This book is what I wished my film, The Journey, (I was one of the co producers) would have been like. Not that my film was bad, but it could have been better. And I was kinda disappointed because I do love post apocalyptic/survival type scenarios and I felt my film was missing something story wise. I felt it could have been more. Everything else for the most part was done well. The acting, cinematography, etc. I didn't write The Journey though and despite helping the director with several rewrites, it was his story in the end. Though the rewrites did help, but like I said I felt it could have been more.
I was happy with this book. After reading this, I feel like making a trailer or something for this book. :) I feel like I want to tackle another post apocalyptic/survival type film. In fact, this book gave me ideas of things people could be struggling with during a post apocalypse. Things like losing your glasses and your vision being really poor and slowing down the person you are with because you really can't see anything. Me personally, I have to wear these contacts before going to bed known as GVSS contacts because my vision is really bad. Pop them in, sleep, take them out in the morning, and I can see pretty well. If I don't wear them for a few days, I can't see anything really. I also struggle with light sensitivity from time to time. My eyes burn and I can't be anywhere near light. I'm like a vampire. Seriously. Fireworks, snow, clouds, TV light, etc. hurt my eyes. Now imagine being like that in a post apocalyptic world? Scary to think about. Especially because if like in this book, there is a lot of snow. How am I supposed to walk or run or whatever, if I can barely keep my eyes open because the snow is burning my eyes? X_X
Anyway, another reason I liked this book was because the main character is a boy. There needs to be more MCs who are boys in YA books. We need their voices! It's why boys, in my opinion, turn to video games. They find most of the YA books out there lame. Most YA books that are post apocalyptic/dystopian have MCs that are girls and there is always romance. Nothing wrong with romance, but a lot of these books have love triangles or have instalove. It gets annoying. Plus, it's nice to get a different perspective. For example, I really liked that Alex was trying to get condoms at one point during the book. I mean, we don't see that in most of these novels. And yea this is a post apocalyptic world, but a guy will usually think about sex no matter what is going on in the world. I liked the realism put in this book.
I also liked the fact that Alex knows martial arts because I know martial arts as well. Not really a deep reason, but it's my reason. :) Though Alex knows more than I do and I know karate do, not tae kwon do. I found myself imagining what techniques I would use to defend myself when I was reading about Alex fighting. Also really liked Darla's character. She was a cool, strong, smart girl. And could do things most girls couldn't. I don't know any girls who know about farm work and things so I thought that was cool. I liked the descriptions of the things she was doing in the farm and while they were at the camp. I liked the detail and it now I want to do research on it, just to learn more. :)
Lastly, I thought this was a pretty realistic post apocalypse. I don't know much about volcanoes, but my mom knows because she's from Guatemala and she's experienced the effects of volcano ash. She told me how she and her family couldn't go out for days because of the ash, because you wouldn't be able to breathe properly. Also the sun couldn't really be seen either. So after I told her some things about this book, she thinks it seems pretty realistic. Also, I liked that research was done for this book and we are told what research was done at the back of the book. Seems like Mike Mullin took his time to make this as accurate as possible. Most books out there lack research.
I liked this book and I would recommend it to everyone.