Monday, July 11, 2011

Fossil Fuels and the End of the World

I couldn't find Florida Teen Reads titles in the local branch of my library this week, so I picked a few titles by author's I've enjoyed. It wasn't until I'd left the library that I realized I had a short set of end of the world fiction. The environment, fossil fuels, conservation, technology, all play a role in our future. These authors take the argument to a terminal degree.

EmptyEmpty by Suzanne Weyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gas. Petroleum. Fuel. Energy. Do we have enough or are we running on empty? In the world Suzanne Weyn's creates, fossil fuels are only available on the black-market and Gwen, independent and fierce, has a brother who sells it. Gas is more than $40 a gallon. Heating oil, nonexistent for Niki's family once her father looses his job. When Gwen's house is destroyed in a fire, Tom must choose between the two girls. Will he rescue Gwen or Niki?

Girls will enjoy the budding romance, but plumb the depths of their thinking with debatable topics Weyn introduces: renewable energy, oil greed, conservation and more.

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This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is romance the second stage of the end of the world? In Pfeffer's sequel (as well as several other end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it books I've read this week it sure seems so. Fans of Life As We Knew It will be pleased to find the Evans family still surviving after the meteor's encounter with the moon. Electricity is an occasional luxury and though government stepped-in with food, it seems as if supplies are dwindling. Storms loom. Will the house survive? Can the Evans weather the storm or is it time to leave?

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Ashes, AshesAshes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the map of New York City at the start of the book. Maybe I'm like one of those kids Tom Angleberger talked about mapping things for at ALAN 2011. The map delighted me because we are going to NYC soon and I found myself imagining the places we'd go in terms of the brave new world Treggiari has created. Even after cataclysmic disasters, life, long and the world goes on. Good story. Strong girl. What's not to like?

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Matrix meets Asher's 13 Reasons Why who dates Nancy Werlin's Double Helix or Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox . Imagine a world of the future where cassette tapes are a technology of the past (we'll we're there, right?). Meet Kyle. Friend of Lilly, Simon and Danny. Enjoying a seemingly ho-hum summer when the talent show changes everything. Kyle tells readers what happened in his voice, recorded and preserved on the tapes. We hear the story from Kyle with historical footnotes added by an anonymous figure looking back at the tapes from the future. Instructing plot structure, the real twist comes when Danny hypnotizes 4 members of the audience as part of his talent show spot. Those 4 are the only remaining analog humans in the town and possibly on the planet. What would you do if the human race automatically updated and you were left behind? 

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