged life will never be the same.