By: Larissa | October 9, 2014 | (53) Comments

Review + Giveaway: Atlantia by Ally CondieAtlantia by Ally Condie
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Romance, YA
Pages: 368
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

I wasn’t the hugest fan of Condie’s matched series, so I was a little dubious with Atlantia. However, I must now admit: I was really impressed and taken aback by how much I really enjoyed Atlantia.

One of the best parts of Atlantia  was the world building. I thought it was very well explained and coupled with Condie’s beautiful prose it just flowed naturally. You get descriptions of both the ‘Above’ and the ‘Below.’ I felt as if by the end of the story I had a crystal clear picture of both of the worlds described. I felt as if both were explored in a way that wasn’t overwhelming but more balanced. As the story continues you get to discover more about both worlds and learn some secrets about them.  The setting stood out from unique from others in YA and I particularly enjoyed reading about the ‘Below’ as you got to see a underwater universe unfold. The political aspects of both worlds also made sense along with the societal norms. It was fascinating to see how Condie interwove these political tensions along with the history of the sirens and the council.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed was how important the sister relationship was to the storyline. In Atlantia   you get to see a sibling relationship and I think the way it was handled was quite realistic and full of emotions. When the two separate it becomes the source of confusion, hurt and really a jumble of emotions for our main character. Throughout these confusing emotions it’s clear that Rio still loves her sister and this was reinforced throughout the story. In YA sometimes the romantic relationship tends to take center stage so I was glad to see that even with romance later in the story, the relationship between Bay and Rio is what is seen as the most important.

Speaking of the main character, Bay, she and I had a interesting love/hate relationship. There were some aspects I admired about her and others that annoyed me. I loved how determined she was in the face of all of her struggles. She was vulnerable and quite emotional which made sense considering her plight.  I couldn’t really truly connect with Bay though. Yes, I could definitely sympathize with her yet I couldn’t completely understand or relate. There were times where Bay ignored clear dangers and I couldn’t help but be annoyed by some of her attempts to get to her sister when they would obviously would fail or were even dangerous.  Rio did go through some character growth in the later parts of the book which was nice to see. I always enjoy having a character with a limited viewpoint on the world have their eyes opened by the true nature of things.

There was romance in this, but I definitely don’t think it took over the plot. I’m going to say something I don’t usually say: I think there could have been more romance. Hah, that’s odd for me to say. Nevertheless, the romance included was quite well developed and done so in a nice slow burn way. I really enjoyed the love interest and believe there’s so much more unexplored potential in him. I feel like more focus on the love interest would have benefited the story, just because there were times I wished the love interest was the main character. He reached Rio’s character growth from the very first pages and I easily loved him. He cared for others and not only himself, which the same can’t be said for Rio at some points. The love interest also held secrets of his own which I felt was interesting.

An issue I had was the pacing. Though Condie’s writing is beautiful, there was times where I felt it wasn’t describing anything. For the longest time you see Rio grieve which is understandable given the circumstances. However, I would have liked to see some sort of plot development even if with side characters. It was like the entire world just stopped while Rio just had a emotional crises for like 80 pages. I feel like more action could have happened in this period.

Atlantia  was still a read I’d recommend though. If you’re looking for a more unique dystopian with great world-building, political intricacy , beautiful prose and a great sister relationship then Atlantia  may be up your alley.

~Thank you Penguin Canada for the review copy~


Thanks to the lovely people at Penguin Canada we have an physical ARC of Atlantia to give to our lucky winner. This giveaway is only open to residents of the USA/Canada. Good luck lovelies! <33

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3.5 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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53 Responses to Review + Giveaway: Atlantia by Ally Condie

  1. Connie says:

    Atlantia is on my TBR list and I’m hoping to read it soon after it releases! The synopsis is great, and I’ve been seeing some positive reviews around the blogosphere about it. I’ve read Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy, though, and was not impressed (especially by book 2), so I’m glad to hear that you liked this book despite not being a fan of Matched, that gives me hope, haha.
    I love it when fantasy/futuristic worlds incorporate their own forms of politics! It’s weird, because I think politics are exceedingly confusing (and boring) in real life, but when there are special social/political/economic norms in a book world, I get all fangirly xD It’s just so much more interesting when it’s created by author brains and not how-do-I-trick-voters-into-giving-me-more-money brains 😛
    Terrific review! I’m definitely looking forward to this book now~
    Connie recently posted…Book Review: Anna and the French KissMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah when you do let me know and we can discuss c: The premise really did grab me from the start, and the cover was pretty cool. I never read past the first Matched book unfortunately. Haha yeah, I feel like as this was a standalone (unlike Matched) things were more conclusive and the plot tighter

      I agree! Omg yeah, couldn’t be less interested in Canadian politics. But the underhand and secrecy that surrounds book politics. Definitely up my alley [;

      Thank you Connie <33

  2. I was reaaaaallllyyyy let down by the Matched series (well, first book because I didn’t make it to the second), so I’m not sure how I feel about her new series. I’m glad that she’s gotten better at world-building and developing her characters. The two different worlds sound so interesting, and I love a underwater concept. It’s so unique! Wonderful review, I wish I could enter the giveaway 😛
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) by Holly Black & Cassandra ClareMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Same! I also never made it past the first book, I wasn’t really motivated in anyway. A perk of this one is that it’s not a series. It’s a standalone. I think the worldbuilding in this one much exceeded her Match series. The underwater concept also really grabbed me since I’m such a fan of anything like that. Thank you Joy <33

  3. Jeezzz…I read Matched agggggess ago but remember distinctly not liking it and therefore abandoning the series. I do want to read this one though because I’m really curious. Plus it’s a standalone which I can’t resist. Normally when I think underwater, my mind goes straight for the mermaids but I’m pleasantly surprised that this time it’s sirens! I do love prose so I may just have to check this one out! Fabulous review, Larissa 🙂
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    • Larissa says:

      Same! it’s been so long haha. I also remember not liking it and not making it past the first book. I do love anything underwater, so I would have been happy with mermaids but sirens are a fun and refreshing addition. Thanks Jess <33

  4. Oops, I started to enter and THEN read the fineprint. Just ignore me. 😉

    I do want to try this one! I was unsure at first because I’m so not a fan of Matched…(it felt really super boring to me and I didn’t even finish it) but now? I’m keen! Watery things are cool…and it’s very unusual for the romances to be needing more. Hehe. I’M SUPER CURIOUS NOW.
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    • Larissa says:

      Hehe [; Sorry girl, but shipping is so much and I figured I’d balance out my latest shopping spree by not making this international.

      Yeah I never got past Matched in the series. The pacing is a bit off here too so you may have the same issue, but I feel like it does improve throughout the book. LOL part of the reason I wanted more romance is because I honestly liked the love interest better than the main character.

  5. Jamie C. says:

    I haven’t read any of Ally Condie’s books yet since I am still trying to lessen my TBR pile(even though it gets bigger all the time!). But, I do own her Matched trilogy and am anticipating to love it. I can’t wait for Atlantia to come out already! Plus, the ocean-like atmosphere intrigues me, it reminds me of The Elysium Chronicles and Forgive My Fins.

    • Larissa says:

      Ahhh yes, the ever growing TBR mountain is a issue of mine too. I wasn’t a fan of the matched series but I hope you are! I do love the ocean atmosphere and I think it really makes Atlantia stand out.

  6. Good worldbuilding? I’M IN. This one sounds fantastic, so I’m going to be sure to pick up a copy when it’s released. I love the sound of the storyline, and this review has only made me more eager to try the book. 🙂
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  7. Chenise J. says:

    I’ve only read the first book in Condie’s Matched series and I wasn’t really blown away by it. This book looks much more up my alley and I’m really excited to see how she tackles the Atlantis myth!

  8. I am curious about this one, I enjoyed Matched but hated Crossed so I didn’t finish the series. I know that Condie is capable of amazing storytelling and her writing is gorgeous, but she has a tendecy to go off track and write this long passages for the sake of beautiful writing, still I might give this one a go. Thanks for the helpful review.
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I never made it past Matched. I do think there’s a bit of that beautiful writing and it’s unrelated to plot thing, but not as much as Matched.

  9. Zoe N. says:

    I was a bit hesitant of this as well for the same reason as you Larissa – Condie’s Matched trilogy was definitely a bit of a letdown. Nonetheless, it sounds like she has improved largely between finishing that series and starting this one, and that makes me so happy to hear. 🙂

    I LOVE the sound of the world-building, romance and the writing, and I think you’ve described them fantastically. They each sound so unique and well-done, and I can’t wait to experience that for myself. It’s a shame you were a bit indifferent to the protagonist, but she sounds decent nonetheless. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Larissa and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Not in the ScriptMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah there was so much hype surrounding that series but it just really fell flat for me. I really think Condie has improved a lot since her last series c:

      Aww thanks you c: I really think Atlantia was unique, especially with its world building. It really did fascinate me a lot.

      Thank you Zoe <33

  10. Valerie says:

    HI LARISSA!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    To be honest, I’m surprised that this is the same author that wrote the Matched series, which I have not read by the way. But that doesn’t really affect my opinion, and also your review kind of convinced me to take a look at it, but then again I don’t know. Anyways, if I see it on the shelf, I’ll pick it up (in the library only). So yeah! I’m GLAD YOU LIKED IT!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    • Larissa says:

      HEY VAL!!! ~~~~

      It was a bit shocking for me too tbh. I’m glad you’ll give this one a shot, it really was quite enjoyable. Haha yeah, glad I liked it too.


  11. I haven’t rea anythin by her but i really wanna read this one! It sounds so cool. Plus I picked up a sample from B&N and read it and loved it 😀 So I’m definitely hyped to read this
    Thanks for the giveaway girlies
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I would recommend you give it a chance. It really does have such a cool premise. Glad you enjoyed the sampler and I hope you enjoy the whole book just has much.

  12. I see this book everywhere. IT HAS OVERTAKEN MY FEED. I suppose that’s a good thing? Even if the MC was kind of frustrating!

    I’m kind of glad the romance didn’t take over the plot, because I like when Contemporary books are JUST about the swoon. Slow-burn is always the way and I like the ‘less is more’ approach. If the love interest is outshining the MC though . . . haha, that’s not good!
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    • Larissa says:

      Haha guess it can be a good thing :p

      Yeah I don’t know, only reason I wanted more romance was because it seemed to be the only time the love interest was highlighted. And I really did love the love interest, even more the MC oooops~

  13. Lori says:

    I am really intrigued by the cover of this book! Can’t wait to read this one!

  14. Sarah C. says:

    People who live underwater but aren’t mermaids and a story about sisters; this book sounds right up my alley! I have never read anything by Ally Condie, so starting out with a standalone instead of a series sounds marvelous too. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!
    Sarah C. recently posted…Review: Night FilmMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it really was up my alley too c: I think this one really would be the place to start if you’re looking to read something by Condie. No problem girl, good luck

  15. Giselle says:

    I’ve never read anything by Ally Condie – her Matched series has such mixed reviews that I’ve always been wary of it. I have this feeling that I won’t like it – you know sometimes you just KNOW. But anyways I’ve been intrigued by this one and so far people are impressed! It sounds like she did an incredible job with the world building which is always a plus! And more and more YA are adding family dynamics in books which is awesome – I love it! Great review, hun! I’ll have to def consider giving this one a try! 🙂
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. KingMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I wouldn’t be the one who would easily recommend it tbh. But I do feel like Atlantia improved so much. The world building was very well done in my eyes, it wasn’t focused on one aspect and was balanced throughout the novel quite well.

      Thanks Giselle <33

  16. Lily says:

    I was actually a fan of Ally Condies ‘Matched’ series so I’ve been excited about this one but I’m also pretty worried about this one because I don’t know if it’s just right for me but your review has calmed me down a but and gotten me pretty excited! Brilliant review 🙂
    Lily recently posted…I’ll Give You The Sun: ReviewMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Oh well if you were a fan of her other series then I’m sure you’ll love this one. Honestly I think it improved on her past work so I think you’ll see this as well and love it.

  17. Michelle Lee says:

    I am so excited for Atlantia! I have read The Match trilogy by her and I loved it. I actually got to meet her in person for a signing last year so that was pretty awesome! Thank you for this amazing giveaway! 🙂

    • Larissa says:

      Ahhhh! I’m sure you’ll adore Atlantia then. That’s so cool that you got to meet her though, I’m jealous haha. Never have met an author before. And no prob girl, good luck!

  18. Jillyn says:

    I read Matched and really, really enjoyed it so I’m super excited to read this one as well.

  19. Emily says:

    I’ve heard great things about The Match trilogy, mostly from my girlfriend, and I can’t wait to read Atlanta. Of course I’m eager to read the Match trilogy myself as well, it’s on my list!

  20. I have been looking forward to this one because…well the cover is so pretty! haha, I enjoyed the first in the Matched trilogy and my interest decreased with each book. I am willing though to give her work a chance because I did enjoy that first book a good amount. Glad to see you liked this one!
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    • Larissa says:

      The cover is definitely one of my favorites out of all of the ones this year. I only made it through the first Matched book, never finished the series lol. Sometimes I wonder how it ends haha. And yeah, I’d give this one a chance.

  21. Yay, glad to see this dystopian floated your boat Larissa! I particularly like the sound of the above and the beyond, that would definitely be an interesting comparison. I just love books that cover sibling relationships and emphasise the importance of them, and it sounds like it did it well here! I like the sound of the romance and character growth, but with the character being annoying, I guess you can’t have everything. Great review, I think I’d definitely have to check this out 🙂
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    • Larissa says:

      I’m quite a hater of the dystopian sub genre so I’m happy too. I really did love the juxtaposition of the above and the below, it was contrasted really well.

      Thank you! (:

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  23. I wasn’t a fan of Matched. At all. But I read a 5 chapter excerpt of this and thought it was pretty good from what I read! (I’m pretty sure it was here that I commented on a discussion about excerpts and was complaining that I read the excerpt for this book and wanted to read the whole thing but was denied the ARC >.<)
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  24. Jessica says:

    I am so excited for Atlantia! I have a post with my post with my most anticipated October reads, and this is on of them.

  25. Courtney Parker says:

    I’m super exited for Atlantia it’s has such an interesting premise and I really believe that the book will be hands down fantastic. I’ve never read anything by the author before. I’ve her good things about her though and figure maybe it’s time I took a chance and glanced at her books.

  26. This is a really great review, Larissa! I feel like I know exactly what to expect now 😛 I haven’t read anything by Ally Condie (damn love triangles), but am excited for Atlantia (though I was hoping for more romance, myself…)
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  27. maria says:

    Have not read anything by her yet. Excited to read this!

  28. Emily says:

    I cant wait for atlantia! i read matched and it was GREAT.

  29. Moiraethefates says:

    I love anything having to do with mermaids, sirens he ocean ect. I am so excited to read this book!

  30. Amy says:

    I was lucky enough to read an early e-arc of Atlantia through Penguin First to Read and I would love to have a physical copy to keep. It’s one of my favorite ya books of the year along with The Young Elites.

  31. Astrud says:

    I liked Matched by Ally Condie but not the whole series. I could not finish the second book because it was so boring!!!! I’m hoping this book will renew my love for Ally Condie. 😛

  32. This is a great review! My fiance had gotten me this book a few weeks ago and I’m a sucker for cute covers so I thought I was going to like it but then I started reading bad reviews which put me in a sour mood over the book and decided not to read it. Now you gave me the motivation I needed to start it 🙂
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