Official Review: Happy Place by Alexis Clear

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Happy Place by Alexis Clear

Post by Miriam Molina » 31 Jul 2019, 21:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Happy Place" by Alexis Clear.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The story happens in an indeterminate time and place in the future. People now live on platforms as water has covered the globe. The only way to expand infrastructure is to build up. The poor live in small apartments made of flimsy boards; sometimes, only curtains keep the residents from public view. The rich have better homes which are usually not rusty and have actual doors. However, regardless of where one lives, security cameras can be found everywhere. The Safety Department monitors everyone, although couples are allowed to cover the cameras for a few moments of intimacy.

It is usual for people to have all sorts of implants and cybernetics. The net is accessed with the use of special eyeglasses. Reporters stream news online; footages are recorded via implants in the reporters’ eyes.

We follow reporter Zee Vargas as he snoops around for a juicy piece of news. Checking with his friend Claude, a mortician, he learns that the suicide rates are up. The last two suicides (by drowning as is usual these days) are twin sisters; both are wearing identical necklaces. Has jewelry become hazardous to one's mental health?

The author, Alexis Clear, has a fantastic imagination. She paints her dystopian world vividly: the smelly docks surrounding the platforms, the rickety apartments of the poor versus the comfortable homes of the better-off, the unusual proceedings of a funeral, and how the Safety Department controls everything and abuses its authority.

She does not elaborate on the physical features of her characters, but she gives them backstories that enable the reader to relate to them as actual people. There is a mixture of characters, male, female and otherwise, old and young, rich and poor, and good and bad, making for a very realistic society. Zee is a lovable (if occasionally foolish) protagonist.

Happy Place is a fascinating read, and the story may very well happen soon. There are good things. Sexual freedom is apparent: One character has two mothers as parents. Same-sex relationships are openly discussed. Racial differences seem inconsequential. There are bad things, too. Journalists are threatened for reporting misdeeds, and many times, they are mauled by those they expose. Privacy is compromised. Crimes have corresponding fines, so the rich can get away with doing wrong. (Well, some things never change!)

Clear keeps the reader interested from the first line to the final period by keeping the action going strong. She uses simple language and injects snatches of welcome humor. She extols the importance of family and friends, hard work and integrity, and of course, love. Her story has a satisfying ending, but there is room for a sequel.

While I enjoyed the story, it isn’t perfect. Editing issues pepper the pages. Dialogue tags are erroneously formatted and are sometimes missing, making it hard to know who is speaking. Comma splices and sentence fragments are everywhere. There are missing articles, wrong verbs, and other grammar slips. The poor editing constrained me to give the book 3 out of 4 stars.

This book will delight fans of dystopian fiction and techies. Readers have to be prepared for a heavy dose of profanity, though. Sexual content is minimal. I invite young adults and older to read this story and discover what’s happy about this place.

******
Happy Place
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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Aug 2019, 06:47

I love a great dystopian book. I don't know why, but I love seeing possible futures like this one. It sounds like the author does an amazing job with that part of the book. Thanks.
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Post by kdstrack » 02 Aug 2019, 11:39

This author does have a creative and fantastic imagination. The description you have given of this future world is intriguing. Thanks for this incredible recommendation!

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 02 Aug 2019, 16:22

The dystopian setting sounds fascinating! I could really picture it from your detailed review.

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Post by Prisallen » 03 Aug 2019, 08:23

This book does sound intriguing, and it sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I loved your review--very descriptive!

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Post by elizablu » 03 Aug 2019, 17:22

I am interested in the plot of this book and the post apocalyptic theme of the book. Especially since the world is underwater and everyone lives on platforms. The description and summary of the book however, left me feeling empty. I felt like the people and living conditions could have been portrayed in a different way to make the book appear more interesting. I am interested in the book but feel the review could have hyped it up more.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 03 Aug 2019, 23:02

kandscreeley wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 06:47
I love a great dystopian book. I don't know why, but I love seeing possible futures like this one. It sounds like the author does an amazing job with that part of the book. Thanks.
From what I've read about the author, she's still in school. I'm sure she will write even better stories when she gains more life experiences.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Aug 2019, 02:06

kdstrack wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 11:39
This author does have a creative and fantastic imagination. The description you have given of this future world is intriguing. Thanks for this incredible recommendation!
I think I'll become a nervous wreck under 24/7 surveillance. Oh, I forgot to mention there are select places without security cameras. One of them is the Seaside Mental Hospital. Not an attractive alternative, huh!

Thanks for dropping by.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Aug 2019, 02:14

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 16:22
The dystopian setting sounds fascinating! I could really picture it from your detailed review.
Will I survive such a world where there's nowhere to hide? Now the Safety Department will know when I'm cheating on a diet.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Aug 2019, 02:17

Prisallen wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 08:23
This book does sound intriguing, and it sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I loved your review--very descriptive!
Thanks for the "loving." It brought me to a happy place. I needed that, LOL!

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Aug 2019, 02:38

elizablu wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 17:22
I am interested in the plot of this book and the post apocalyptic theme of the book. Especially since the world is underwater and everyone lives on platforms. The description and summary of the book however, left me feeling empty. I felt like the people and living conditions could have been portrayed in a different way to make the book appear more interesting. I am interested in the book but feel the review could have hyped it up more.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your sentiments.

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Post by evraealtana » 04 Aug 2019, 18:13

Oooh, I love it already. Not only am I a big fan of dystopian/post-apocalyptic worlds, but I'm also intrigued by climate projections. This one sounds like it would feel the way "1984" must have felt to a reader in the '50's or '60's: unlikely, but somehow, disturbingly possible. Thank you for an excellent review.
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Post by Aniza Butt » 05 Aug 2019, 08:48

Sounds a good read. It obviously have its flaws but i think i think it has potential.
Thanks a lot for review :tiphat:
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Post by Wisdom777 » 05 Aug 2019, 12:32

Happy place is a delusional story of the future. However, with the twists and turns of the story one thing which makes the reader cringed to his chair is the fantasy of living in water and yet having a world like what we have. I would suggest readers of open mind to read this. As most of the story goes from one era to another. Murder, sex , parenthood, children all shows that even in a fantasy world things can turn out to be like we imagine. The only thing I didn't like is the world of mechanism and robotic world combines in human. Which I don't see a reason why it couldn't happen in future. It's an eye opener. Overall I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 05 Aug 2019, 16:22

evraealtana wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 18:13
Oooh, I love it already. Not only am I a big fan of dystopian/post-apocalyptic worlds, but I'm also intrigued by climate projections. This one sounds like it would feel the way "1984" must have felt to a reader in the '50's or '60's: unlikely, but somehow, disturbingly possible. Thank you for an excellent review.
The writer is yet a student. I am excited as to what she will come up with as she matures.

Alarmingly, Big Brother is a distinct possibility.

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