A month or two ago I was scrolling through a list of recently released Young Adult books (an action that is not uncommon for me, given that I order the Young Adult books for the library where I am employed) and I stumbled upon a book that sounded pretty interesting. The Evolution of Claire by Tess Sharpe, a YA novel all about Claire Dearing from Jurassic World and her college internship at the park a few years before the movie takes place.
Now I’m going to preface the rest of this review by saying that I am a huge Jurassic Park movie fan though I haven’t read any of the books the movies were based on. And actually the first Jurassic Park movie was also the first movie I ever saw in a theater. Though looking back on the date it came out I have to question my mother’s judgement given that the movie came out when I was five years old. And yes I do remember being mildly terrified by the opening scene but then I enjoyed it to the point where the movies may be the series I’ve rewatched the most.
So, needless to say, I was very interested in a book about a character we really didn’t know much about, especially one who was portrayed in the first Jurassic World movie, as originally being very out of her element.
Unfortunately the book didn’t even come close to the entertainment factor of the movies. The pacing was very slow. Claire’s inner monologues were grating. It’s not really that pleasant to be in the head of someone who is so cold, calculating, and logical. And I would have liked to see what exactly made her that way. It would make sense if she turned all non-emotional after the events in the book but she started out that way so I didn’t really see an “evolution” of her character per say. Plus, she was supposed to be nineteen in this book and all of her fellow interns at the park were supposed to also be college students and yet they usually behaved like lower high school students and weren’t all that mature.
I did like that the book talked about the importance of women in STEM fields and that there were characters that represent people of color and the LGBT community. And there were some adorable interactions with some playful dinosaurs and a bit of the mayhem that I’ve come to expect from the franchise. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to actually make this a book that I would recommend.