Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Rating: 5/5
Genre: YA Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Recommended Age: 16+. Book makes allegories to child rape and mentions real child rape as well.
Favorite Quote: “The Outer States had almost everything that Orleans didn’t. But the Delta still lived on.”
Beginning with Hurricane Katrina, a series of category 3-6 hurricanes strike the Gulf Coast. These hurricanes not only destory Hawaii and the Carribean, sinking them below the sea due to rising water levels, but it also changes the border of the USA​. The hurricanes also bring a new deadly plague called Delta Fever, which seems to effect people due to blood type. When the sickness can’t be controlled, the Gulf Shore becomes quarantined. Years later, the residents of the Outer States believe all life in the Delta is gone… but a new society has been born out of the ashes of the old. Fen de la Guerre is living with her blood tribe when they are ambushed. Left alone with her leaders newborn and determined to find a better life for the child, Fen sets out to find a way to sneak the child over the wall that the Outer States have erected to keep the residents of the Gulf Shores out. Soon, Fen meets Daniel, an scientist from the Outer States who came to the Delta to find a cure for the Fever. Together they are each other’s last hope for survival and the child’s only hope for a life beyond the Delta.
This book was a complete cover buy. I don’t think I even looked at the back cover blurb before I bought it. That being said, I didn’t know what to expect except for what looked like a flooded New Orleans. So when I started reading this book I was completely caught off guard by how amazing it was! I loved how the author used Hurricane Katrina to be a spring board for the possible destruction of future hurricanes and I loved the background of the story. It was so we’ll developed and it honestly seemed to be something that could happen in the future. Nothing political or anything, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that we, as a nation, didn’t take care of our Gulf Shore neighbors like we should ​have in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and I can see the events of this book happening if such events came true. The book also brings up using x code markers like search and rescue teams did during Hurricane Katrina, which I thought was an excellent nod to the historical storm. The author also made sure the characters had their own voice. Since the POV switches between Fen and Daniel and since Daniel is from Virginia and Fen from East Orleans, it would make since both characters talk different. The author delivers this by narrating in different tones and ways of talking for the characters. The story is also very high energy and compelling. You feel you’re in the marsh with Fen and Daniel! Can you tell I’m fangirling over this book?! I’m completely in love with this book!
My only complaint was that the book ended so abruptly. I won’t spoil anyway but I was left in confusion and fear for the characters at the end. While I want to know more and I hope there would be a sequel, I feel the book had to end that way. I definitely recommend this book and I want you to read it because I NEED SOMEONE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK WITH!!

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