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- Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
- Publication date: 6/5/2012
- Pages: 304
- Source: eARC from NetGalley/Macmillan
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
Kids trapped in a superstore together after some crazy weather phenomenon? This book just sounded too good to not want to read. This book gets right into it. No slow build up to an event, not getting to know people first. Nope, just BAM!! Into the story. I liked that. Unfortunately that didn't last. It slowed down quite a bit after that with an occasional exciting part. This is told from Dean's POV kind of as him telling us about it, and us following him through things. There is a lot of different characters that we get to know in this book. At first it was a bit overwhelming trying to remember who each person was, but I really liked it once I was comfortable with all of them.
Dean is not a popular kid. He is kind of socially awkward actually. He doesn't fit in and being trapped with the other teenagers and kids in the superstore brings out the best of him. There are still cliques even only being 14 of them, but you see it start to break a little, though never completely. Dean just wants to survive and hopefully somehow find his parents if they are still alive. He feels like he needs to protect his brother, but his brother doesn't really need the protection and seems to be pulling away from him. This takes a toll on Dean mentally too among other things.
I won't really go into the other characters since there are so many of them and they all play an important role. I will say though, that I really liked each and every one of them in some way with the exception of Robbie. OMG I really hated that guy. I kinda had him all figured out to begin with so I wasn't surprised at what went on with him. I hope that isn't really spoilery... anyways, he didn't fool me at all. There was that other kid I didn't like much too, but I can't remember his name right now lol. You will know who I'm talking about if you read it though.
I thought that the idea of the chemical that ends up being leaked from NORAD and has different affects on the different blood types was pretty cool too. (In a creepy sort of way.) It was a neat little twist to make it more than just a story that takes place after a crazy volcanic interruption, tsunami, and earthquake. They do find out the hard way which makes for great reading. I know that they are supposed to be trying to survive trapped in the store, but there was never really that feeling that they were that scared about what was going on. They just set up, figure out a way to keep organized and that's that.
In general I thought the book was pretty good. There were a lot of little things that bothered me a bit about it, but nothing major and nothing that I really feel like going into because it's just me being picky. There was some good action in the book at times but not enough to really say its action filled. There were also a lot of slow parts that I felt kind of just dragged a bit. The characters were great to get to know, but I never really felt any attachment to them. I am a very character driven reader so I think that made me not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It was a pretty short book though and I got through it rather quickly. I am curious to see where the story goes from here and will definitely pick up the next book. 3 out of 5 stars.