Monday, January 18, 2010

Total Oblivion, More or Less - by Alan Deniro

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The Lowdown:
Macy is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in St. Paul Minnesota.  Her high school life is as normal as can be for a high school kid.  She does her thing and deals with parents and siblings as best she can.  Until things start to change:  power stops working, the horsemen come to town, and her family packs up to get out of St. Paul (now "Pig's Eye) to head down the Mississippi River to St. Louis.  As they travel down the river on a steamboat called the Prairie Chicken, Macy tries to make sense of all the strangeness she sees around her.  Worried about the plague and the strange behaviors of her brother and his dog, Macy goes into survival mode.  Her family is together now, but will they be able to make it through all that the river and world will throw in their way?  Macy is tested in more ways than a girl her age should be, and you'll have to read on to see if she makes it in this strange new (old?) world.

What I Liked:
I liked this family.  They were weird; they weren't perfect.  I liked that I got to see them make it through all the weirdness that they encountered on their trip.  Also, the relationships were complex and honest.  Macy is very honest with herself and the reader about how she feels about her brother, dad, and the others.  There's a talking dog in this book.  I loved him.  I will say, however, I wanted to know what was happening to the world.  Like The Road and other post-apocalyptic novels I've read, you don't really know exactly what is going on or why it is happening.  I guess, though, if this were reality, you wouldn't experiencing it all like Macy - bits and pieces at a time - is how it would feel if the world changed like this.

***This book isn't written for teens, but does have appeal for the YA audience.  This book does contain some strong language.

Read This If...
You want to go on a really crazy trip down the Mississippi.
You want to experience a future that includes the past.
You're interesting in learning about crazy plague-loving wasps and talking dogs.
You like family stories.
You want to see what it takes for a family to make it when the world seems to be ending.

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