Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
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.
Let's start with the story. The book started out pretty good. The bus ride was a great place to not only to introduce the characters but also start the action. It soon went downhill from there. First off, it didn't seem like the author could decide what kind of disaster should happen. You had earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and giant hail. And then you have a chemical leak that effects people in different ways depending on their blood type. Though, I liked the blood type idea, but the rest just seemed like overkill.
The second thing was that after they got past the characters initial fear and shock, the teenage drama started and overshadowed everything. It just became about teenage crushes, love triangles, and dumb power struggles. Because of this there was very little world building taking place. And the third thing was the book wasn't sure what it wanted to be. Did it want to be a story of survival or a story of teenage drama. And plus there was some adult things that are said and that happened that just seemed really out of place. The end of the book some what redeems it but not by much.
The characters were, for the most part, stereotypes. You had the jock, Jake, the jerk, Brayden, the loner, Nico, and so on. The main character, Dean, was kind of boring. He actually really didn't do much except lust after Astrid. And at times, that actually got creepy. Also, a lot of the younger kids seemed much more aware than seemed normal. As for character development, there wasn't much outside a few incidents. The characters were what they were and not much more.
Overall, the book was okay. If I reviewed this as soon as I finished it, it would have been a three. But instead I'll give it a two. I probably won't recommend the book to anyone but I won't say don't read it. Maybe you will like it more than I did. I hope you do. As for the sequel, I may read if the library has it, but I'm not in any rush.