Thursday, January 21, 2016

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard | Audiobook Review

What We Saw at Night (What We Saw at Night, #1)

Often, I'll have a book on my to-read list and I'll dive in without reading the synopsis.  This was one of those.  For some reason, I'd thought this was dystopian or sci-fi... it's not.  But it's SUCH. A. GOOD. BOOK!

Two buzz words to throw at you:  xeroderma pigmentation and parkour.  This book has both!  You might think that's a lot going on, and the plot would get lost, but it's not.

The three main characters all have xeroderma pigmentation* and they all live in the same small Maine town because that's where a hospital clinic for the disorder is located.  Their conditions mean that they can't go outside during the day, so they roam the town at night.  They're teens!  For teens, they get into surprisingly little trouble having free reign at night.  Unfortunately, not much of anything is open at night in small towns, so they have to be creative to entertain themselves.  They come upon parkour**.  

One night, Allie sees something while they're tracing^ an apartment building.  She sees a man attacking a woman.  This begins a tense game of cat-and-mouse as she tries to deal with what she's seen, while feeling like the man is out to get her.

While not at all a dystopian or sci-fi, this is more of a thriller.  I was on the figurative edge of my seat the whole book!  It was so well-written.  And I loved the extra, unusual parameters of the characters having XP^^ and training in parkour.  I'm totally looking forward the sequel!

*xeroderma pigmentation:  a rare heretitary defect of the enzyme system that repairs DNA after damage from ultraviolet rays, resulting in extreme sensitivity to sunlight and a tendency to develop skin cancer.

**parkour:  a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training.  Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible.  Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation.  Parkour's development from military training gives it some aspects of a non-combative martial art.

^tracing:  the act of performing parkour in/on a space or building.

^^XP:  xeroderma pigmentation.

*I checked out What We Saw at Night from my local library.

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