Hardcover, 192 pages.
Publication Date: October 1, 2010.
Published by Scholastic Press.
Source: Borrowed from the library.
A dystopic look at what happens to one American town when all the fossil fuels run out...
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.
Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.
When I first picked up this book I thought three things:
1. Holy short book, Batman! I had expected more than 200 pages when I'd reserved it from the library.
2. I wasn't expecting too much from it because I hadn't really thought too much of Suzanne Weyn's other novels The Bar Code Tattoo, and The Bar Code Rebellion.
3. The premise of the book excited me. Weyn had chosen an 'apocalyptic' world that is entirely possible, even within my lifetime, which was very interesting.
Since the novel was so short, Weyn needed to write efficiently to create a worthwhile and developed storyline, which I believe she did. When a novel is less than 200 pages, everything has to be relevant to move the plot along while still developing it and the characters. I think Weyn was successful in this.
The main problem of a worldwide lack of oil was established quickly. I enjoyed her style for the most part. Aside from her sentence structure (which was, on occasion, sloppy), I liked the pace of the novel, the visual description, and the use of newspaper articles to provide outside information that the characters would not have known.
Weyn paints a very clear picture of how people can quickly descend into chaos when their way of life is threatened. She shows how the little things in life (like one character, Niki, and her contacts) are so often taken for granted. She also shows how little changes can completely set someone off.
My only major complaint is that the ending came on quite quickly and didn't feel fully wrapped up but also didn't entirely feel like there would be a sequel. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!