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City of Orange

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A man who can not remember his own name wakes up in an apocalyptic landscape, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but he can't see it clearly and can't grasp how his current situation came to be. He must learn to survive by finding sources of water and foraging for food. Then he encounters a boy--and he realizes nothing is what he thought it was, neith A man who can not remember his own name wakes up in an apocalyptic landscape, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but he can't see it clearly and can't grasp how his current situation came to be. He must learn to survive by finding sources of water and foraging for food. Then he encounters a boy--and he realizes nothing is what he thought it was, neither the past nor the present. City of Orange is a novel that is both harrowing and heartfelt, charged with a speculative energy but grounded in intimate character study. It is a novel about coming to grips with the worst that has befallen us and finding our way home again. This imaginative and affecting new novel is beloved, bestselling, and award-winning author David Yoon at his finest: thought-provoking and heart-piercing, by turns funny and challenging, and at all times deeply human.


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A man who can not remember his own name wakes up in an apocalyptic landscape, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but he can't see it clearly and can't grasp how his current situation came to be. He must learn to survive by finding sources of water and foraging for food. Then he encounters a boy--and he realizes nothing is what he thought it was, neith A man who can not remember his own name wakes up in an apocalyptic landscape, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but he can't see it clearly and can't grasp how his current situation came to be. He must learn to survive by finding sources of water and foraging for food. Then he encounters a boy--and he realizes nothing is what he thought it was, neither the past nor the present. City of Orange is a novel that is both harrowing and heartfelt, charged with a speculative energy but grounded in intimate character study. It is a novel about coming to grips with the worst that has befallen us and finding our way home again. This imaginative and affecting new novel is beloved, bestselling, and award-winning author David Yoon at his finest: thought-provoking and heart-piercing, by turns funny and challenging, and at all times deeply human.

30 review for City of Orange

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    i think i like the idea of this book more than i actually like the book itself. which is sad because i cant really pinpoint anything wrong with the story… i just didnt click with it. but its such an interesting concept! it completely redefines what apocalyptic means in terms of psychology and humanity. its quite an inspired take on the genre and i think it explores the idea well. but man, i just could never fully immerse myself into the story and i cant really say why. i might need to revisit this i think i like the idea of this book more than i actually like the book itself. which is sad because i cant really pinpoint anything wrong with the story… i just didnt click with it. but its such an interesting concept! it completely redefines what apocalyptic means in terms of psychology and humanity. its quite an inspired take on the genre and i think it explores the idea well. but man, i just could never fully immerse myself into the story and i cant really say why. i might need to revisit this at a later date. thank you, penguin/g.p. putnams sons, for the ARC! ↠ 3 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Catherine (alternativelytitledbooks)

    **Many thanks to Shelf Awareness, NetGalley, Putnam, and David Yoon for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 5.24!!** WOW. I'm not sure what I expected going into this book...but hours after finishing this one, I'm STILL tripping over my thoughts and trying to comprehend what I just read...in the best possible way. Imagine, for a moment, you wake up in a barren wasteland. Your surroundings are unfamiliar, nobody is around...and to make matters worse, your memory is essentially erased. You h **Many thanks to Shelf Awareness, NetGalley, Putnam, and David Yoon for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 5.24!!** WOW. I'm not sure what I expected going into this book...but hours after finishing this one, I'm STILL tripping over my thoughts and trying to comprehend what I just read...in the best possible way. Imagine, for a moment, you wake up in a barren wasteland. Your surroundings are unfamiliar, nobody is around...and to make matters worse, your memory is essentially erased. You have no idea who you are, where you came from, what makes you tick, and who you love most in the world. On top of all of this, you must find food, shelter, and tend to a mysterious injury...oh, and did I mention it's also a DYSTOPIAN, apocalyptic wasteland? Such is the dilemma faced by our intrepid, baffled, and pondering narrator. His journey is arduous, and full of unanswered questions, oddities and symbolism, strangers he doesn't know if he can trust, and an unfamiliar world, on the verge of complete obliteration. As he forges ahead, will all of the answers find him...or will he find the answers within? Why is his memory gone...and is it the curse he assumes it must be, or a blessing? With so little left of Planet Earth, is there a shred of hope...and a chance for a bright future for our narrator...or is this world just beyond saving? I know David Yoon from the world of YA, and while I enjoyed his writing in the last book I read, it was certainly your standard grade YA, a cute story with a fairly cookie-cutter plot. Nothing could have prepared me for the utterly different and transformative read this proved to be for me...but WOW. I know, that word again, but it's been so long since I was utterly swept away, lost and engrossed in a novel in this way that I can't help saying it again! This is the kind of read where you stop even glancing at page numbers or chapter length, forget about the clock, and each page feels like an opportunity to learn, think, and above all else, FEEL. Yoon has a way of capturing those tiny everyday moments, the idiosyncrasies you hardly notice, and wrapping it in a package of a world that feels so close to our current reality and yet miles away at the same time. I can't believe that I flew through this in three days (and if I had more spare time on my hands, it most certainly would have been less!) and 400 pages felt more like 40 to me. That being said...this book is NOT going to be for everyone: I could tell that from the off. It is not a thrill-a-minute race against the clock sort of read. Yoon tears apart the stillness of each moment, delves into flashbacks, and there at times is more description of the world and what our narrator sees and experiences rather than what he DOES. If this sort of meandering and philosophical bent bothers you, you will not enjoy this book at all. It very much reminded me of Chbosky's Imaginary Friend in this sense (although thankfully shorter, less horror, and with less religious overtones). If you could handle that book, you can handle this one. I rarely delve into dystopian or apocalyptic fiction, and this one certainly lands more in the realm of speculative fiction...so again, if that isn't your genre, this won't be a fit. However, Yoon's writing is so moving, poetic, and simple yet complex, that I honestly have an urge to read this one all over again. Much like a beloved film, I have no doubt I'd get more out of it a second time. So why not a 5 star review? I considered it, long and hard, but there were a couple things that kept me from being able to get there. The biggest thing that held me back from being head over heels for this book is honestly a bit of confusion over how it ended. I'm not sure if I missed something along the way, if it was intended to be somewhat left to interpretation, or what the author's intent was, but as soon as I finished I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't jump on the internet and find out from Yoon himself what the ending meant. No acknowledgments were in this advanced copy, and while they may not have provided enough insight to answer ALL of my questions, you can bet I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for an interview with the author as soon as this book releases. City of Orange is layered, simple, desolate, hopeful, heartbreaking, and affecting, all in one breath. One of my favorite reads so far this year. Simply put? Simply stunning. 4.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    City of Orange is a haunting novel about grief, told by a narrator who does not know who he is, or when he is living, or what has happened to him. He only knows that the world has ended and he is alone and lost. The man is afraid of being found, believing he had been beaten. He finds water, a shelter stocked with matches and canned goods. He ventures short distances and sees the burnt out houses. The man references the movie Castaway, the movie about a man who is alone and learning to survive. But City of Orange is a haunting novel about grief, told by a narrator who does not know who he is, or when he is living, or what has happened to him. He only knows that the world has ended and he is alone and lost. The man is afraid of being found, believing he had been beaten. He finds water, a shelter stocked with matches and canned goods. He ventures short distances and sees the burnt out houses. The man references the movie Castaway, the movie about a man who is alone and learning to survive. But he isn’t reduced to talking to inanimate things, he thinks. His past comes back in flashes, his wife and a daughter, their love and hopes and dreams. He knows they are lost to him. The man’s journey from isolation and fear to acknowledgement and acceptance is beautifully handled. It’s an internalized, psychological journey of quiet depth, moving, and affirming in the end. I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of City of Orange. I'm not gonna lie; this took me sooooo long to finish. I didn't expect the narrative to be what it was, though I guessed less than midway through what was happened. I find myself torn between liking the book because it was not what I imagined, not post-apocalyptic in the traditional sense but apocalyptic in a tragic, grief stricken way, and not liking the book because it was not about running away from zombies or aliens or alien zombie monste Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of City of Orange. I'm not gonna lie; this took me sooooo long to finish. I didn't expect the narrative to be what it was, though I guessed less than midway through what was happened. I find myself torn between liking the book because it was not what I imagined, not post-apocalyptic in the traditional sense but apocalyptic in a tragic, grief stricken way, and not liking the book because it was not about running away from zombies or aliens or alien zombie monsters. The writing is great, but the narrative is sloooowwwww; oh Lordy so slow, I could perform neurosurgery while the events were happening and I'm not doctor. The pace drags, which is the point since the main character is suffering from memory loss and has no idea who he is, where he is, or what he's doing at the place he finds himself in. As he regains his strength, his memories begin to return, and readers get a sense of his past, who he used to be, where he came from, but it happens slowly, in drips and drabs. I began to suspect the main character's feelings of hopelessness and isolation was rooted in something tragic and heart-wrenching, and his current circumstances was not what he (and the reader) thought it was early on through the book. I wasn't able to connect with the main character but I did like the hopeful ending. City of Orange wasn't what I expected, and I don't mean that in a bad way, but if readers are looking for something scary, dystopian or zombie apocalypse-like, this isn't for them. Or me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy Jones

    When the man wakes up in a desolate place, he doesn't know who he is or how he got there. He knows there's been an apocalypse, but doesn't know what kind. He knows his wife and daughter are dead, but he doesn't know how. As he tries to survive (while also trying to decide if he wants to survive), he encounters a man and then a boy who seem to speak in riddles, but slowly begin to help him see what has really happened. With this stark, thoughtful story, Yoon has created a novel that, while entire When the man wakes up in a desolate place, he doesn't know who he is or how he got there. He knows there's been an apocalypse, but doesn't know what kind. He knows his wife and daughter are dead, but he doesn't know how. As he tries to survive (while also trying to decide if he wants to survive), he encounters a man and then a boy who seem to speak in riddles, but slowly begin to help him see what has really happened. With this stark, thoughtful story, Yoon has created a novel that, while entirely unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the perfect book for understanding the grief of what we've lost. (Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    I'm going to set this aside for now, because I am not vibing with it at all. I'm going to set this aside for now, because I am not vibing with it at all.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marne - Reader By the Water

    A man left for dead struggles to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape in a dry aquifer. In the book's first HALF, we readers only see the unnamed man. There are foggy flashbacks, but he has amnesia, and he is all alone in the world. It worked for the movie “Castaway” (which the book references ), and it worked here. Bold and risky move, David Yoon! It takes skill to keep a reader interested with only teasing hints of what came before and what will happen next. You kept us in the mixed-up brai A man left for dead struggles to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape in a dry aquifer. In the book's first HALF, we readers only see the unnamed man. There are foggy flashbacks, but he has amnesia, and he is all alone in the world. It worked for the movie “Castaway” (which the book references ), and it worked here. Bold and risky move, David Yoon! It takes skill to keep a reader interested with only teasing hints of what came before and what will happen next. You kept us in the mixed-up brain of a desperate and confused survivor of the worst thing ever. Then, at the tipping point, the plot gets rolling. It's still weird as you feel the effects of brain injury, but things pick up and carry you through an almost-satisfying ending. (The last ten pages felt a little epilogue-y, but it was a solid ending before that.) Overall, a fascinating and unusual character study. I enjoyed the experience, but it may not be everyone's cup of hot water heated in a tin can. Thanks, @NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam, for the Digital Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    CONTENT WARNING: Child death, loss, spouse death, mourning, unaliving oneself attempt (on page), starvation and dehydration, car accident, insanity, and lots of berries. ***BERRIES*** What a strange novel. I really enjoyed it though. It’s well written, and it’s a ‘slow burn’ as well. Not a lot happens except for one man, just trying to survive. The twist ending was a little too vague for me and left me a tad confused, but not enough to lower my enjoyment level of this novel at all. Intae Kim Is t CONTENT WARNING: Child death, loss, spouse death, mourning, unaliving oneself attempt (on page), starvation and dehydration, car accident, insanity, and lots of berries. ***BERRIES*** What a strange novel. I really enjoyed it though. It’s well written, and it’s a ‘slow burn’ as well. Not a lot happens except for one man, just trying to survive. The twist ending was a little too vague for me and left me a tad confused, but not enough to lower my enjoyment level of this novel at all. Intae Kim Is the narrator for the audiobook version of this novel, and he is perfect for the role. Funnily enough, when Kim was voicing one of the characters, it seemed to me to sound rather like Shaggy from the old Scooby Doo cartoons, so that image kept popping into my head. As well as the face of Matthew Lillard, who played him in the movie (he was SO cute..!) All in all, I really like this novel and enjoyed listening to it for a day. 3.5 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trigger Warning Database

    Trigger & Content Warnings: Death of a child

  10. 4 out of 5

    PastTheSample

    REVIEW (Twitter style): City of Orange by David Yoon Man wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world and tries his very best to remember what's happened (while lying in the sand, doing nothing, getting up, speaking weird, being BORING) so that he can INFO DROP the ever-living shit out of us. 🌈🧵♥️ Remember where The Walking Dead starts with Rick waking up and then lying in his hospital bed for half an hour while wondering about what could have happened, who he is, and how to speak properly? Yeah, me neither. N REVIEW (Twitter style): City of Orange by David Yoon Man wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world and tries his very best to remember what's happened (while lying in the sand, doing nothing, getting up, speaking weird, being BORING) so that he can INFO DROP the ever-living shit out of us. 🌈🧵♥️ Remember where The Walking Dead starts with Rick waking up and then lying in his hospital bed for half an hour while wondering about what could have happened, who he is, and how to speak properly? Yeah, me neither. NOBODY cares about the injured amnesiac waking up spiel! At least not by itself. There needs to be some sense of progress. Movement. Mystery. ACTIVE shit. SHOW something. MOVE! I swear... Not that I expected much. You know, I always find it so funny when they write "New York Times bestselling author" on their cover. Like, really? The book's so bad you have to feign the appearance of competence and renown to get engagement? Well, then you check what this supposed "bestseller" is about, and surprise surprize, it's a book that's not even got 100 reviews on Amazon. Some bestseller, alright. I find it so sad how much of the publishing industry is about marketing, rather than quality and talent. Judgement: Nothing Happens FAIL! ♥️🎯🌈

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helga Cohen

    In City of Orange, a man walks in a desolate place with amnesia. He doesn’t know where he is, what happened to him, how he got there, or who he is. The place looks like a wasteland. He knows the world has ended and he is alone and lost. As he walks around, he finds water and later a hidden shelter that is stacked with canned food and matches. His past begins to come back to him a little. He has memories of a wife and child, but he knows they are lost to him but doesn’t know how. He remembers a f In City of Orange, a man walks in a desolate place with amnesia. He doesn’t know where he is, what happened to him, how he got there, or who he is. The place looks like a wasteland. He knows the world has ended and he is alone and lost. As he walks around, he finds water and later a hidden shelter that is stacked with canned food and matches. His past begins to come back to him a little. He has memories of a wife and child, but he knows they are lost to him but doesn’t know how. He remembers a friend Byron. He encounters an old man that garbles and a boy who seems to speak to him in riddles. The boy has been watching him since the beginning and he helps him to understand what happened. He recovers his memories about his wife, child, and best friend though he has feelings of dread. This is a story of a man’s journey from isolation and fear to acknowledgment and acceptance. It is a story of survival and grief and how to handle it Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meg Williams

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this work. All opinions are my own. Overall rating is 2.75 - rounded up for fairness. The apathy I felt with this novel was unlike anything I’d ever really experienced. I’d have periods of caring what happened to the main character, quickly swinging to boredom and frustration. This is a very imagery-based novel, and if you don’t pick up the general “lay of the land”, you’ll be lost. The author is incredibly talented in detailing landscape, but it became such Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this work. All opinions are my own. Overall rating is 2.75 - rounded up for fairness. The apathy I felt with this novel was unlike anything I’d ever really experienced. I’d have periods of caring what happened to the main character, quickly swinging to boredom and frustration. This is a very imagery-based novel, and if you don’t pick up the general “lay of the land”, you’ll be lost. The author is incredibly talented in detailing landscape, but it became such a burden to keep up. I remember telling myself frequently, “Man, something HAS to happen in order for me to like this book”. The second 50% saved this from being a DNF for me. The backstory of Adam’s wife and daughter is touching and tragic. The boy and his hoard of dead crows is a seemingly unnecessary focal point. The author’s wit and inner dialogue made me care a bit more about Adam’s situation, but overall I was pretty underwhelmed with this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Orange is the New Despair After a few pages the seasoned reader will start to suspect where this book is headed, but there's nothing wrong with that. The prose is spare and sharp edged, and often the spaces between the sentences and paragraphs are more telling than is the narrative itself. If you want the equivalent of a character driven mood piece set in a brightly overlit unfurnished white room, with a vaguely Twilight Zone-ish hint of dislocation -- this is the book for you. I skimmed a bit he Orange is the New Despair After a few pages the seasoned reader will start to suspect where this book is headed, but there's nothing wrong with that. The prose is spare and sharp edged, and often the spaces between the sentences and paragraphs are more telling than is the narrative itself. If you want the equivalent of a character driven mood piece set in a brightly overlit unfurnished white room, with a vaguely Twilight Zone-ish hint of dislocation -- this is the book for you. I skimmed a bit here and there, but this was an entertaining and often admirable read. (Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Hconroybooks

    Have you ever started a book and wondered, “what in the world is going on here?” But it’s all so intriguing and well written, you have to keep reading to figure it out? Then as soon as you think you’ve got it, the author throws something else at you and the whole thing slips through your fingers again? This book is an absolute trip, and I’m 💯% here for it. A man wakes up in an unknown landscape with amnesia and a throbbing head. He is surrounded by scorched abandoned houses, and he has the sense Have you ever started a book and wondered, “what in the world is going on here?” But it’s all so intriguing and well written, you have to keep reading to figure it out? Then as soon as you think you’ve got it, the author throws something else at you and the whole thing slips through your fingers again? This book is an absolute trip, and I’m 💯% here for it. A man wakes up in an unknown landscape with amnesia and a throbbing head. He is surrounded by scorched abandoned houses, and he has the sense that the world has ended. The man clearly remembers a best friend. He has flashes of memories of a wife and baby daughter, but he can’t remember their names or see their faces, and he refuses to dwell for too long on those memories because he knows that that way lies pain. He must figure out how to survive, find other survivors, and discover who he is and what happened. This book has The Martian and Cast Away vibes with lots of existentialism and some looming Mad Max undertones. The absence of quotation marks for most dialogue added to the air of unreality. The author alternates between the man’s present and his past returning memories. The memories ultimately become a love letter to his wife. This may be the best ending to a novel I have ever read. It also may be the hardest I have ever cried while reading a book 😂😭❤️. Thank you to @putnambooks and @netgalley for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. City of Orange - David Yoon 4.25/5⭐️

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angi

    The City of Orange by David Yoon is a story about Adam Cheung a 37-year-old Korean man that wakes up at the bottom of a culvert in an apocalyptic landscape with no memory of who he is and how he got there. He gradually recovers memories of his wife, child, and best friend as he tries to survive by finding water, shelter, and food. The main character is likable, and you root for him even through the continuing recovery of his memories is heart-breaking. The pace was quick as most times, the only The City of Orange by David Yoon is a story about Adam Cheung a 37-year-old Korean man that wakes up at the bottom of a culvert in an apocalyptic landscape with no memory of who he is and how he got there. He gradually recovers memories of his wife, child, and best friend as he tries to survive by finding water, shelter, and food. The main character is likable, and you root for him even through the continuing recovery of his memories is heart-breaking. The pace was quick as most times, the only slow parts were when the character was stuck between the desire to move on and the dread of the recovery of more painful memories. Topics of survival and grief. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I blazed through it in two days, reading it on my phone every chance I had. Check trigger warnings. Thank you to NetGalley for ARC.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dedra ~ A Book Wanderer

    4.5 stars rounded up! City of Orange, the latest novel by David Yoon will not be a book for everyone. I was fully prepared for it not to be a book for me, but I could not put this one down. What a gut-punch of a novel! I was pulled into this strange, post-apocalyptic style book from the first page, and it’s one I will be thinking about for a long time. I’ve read and enjoyed every novel David Yoon has written, and I knew this one would be a departure from his previous books. However, I knew I like 4.5 stars rounded up! City of Orange, the latest novel by David Yoon will not be a book for everyone. I was fully prepared for it not to be a book for me, but I could not put this one down. What a gut-punch of a novel! I was pulled into this strange, post-apocalyptic style book from the first page, and it’s one I will be thinking about for a long time. I’ve read and enjoyed every novel David Yoon has written, and I knew this one would be a departure from his previous books. However, I knew I liked his writing style so I trusted that history when I decided to read an advanced copy of City of Orange. I have to admit this has probably been the book I was most nervous to pick up so far this year. I haven’t had much success recently with apocalyptic books or books with more serious subject matter—books that I used to enjoy pre-pandemic. So, I’d given myself permission to set this one aside if I started it and discovered it wan’t working for me. But my worries were unwarranted. It’s almost impossible to review City of Orange without giving away spoilers. This book is not what I expected at all, and that’s one of the things that made it so great. Every reader should go into it that way, with no knowledge of what’s to come. In fact, if you know you want to read this book, I’d recommend you steer away from reviews until after you’ve read it. BUT I can talk about how the book opens. We meet our main character when he wakes up in a post-apocalyptic setting, injured and unable to remember much. He’s forced to seek out water, food, and shelter, and piece together his scattered memories as they surface. And as he slowly unravels who he is and where he came from, things are not as they seem. It’s a book with depth, but Yoon does such a phenomenal job, his delicate touch carefully giving the reader clues, gently unraveling our main character’s situation, that I was too fascinated and engrossed to stop reading. Some readers may find the book slow, but the chapters are short and it’s a book that could be read in one sitting. The slower pace allows the reader to absorb new information and speculate on our character’s true reality. Despite its more serious tones, it’s a book with wit and humor, and I found it ultimately a hopeful book. If you’re a fan of character studies, science fiction fantasy, or books that are unlike anything else, you should give City of Orange a try! I’m so glad I did, and it’s a relief to know I can still enjoy books outside of my comfort zone. Thank you to G. P. Putnam’s Sons and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy. Check out my reviews and playlists at A Book Wanderer #popsugarreadingchallenge2022 (prompt #36 - A book you know nothing about)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yanique Gillana

    3 stars I am grateful to the publisher PENGUIN GROUP Putnam for sending me an advanced copy of this book for review. Overall, I liked this book. I found it to be an interesting take on the “apocalyptic” narrative. This is a story that is very dependent upon the perspective, and I think the perspective that we're in is quite interesting and layered. I think the writing style was well done and matched very well with the story, especially with the main character looking back through his memories a 3 stars I am grateful to the publisher PENGUIN GROUP Putnam for sending me an advanced copy of this book for review. Overall, I liked this book. I found it to be an interesting take on the “apocalyptic” narrative. This is a story that is very dependent upon the perspective, and I think the perspective that we're in is quite interesting and layered. I think the writing style was well done and matched very well with the story, especially with the main character looking back through his memories and trying to fill in his lost memories. This story explores loss, relationships, and trauma in quite an intriguing way . While I did find the story to be enjoyable in general, it did get a bit redundant. When the story opens, the main character has no idea where he is, who he is, or what's going on. he quickly comes to the conclusion that the world has gone through some sort of cataclysm, and that he is one of the last/ the last man surviving after an apocalypse. We then spend a lot of time with our character not doing very much other than trying to figure out what's going on, while simultaneously not wanting to actually dig too deeply into his memories. My main issue with this story is that it became very predictable very quickly. I think that this is the type of narrative that hinges upon you being surprised when things are revealed gradually throughout the story; however, I what was going on to be obvious very early into the story, which made it seem like it dragged on for far too long. Luckily, it was not an extremely long book. I like this story and I would recommend it to people who are interested in character studies, stories about recovering from and dealing with trauma, and who are just interested in a different take on the apocalyptic type of setting and story . However, if you are someone who has read a lot of stories within this sub-genre, I would say that this one is not going to offer anything new.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received this free ARC from NetGalley, the review reflected below is my opinion. This book really wasn’t work for me. I couldn’t connect with the plot or characters. It was very slow paced and just seemed to drag.

  19. 5 out of 5

    kathy l-j

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. i received an ARC of this book and i have to say it was a very well written book even though it isn’t the type of book i normally read. there are so many things i like about this book but it was slightly confusing, especially in the beginning. there are 6 parts to the book. the beginning of the book is super detailed yet confusing because you really don’t know what’s going on with the main character as he wakes up and doesn’t know what is going on. i have to say that it is pretty accurate with no i received an ARC of this book and i have to say it was a very well written book even though it isn’t the type of book i normally read. there are so many things i like about this book but it was slightly confusing, especially in the beginning. there are 6 parts to the book. the beginning of the book is super detailed yet confusing because you really don’t know what’s going on with the main character as he wakes up and doesn’t know what is going on. i have to say that it is pretty accurate with not knowing what’s going on, picking up on details, and maybe not remember certain words or things, but trying to piece together as much as possible. with each part, you see the progression of the main character starting to remember how to survive and what his life was like before he woke up. he meets people on the way who help him start figuring his life out. this is a slow paced book and it might not seem intense at first, but overall, the book is pretty intense. once you step back and put together the pieces of his life puzzle, you get the satisfaction of knowing what really happened in the main character’s life and what lead him to where he is now. the ending was really nice and heartbreaking at the same time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. City of Orange opens on a man who wakes up alone in a post-apocalyptic landscape with no memory of his identity or his past. As he carves out an existence in a lonely and barren river basin, he slowly uncovers memories about his past. Then, one day, he encounters a young boy, and everything he thought he knew is turned on its head. I wanted to like this book a lot, and I think there are things that I Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. City of Orange opens on a man who wakes up alone in a post-apocalyptic landscape with no memory of his identity or his past. As he carves out an existence in a lonely and barren river basin, he slowly uncovers memories about his past. Then, one day, he encounters a young boy, and everything he thought he knew is turned on its head. I wanted to like this book a lot, and I think there are things that I did genuinely enjoy about it at the close. Most notably, this novel puts a major spin on what defines a post-apocalyptic or dystopian novel. Perhaps it is not entirely necessary for the apocalypse to be wide-scale destruction. Perhaps apocalypses happen every day. It’s a fresh and compelling spin, and liking the spin makes me all the more frustrated at my frustrations with this book. More than anything, this is an incredibly slow read. The narrative is driven by our nameless main character’s internal life, emphasized by a complete lack of quotation marks to indicate remembered dialogue or italics to indicate internal thoughts. Though written in the third person present tense, we are so far in our guy’s head that it may as well be written in the first person. In addition to the hefty internality of the narrative, we don’t actually get to the end of the book’s synopsis - the discovery of the boy - until exactly halfway through. I do think an argument can be made in defense of this choice, especially when the main character’s memories and internal life and general attitude towards survival are necessary to the way the second half of the book plays out. However, while reading, I found myself wishing the book had been 100 pages shorter, and even after finishing it, I’m wishing a solid 50 pages had been cut for pacing. The slowness of the plot isn’t helped by the writing choices. Having read some of David Yoon’s other books, I know he has a penchant for witty humor, and I did find the writing sink into that voice a little more in the back half. But in the first half of the book, I felt dragged along on these wild swings from witty humor to over-detailed observation, all in a style that seemed to want to live somewhere between George Saunders and Ling Ma, without really achieving the solid, intentional feel of either author’s prose, I do generally think this is a decent book, and I think it has an audience that will adore it. Though it becomes something far different than what it’s sold as, the book successfully subverts genre expectations in a shockingly poignant way, and that is such a fresh and valuable contribution to a genre that many in the book community have written off almost entirely since 2012. I’ll definitely be thinking about it for ages.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    This is going to be hard to review without giving anything away, so please excuse my vagueness. A man wakes up alone, sick, and with no idea who he is or how he got to wherever he is. There are no people, no hints of where he is, like the sound of cars or airplanes, and no signs of shelter. As he finds water and food, he regains some strength and also some memories, which he is quick to push away. Besides the descriptive and desolate location and the man's fractured thoughts, not a lot happens. D This is going to be hard to review without giving anything away, so please excuse my vagueness. A man wakes up alone, sick, and with no idea who he is or how he got to wherever he is. There are no people, no hints of where he is, like the sound of cars or airplanes, and no signs of shelter. As he finds water and food, he regains some strength and also some memories, which he is quick to push away. Besides the descriptive and desolate location and the man's fractured thoughts, not a lot happens. Don't take that the wrong way, I was searching for clues on every page, and at around the 30% mark, I started to change my opinion about what was going on. I wouldn't consider this a spoiler, but if it wasn't already, it becomes a heartbreaking tale. I went back and read the description again, and where I thought it was headed was just my interpretation. I felt so many different emotions while reading this book, but I will say it had a hopeful ending. Kudos to the author for teasing the truth from the man, one reveal at a time. Beautifully written and a story that makes me consider grief and loneliness in a whole different way.

  22. 4 out of 5

    AndiReads

    This is a slow, slow burn and not necessarily what you would expect from the book blurb. In City of Orange, A man wakes up in an unknown place. He is injured and completely alone. He can barely remember anything including his previous life and details about his family. It takes a lot of time and patience to get through the first third of the book as it is just our main character/hero, but the very end does provide the payoff and of course it is great writing by David Yoon. It's an interesting prem This is a slow, slow burn and not necessarily what you would expect from the book blurb. In City of Orange, A man wakes up in an unknown place. He is injured and completely alone. He can barely remember anything including his previous life and details about his family. It takes a lot of time and patience to get through the first third of the book as it is just our main character/hero, but the very end does provide the payoff and of course it is great writing by David Yoon. It's an interesting premise, if you like a deep dive into "the self," have the fortitude for a slow burn and love thought provoking literature - #CityofOrange is for you #Penguin #Putnam #Penguingroup #NetGalley #netgalleyreads

  23. 5 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. City of Orange by David Yoon releases May 24th This is not a dystopian tale. It is however about survival, disaster, grief and fear of the unknown but focused instead on one man's quest to remember. In City of Orange by David Yoon, we follow the fascinating world of an amnesiac's inner musings after awakening to a seemingly post apocalyptic America. I loved the sarcastic idioms but the pacing was way too slow for me. In parts I struggled to stay interested. The main character Adam Chung was very City of Orange by David Yoon releases May 24th This is not a dystopian tale. It is however about survival, disaster, grief and fear of the unknown but focused instead on one man's quest to remember. In City of Orange by David Yoon, we follow the fascinating world of an amnesiac's inner musings after awakening to a seemingly post apocalyptic America. I loved the sarcastic idioms but the pacing was way too slow for me. In parts I struggled to stay interested. The main character Adam Chung was very relatable. His evolution from confusion to remembering is the meat of the book. What a unique story concept. I can appreciate that and the good ending but I just didn't enjoy reading it. It will be a book that definitely sticks with me though.Thank you Putnam Books for my free review copy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel Chaney

    In the afterword, David Yoon comments about how this book was originally a Nanowrimo project from back in 2013. This single piece of information answered many questions about the structure and the meandering nature of the narrative. Others have commented on the slow pacing of this book, and they are not wrong. Slow somehow doesn't fully capture the experience of reading this. There are slow burns that work to create tension while revealing the deeper nature of their characters. However, the prota In the afterword, David Yoon comments about how this book was originally a Nanowrimo project from back in 2013. This single piece of information answered many questions about the structure and the meandering nature of the narrative. Others have commented on the slow pacing of this book, and they are not wrong. Slow somehow doesn't fully capture the experience of reading this. There are slow burns that work to create tension while revealing the deeper nature of their characters. However, the protagonist of City of Orange, for all the time we spend in his head listing to him pontificate about everything and seeing his slowly returning flashbacks doesn't really grow in complexity given all that time. Nor is there enough narrative tension to compel me to want to keep turning the page other than simply to finish. And the more unsympathetic the MC becomes through the flashbacks, the less I cared about the little plot happening. Overall, the main disappointment I have with this book is the reliance on the narrative crutch of waking with amnesia This is a plot device that's been done A LOT so when I see it on book blurbs these days I expect it to be done with expert precision and with a fresh take. Not the case here. It's a cheap trick that makes the whole book unravel as it cheapens the reveal 3/4s of the way through. Ultimately, I don't think this is a successful character study, nor do I think that marketing it as speculative fiction is honest. I'd barely call it "post-apocolsye" as there is very little in the way of any of the true struggles from this genre. It doesn't need to be action and gunfights, but I'd expect more from a character who finds themselves awake in this landscape. Yet the MC feels like he's high the whole time. Viewing the entire situation from a million miles away. So, if you're coming to this book for the speculative fiction aspect, I'd suggest you go elsewhere. You will be sorely disappointed. If you're here for a great character study, can't suggest that either. The writing is efficient and clean and flows easily, but there just isn't any subsistence in what it's saying.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Velasco

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “So basically you’re saying there’s no meaning, he said. Not anything beyond what we try to ascribe, she said...but isn’t that the fun part?” This book had such potential! It had a similar setup to The Road (McCarthy) with a heavier lean into the world of loss, psychology and unreliable narrator. However this was just not for me at all. The book is broken up by memories of the MC’s(main character) life. These are meant to introduce and draw a connection to the most important people in his life and “So basically you’re saying there’s no meaning, he said. Not anything beyond what we try to ascribe, she said...but isn’t that the fun part?” This book had such potential! It had a similar setup to The Road (McCarthy) with a heavier lean into the world of loss, psychology and unreliable narrator. However this was just not for me at all. The book is broken up by memories of the MC’s(main character) life. These are meant to introduce and draw a connection to the most important people in his life and this is honestly part of where they lost me. The dialogue and subject matter flashes between bro humor and deep philosophical subjects so quickly and often that it almost cheapens the characters. The story is told in first person and so you are subjected to each wandering thought the MC gets and there are ALOT. While this is setup to place you in a possibly concussed perspective it also makes for a jarring reading experience and can be aggravating. The entirety of the first half is spent by this dude literally wandering around a drained channel. While the characters he meets are much more interesting I just couldn’t finish it. I hated the banter between him and his wife but that could just be me. Overall, I made it to pg 180 before I gave up. Who knows maybe I just wasn’t as in the mood for this as I thought. Rating 1.5 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Renee Seinfeld

    Such an intriguing storyline. A man wakes up outside under a bridge. He has a head injury and finds himself lying on the ground. He can't remember who he is or anything about his past. When he's finally physically able to stand up to explore his surroundings, he finds the world around him in ruins and...all of the people are gone. What happened? Who is he? Who was he? What is he going to do now? This novel has an imaginative, gentle pace, with an extremely likable protagonist that has you wonderin Such an intriguing storyline. A man wakes up outside under a bridge. He has a head injury and finds himself lying on the ground. He can't remember who he is or anything about his past. When he's finally physically able to stand up to explore his surroundings, he finds the world around him in ruins and...all of the people are gone. What happened? Who is he? Who was he? What is he going to do now? This novel has an imaginative, gentle pace, with an extremely likable protagonist that has you wondering the whole time - what happened?! I really enjoyed the inventiveness of this story. This would make a fantastic movie.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mellen

    Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group for the ARC of this! 2.5 stars! This was a hard one for me to rate, because parts of the story I really enjoyed and parts dragged a bit, but the ending really threw me for a loop. Overall, the story was really weird, and not what I was hoping for from a book that I thought was going to be dystopian/post-apocalyptic, I think. The side characters were so creepy and weird in a way that made sense through the lens of “it’s the end of the world” but then stopped Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group for the ARC of this! 2.5 stars! This was a hard one for me to rate, because parts of the story I really enjoyed and parts dragged a bit, but the ending really threw me for a loop. Overall, the story was really weird, and not what I was hoping for from a book that I thought was going to be dystopian/post-apocalyptic, I think. The side characters were so creepy and weird in a way that made sense through the lens of “it’s the end of the world” but then stopped making sense for me. I think it’s for people that want a story about how grief can make us feel so alone and finding a way back to life, but not for someone looking for an apocalyptic story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ains

    I really wanted to like this but I don't think it's for me. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author's writing style in this book. I thought that the story was really interesting but I thought the pacing of the book was too slow for my taste. I think all the reasons I didn't like this book were on me. I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction but I liked David Yoon's other books so I assumed I would like this one. Overall if you're a fan of unique books and science fiction you might like this one I really wanted to like this but I don't think it's for me. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author's writing style in this book. I thought that the story was really interesting but I thought the pacing of the book was too slow for my taste. I think all the reasons I didn't like this book were on me. I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction but I liked David Yoon's other books so I assumed I would like this one. Overall if you're a fan of unique books and science fiction you might like this one. Thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for providing me an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Rating: 3.5 At first I thought this was a boring, typical post-apocalyptic book. But after almost halfway thorough it I started to think something else was going on, and that kept me interested for the rest of the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abby Turner

    Kind of a grown up Hatchet with a surprise ending.

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