Book Blog: We Didn't Ask For This by Adi Alsaid

Special thanks to Inkyard Press for inviting Roundtable Reviews to be part of the book tour for We Didn't Ask For This. The message in this story is one I have very strong feelings for, and it's a current event most people are aware of. If you know who Greta Thunberg is, you'll understand the importance. Look for Adi Alsaid's novel on April 7th.



Marisa Cuervas has one goal. She wants people to take the importance of helping to save the oceans seriously. To do so, she gets a few friends to join her in a lockdown. Each of the friends and Marisa chains themselves to a school exit/entrance. Until Marisa's demands are met, no one will be allowed in or out.

This act angers some students. It's the one night of the school year that they're allowed to take over the school. It's a night where some students see their plans for the evening go awry. From the boy who finally has the courage to reveal his feelings to his crush. One hopes to prove she's just as good as the male athletes. One hopes to throw the party to end all parties. One is ready to defy his father and prove he excels at his true passion - improv. A new girl simply wants to make her first friend.

As the evening goes on, Marisa's message may get lost if she doesn't come up with a way to keep it on track. Some students are ready to do whatever it takes to get the doors open. Others simply turn their focus on how to make sure she doesn't ruin their plans. Her goals at getting others to hear her concerns for the ocean may not leave the impact she hopes.

Based on the description, I thought I'd love We Didn't Ask For This. I've seen the photos of plastics found in fish and whale bellies. I know there are main water sources in countries that are drying up and leaving towns without water. I know all about the pollution the world is experiencing. I was right there cheering Marisa on.

As the story progressed, I found myself wondering how she kept pulling it off. She and her friends were chained tightly to prevent anyone from being able to use bolt cutters, yet then could use a bucket as a toilet, sit up and get down from a stool she provided. That didn't seem possible given how tightly they were supposedly chained.

There were sections of the story that dragged on for me. I simply struggled to keep reading. While each character was fleshed out with the narration and details, I still needed to keep a list of names and background. The switches back and forth from one character to the next took me out of the action and had me refreshing myself as characters switched back and forth. When the parents entered the picture, I did chuckle a bit as I probably would have been one of the parents asking the school why they were dragging their feet.

In the end, the story, despite it's strong message, didn't connect with me. I read it simply out of feelings that I needed to for the blog rather than feeling compelled to find out how it ended. That's never a great sign.

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