I have this mild interest in the END OF ALL THINGS.
What? I can’t help it. It interests me. (It whispers bookish ideas to my writer brain.) If there’s an apocalyptic movie, I want to see it. If there’s a book, I need to read it. And (since I have eaten a lot of theories) I have developed small plans of survival.
It’s the little things that get you to the next day. *
– I always wear comfortable shoes. If a zombie charges at you, there’s no way he’ll pause while you get into good Katniss-approved running shoes.
– I have entertainment in case we lose power. It’s called books. Movies in your brain. I have an entire BOOKSHELF of them, and while people may judge me for the many ones I have unread…what if we have an apocalypse?! I need unread books for those times.
– I love peanut butter. This…this will help me survive. I’m sure of it.
– I have watched copious episodes of Bear Grylls. He does weird survival things like eat spiders and jump off waterfalls.**
– I am okay with the Hermit Life. What? Introvert here. While people are tolerable*** I think I could handle a life like Lynn had in Not A Drop To Drink where she drank water and shot at people if they looked suspicious.
– I know important things. Like zombies die with head shots. How to filter water (with rocks). How to catch fish. Don’t anger bears.**** Don’t eat weird berries. How to light a fire. And how to behave if you’re on a small raft with a tiger.
* I probably stole this from somewhere, but since I can’t remember, we could pretend that is a highly motivational survival-of-end-times quote from me, right?
** It’s like Bear Grylls has this thought of: “if I do this Thing which could possible kill me, how could I survive it?” which are good questions to ask yourself, I assume.
*** …from a distance.
**** This doesn’t really apply in Australia.
So I read this book called The Sky So Heavy.
It’s like Tomorrow, When the War Began…but so much better. For starters, they use cereal as currency. Isn’t that ingenious? This book and I were destined to be friends.
But they went hungry a lot in the book, which (obviously) made me hungry. I craved cereal and pizza as I read.
What if the world randomly and suddenly ended in ice and snow?
Especially in Australia where we’re not really versed in freezing to death. (Although we do get snow.) The Sky So Heavy explored a lot of survival questions and emotions (darn those little emotions)… although it didn’t answer a lot of questions.
I do get bothered when end-of-the-world situations aren’t fully explained. There’s zero closure for this book, and there’s not a lot of answers. Like exactly what the country’s survival plan was? Towards the end of the book, the army keeps everyone in lockdown…all numbered and accounted for. They don’t want refugees from other towns coming in. WHY. Just for control? It a little floppy to me. The story focused on characters instead of plot.
Speaking of plot: it’s not so much action and fighting as…hiding and attempting not to freeze to death.
Admirable intentions, but I actually thought the teens would be running around with guns screaming, “Viva la revolution”. Instead they took the End of The World with a more logical how-long-can-we-survive-on-creamed-corn-and-cereal approach. I was a little disappointed at the lack of action.
It’s narrated by Fin, who’s looking after his 12-year-old brother Max since their dad went out the night the missiles hit and didn’t come back. Fin is “Mister Steady”. Max is “Mister Hyper”. I loved them both, a lot. Then we meet Lucy (luuuurve interest, of course) and Noll (the kid everyone bullied but hey, he’s got food, so suddenly everyone’s friends…I felt so sorry for him). They’re a fabulous group, although I felt I’d met them before (in John Marsden’s version). Noll was a favourite since he was so calm with just a shred of bitterness.
Yes I wanted more action but instead got cereal and awesome characters, so I enjoyed myself immensely.
It’s dying for a sequel though. The ending is as open as a box of cornflakes and I NEED CLOSURE. Because the last 50-pages hurt. Stuff goes down that makes you close your eyes and whisper, “No, don’t do this”.
Thank you UQP for the review-copy! The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn hit shelves in January, 2013.
For Fin it’s just like any other day–racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class, and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe. Only it’s not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated. When Fin wakes up the next morning, it’s dark, bitterly cold, and snow is falling. There’s no internet, no phone, no TV, no power, and no parents. Nothing Fin’s learned in school could have prepared him for this. With his parents missing and dwindling food and water supplies, Fin and his younger brother Max must find a way to survive all on their own. When things are at their most desperate, where can you go for help? This haunting dystopian novel thrillingly and realistically looks at a nuclear winter from an Australian perspective.
Go forth and eat your cereal, blogglings. While you can…
Cait is currently eating a cupcake and finalising this review at the last second. The cupcake was delicious, thanks for asking. She’s spent most of today rewriting her sci-fi monstrosity. She usually tweets updates, like how it is not a good idea to nearly-kill-your-character too early in the book. OH! And she hit 800 followers which made her smile like a psychotic Cheshire cat. Currently she’s reading THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN.