by KB Meniado
QUINN VASQUEZ has problems with her romantic life. No biggie. It’s just like your average teenage drama. But what if you suddenly have these monsters that begin popping out of nowhere, and suddenly, poof! They’re gone, and everyone goes about their lives like nothing happened. As these strange happenings begin to unfold, why does it feel like time has been repeating itself over and over again? Most importantly, where did those monsters come from?
As everything begins to spiral out of control, Quinn kisses her normal high school life goodbye. She becomes a fugitive and is blamed for all the weirdness. But why, what has she done, or are the accusations rooted from what she didn’t do…?
WHAT I LIKED
“The funny thing about causing a storm was that no one could trace its sources to a teenager with strange supernatural powers. It just wasn’t normal.” (Chapter 22)
Normal wouldn’t be the first thing that will pop into your head once you get into this book, but hey, a little out of the norm is good from time to time, yes? Especially if it comes in a package like Quinn Vasquez and her endless Pandora’s box of Metropolis adventures—the fun, nay, horror never seems to stop!
“Then let’s not call it a date, then. You could call it anything you want.” “Anything?” “Yeah, anything.” “What about…” I tapped my chin. “An expedition!” (Chapter 24)
But yes, it’s an expedition indeed. Every turn of the page carries a lot of suspense and mystery that there’s nothing left to do but to keep going and chasing.
Main character, Quinn, though at times can be a liiitle frustrating because classic teenage stubbornness and innocence, leads this story like a champ. She’s relentless in getting to the bottom of things—about her ‘evil’ twin Cassandra, her horrific nightmares, her time-controlling powers, her confusing relaysh~ with *oops* already-taken Curtis, her suspicious-acting best friend Harumi—and it’s amazing to follow. (I mean, honestly, I would’ve stopped and just played along once my high school mates turned into zombies.) She goes through loops and twists, fearlessly facing each confusing one and working hard at making all the puzzle pieces make sense and fit together.
Now onto these puzzle pieces (and whoa, there are a lot of them), it’s quite impressive how much plotting was put into this because the setting and the timelines are all in disorder. Best to say that the story is heavily conflict-driven, but I think that’s what helps make fantasy novels exciting. And speaking of exciting, the illustrations that accompany the story, they aid in forming more solid ideas of what certain scenes or characters look like.
(Spoiler alert! Highlight succeeding text to read.) Now, there’s nothing like losing one’s self in mind-boggling—not to mention teenage romance and friendship dynamics, too—but because the plot is very happening, I’m afraid it got a little too happening for me that it confused me… about what was truly happening. I get that there’s a need to keep readers guessing but predictability can also be a wonderful thing—it gives a sense of security and hope. And because this is a first of a book series, the ending is a cliffhanger that, while peaking my interest to get to the sequel, it left me with… I’m not really sure, see below instead?
“Have you ever felt so confused, like your fate is being tossed around, and you find that a part of you is suddenly missing?” (Chapter 28)
I also felt like it was kind of a missed opportunity to not lead the story with characterizing it as Filipino right away. Yes, there are elements in the earlier parts that suggest to it, but it was only by Chapter 42 that a revelation (somehow?) was made.
“Well, your name’s Quinn.” Harumi shook her head. “That doesn’t sound Filipino at all.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Touché.”
Intense with its world-building and conflict creation, Quinn and the Metropolis by Jay Pillerva is an adventure not to miss. Can be challenging to read with all its zigzags but worthy to be TBR-d, especially for YA fantasy readers. ☁️