David Yoon’s latest novel City of Orange has the feel of a post-apocalyptic novel with the emotional verve of true literary fiction.
City of Orange follows a nameless man who wakes up in a desert with a splitting headache and only echoes of memories of his former life. He knows he has a name, but he can’t remember it. He knows he had a daughter and wife, but he can’t remember their faces. He looks around him and he knows the world has ended. Our nameless protagonist must battle the heat, the barrenness, the unlivability of the desert, but most of all he must battle himself, his fractured memories, and the mystery of his own past.
As City of Orange progresses, Yoon gives us more and more of his character’s past, what the world was like before the fall—until it becomes clear that something is missing. Suddenly, readers are whisked into an entirely unexpected turn of events as memories and events unravel to reveal a truth that seems all too obvious once revealed.
While the setting of City of Orange appears post-apocalyptic in nature, the narrative itself is pure literary fiction. Tackling topics of loss, the effects of social media and technology on mental health, and the complicated nature of our deepest relationships, Yoon accomplishes a difficult feat with City of Orange. A truly compelling story told in a truly compelling world will grab at the heartstrings of readers in this emotionally charged novel.
Slated for release in May 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, City of Orange by David Yoon is available for preorder from your local independent bookstore.
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FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.