So this had been sitting on my kindle for a while, and I finally decided to read it one day because I was really in the mood for a really specific type of post-apocalyptic read, and it seemed like this would satisfy my craving.
(Plus it has a gorgeous cover. That always helps.)
It actually didn’t end up being quite what I was looking for at that moment, which might’ve affected my rating, but what it did end up being was incredibly character-driven with complex characters who showed real growth throughout the story. The character development was really the crowning feature of this book, especially for Brandon’s character. And the funny thing is, I related a lot more to Gracie’s character, but Brandon’s POV was so well-written that it genuinely made me understand a perspective completely different from my own, see things differently, and understand things I never would have understood otherwise.
I also loved the realism in the book. Yeah there was an alien apocalypse, but the characters’ reactions, the situations, the plot—those were the realistic things. And I’m also always annoyed when characters’ injuries just disappear, so I was really happy that the injuries seemed realistic too. For example, when Brandon got a concussion at one point, he actually felt awful for days, had to let Gracie drive because he could hardly keep his eyes open without getting dizzy, etc. And nothing ever felt forced into the plot or out of character, so all of that was great.
The book also had some adorable, touching moments, as post-apocalyptic books often do, once the characters start bonding. The way both Gracie and Brandon came to care about Jake and to care about each other was sweet. Also, “Holy crap! Why wouldn’t it be?” was the best response in the history of ever when Gracie asked Brandon *SPOILER ALERT* if it was ok that she kissed him. *END SPOILER ALERT*
My main issues with the book though were 1) it felt a little too slow-paced, but mostly 2) it took too long to really get started. To me, the good part in these types of books is when the world has already been destroyed and the characters have come together to start all the great bonding and growth, but a large chunk of the beginning of this one was about Gracie and Brandon’s individual lives before they actually started making their way together. However, I will say the beginning still had that great character development and realism that I mentioned above.
Also, a note, there was a lot of cursing in this book. It wasn’t something that bothered me, and it felt authentic to the characters, but I know it could possibly bother other readers, especially since this is a YA book.
So overall, even though I felt it had a slow start, this was still a great character-driven post-apocalyptic book that was both realistic and touching.
It turns out that a real alien invasion is nothing like the Sci-fi shows 14-year-old Gracie loves. Not when it’s your own family who are swallowed whole by those big silver ships. Not if it could be you next.
In her search for her family, Gracie meets Brandon, a high school dropout who would never have been caught dead hanging out with a dork like Gracie before the world ended. Gracie isn’t too crazy about Brandon either, but he has one thing she doesn’t: A plan.
Brandon’s uncle has a cabin up in Maine, and If Gracie and Brandon can survive long enough to get there they can hide out until the Space Men pack up their ships and leave.
Until the army guys come to rescue them, says Brandon. Brandon is big into army guys. Gracie has to admit that Brandon’s Awesome Plan probably would have worked out great if wasn’t for Jake.
They found 5-year-old Jake, laying half-dead under the remains of someone’s ranch house. He’s a good kid, even if he won’t-or can’t- talk. But Jake has a secret, and when Gracie finds out what it is, the fragile new life they’ve started to forge looks set to break apart.
When the people you’ve been counting on to put the world back together start hunting you down, alien invaders are the least of your worries.
Book Author: J.E. Anckorn
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Book Rating: 3.5
Setting Location: Maine, New Hampshire, USA