Disclaimer: i received an e-arc of oasis from katya late last year. if you would like to purchase the novel, it is released on 7 jan 2020 (a day before my 21st bday :).
Nothing is as it seems!
Before I start, I want to extend a huge thank you to Katya De Becerra for gracing me with an eARC of Oasis a couple of months ago and another huge thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to be a part of this amazing blog tour!
Today is the 6th and 6th day of this awesome blog tour and I will be reviewing Oasis and sharing my favourite quotes from this awesome novel!
Also, sorry if this is posted later than expected, I am in Vietnam time which is four hours behind what I’m used to.
Blurb The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis? Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends ... and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit. With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed ... until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage. The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave ... Katya de Becerra’s new supernatural thriller hides a mystery in plain sight, and will keep you guessing right up to its terrifying conclusion. Buy the Book Here: Dymocks | Book Depository
If you want to see the schedule and link to other blogs in the tour, you can go to the tour schedule at https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/11/tour-schedule-oasis-by-katya-de-becerra.html.
Let’s get stuck into the review because I fell in love with this book from the first sentence. I was captivated and captured by Katya’s words as I had been when reading her first novel, What The Woods Keep.
There were so many components to this novel that made it the amazing masterpiece it is. From the twist at the end to the vast differences between each of the friends and the fact that she kept the book in a single point of view really made it perfect.
As always, I loved how Katya incorporates nationality and being a Melburnian into the novel. It’s so relatable for readers everywhere, but even more important for children of migrant Aussies to be represented in young adult novels.
This novel follows a group of friends from the main character’s point of view on their trip to an archeological dig site in Dubai. They’re a rag-tag group of mismatched personalities, fresh out of high school on their first overseas holiday together. The circumstances are just begging for something to go wrong.
For me, I personally am more of a plot-driven person but I also love when characters are fully explained. By this, I mean that at the beginning of the novel, Katya had the main character, Alif introduces herself and her friends, at the same time giving the reader some background into their friendship. It really established that everyone came from different ethnic backgrounds and establish their personalities so she can focus on the plot for the rest of the story.
I like this because for Alif, she already knows her friends and has an established relationship with them and we are looking from her point of view, which means we need to catch up; quick.
The novel is split into about 3-4 sections in my mind. There is the:
- ‘Intro’ where Alif introduces herself, her friends and is essentially the opening of the story;
- ‘Settling’ in which everyone settles in at the dig camp and the story hints at the disaster event set to occur later;
- ‘Disaster Event’ where shit goes downhill and everyone battles against the elements and a higher power to survive;
- ‘Safety?’ this part felt like it went on forever. I say that with kindness because it was so hard to tell if Katya was setting us up for heartbreak at the end of the novel or another plot twist that would tear a hole in the space-time continuum and make me throw my kindle down in confusion.
This is a novel that makes you hate it because you’ll have a favourite charater and it will shit all over them and throw them into three lanes of traffic just because. But it will also give your fav what they so desire and make you regret ever wishing them happiness in the first place.
I am so in love with Katya’s writing and how well she can construct the perfect plot so you will never know a twist is coming until it hits you square in the face. Honestly, I’m questioning the entire existence of the novel. If it wasn’t for the 6 copies that somehow downloaded onto my kindle (something I clicked probably), I would probably think the entire novel was a fever dream.
I didn’t bring my kindle here with me to Vietnam, which is my fault for bad planning and that has all the quotes highlighted in the book on it. You may or may not know that all these blog posts are actually written up super last minute, instead I’m doing a favourite moments section of this review.
Due to this being SPOILER FREE I will be including vague descriptions of my fav moments as I don’t have particular quotes.
There was a particular scene where Alif gets what she’s always dreamed of but there is something off. She never tells anyone the good news and it feels suspicious. It’s like I as a reader wanted her to be happy but at the same time, when it happened, I didn’t because it wasn’t real. I couldn’t explain it.
Alif says something about not really knowing a couple of the people in her group which is really common amongst a group of friends who are a smashed together band of misfit personalities. People seldom notice this and I like how she made mention of it, showing that not even they were perfect.
My favourite part was knowing that everyone came from different ethnic backgrounds and family environments. No one in that group was from that picture-perfect white family. That wasn’t the point of the novel. The point was about the Oasis and survival in the oasis, so everyone being different was just a part of who they were and that’s that.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) because it was freaking amazing! I love Katya as a person and as a writer. She is super talented and I really appreciate how she makes family and ethnicity (plus her Melburnian status) a priority in her novels.
Please do read this novel, if not this one, What The Woods Keep (Katya’s first novel) is also a wonderful and captivating read. Her novels always lead up to something huge, like a bang, that twists everything you thought you knew about the story into something else.
Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead, she earned a PhD in Anthropology and now works as a university lecturer and a researcher. Katya is a short version of her real name, which is very long and gets mispronounced a lot. What The Woods Keep was her first novel (out now), which is followed by another standalone Oasis in 2020. She has also authored and co-authored academic articles, book chapters, guest posts and opinion pieces.
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If you haven’t seen my December TBR post, I will be linking it here. I will be reading all three books over the December/ Early Jan (I know my limits) Christmas holiday period and all books will or have been reviewed!
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See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).