End Times: The Prophet Emerges by Anna Schumacher

(Published in 2014 by Razorbill) 

This is a YA book I checked out as an e-book because it was available.  I ended up getting more into it than I thought I would. I will read the next book as well, because I need to know what happens.  Even though I want to know what happens next, that does not mean that I connected with the characters.  All of them, even the main character, feel rather undereveloped to me.  There is a distance. Perhaps this is purposefully done by the author. It made me, the reader, frustrated with the characters at times.  The main character is Daphne, who has had a rather rough life recently, but uses her confidence and strength to get an intense job on an oil rig at age 17.  Her teenage cousin is pregnant and expecting a baby with her not-so-great boyfriend.  Things are looking up in their lives. . . until they are not.  

I do recommend this book (series) to those who enjoy end-of-the-world and/or dystopian fiction.

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: This World We Live In
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Original Publication Date: 2010
Date I First Read: 2010 (Reread in epub format in 2013.)
Basic Category:  YA/Teen Fiction

Basic Summary:  This is the third book in the Last Survivors series.   Here is the author’s blog for this bookhttp://thirdmoonbook.blogspot.com/
Miranda, who through her diary narrated the first book, which I love, titled Life As We Knew It, is now back writing in her diary.  It had been a year since the moon was shoved closer to the earth and all h-ll broke loose.  Her mother and brothers have survived.  Her brothers go off to fish, and Matt brings him his new young wife.  And then her father shows up with his wife, new baby, and three more people who are like family now.  
What I Remember About the Book: Before I re-read it, mostly all I remembered well was the food and van Miranda and Alex found, and then the disaster near the end of the book. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers.   

What I Took Away From the Book: That I will never really survive a disaster unless I have access to a good pharmacy with allergy and asthma meds in stock.  

Rating (1-5 stars):  5 


1)  There is a new book in this series coming out in August 2013!  It is titled The Shade of the Moon.  
2) One of the earlier “chapter” books I remember reading was also by Ms. Pfeffer.  It is titled What Do You Do When Your Mouth Won’t Open?  I read this book about thirty years ago now, and it was something that I understood . . . it happened to me daily.  I chatted at home quite a lot, but outside to other people?   A very difficult task!

S is for The Stand

Title:  The Stand       
Author: Stephen King
Original Publication Date: 1978 / 1991
Date I First Read: 1991 / 1991
Basic Category: Fiction / Apocalypse
Basic Summary:  A virus gets out of a government facility (because in this particular version of the world, a creature known as Randall Flagg makes this happen) and spreads through the world in a matter of days. 99% of the world’s population dies.  The survivors pick a side and gather together to fight the forces of evil. 
Note there is the first version, which was heavily edited and published in 1978.  I read this book early in 1991.  Then the expanded “uncut” edition came out the following summer.   I had to wait in line to get that one from the library! I savored it when I finally got my hands on it.  Fortunately it was during the summer so that I had time to read it before school started again. 
What I Remember About the Book: Stu and Fran.   The baby.  Mother Abigail.   The flu spreading.   Nick Andros. (No, I didn’t name my son after him.  I didn’t even think about that until now.)  Harold. 
What I Took Away From the Book:  Worry about what I would do if I would survive (be immune) such a disaster.  My asthma was not very much under control at the time.  I realized that I would have to break into a few pharmacies and take all of the albuterol inhalers I could get my hands on to keep myself alive.
And learn how to ride a motorcycle, even though I dislike motorcyles. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  4.5 (The lack of good well-written women, even twenty years ago as a teen bothered me. However, I still liked the whole story very much!)  

G is for Girl Who Owned a City

(For the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge, I will be featuring one book each day, that begins with that day’s letter, that made an impression on me.  This means that for some reason, I didn’t just read that book and forget about it.  No, I still think about it after some period of time has passed.) 

Title:  Girl Who Owned a City
Author: O. T. Nelson
Original Publication Date: 1979
Date I First Read: 1988
Basic Category: YA/Teen Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic 

Basic Summary:  Everyone who is above a certain age dies in a plague/virus.   Lisa and her brother are left to fend for themselves in a Chicago suburb.   
What I Remember (most) About the Book: The kids barricaded themselves in a warehouse or school, I think.   Honestly, it was one of the first apocalyptic books I ever read, and it made an impression on me, though I remember that I liked Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence better. 
What I Took Away From the Book: Kids can survive in world without adults . . . if they can think like adults sometimes. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  4.0 stars – I would have given it four stars back then.  Now, I don’t know.  I re-read it in 2006 or so.  Portions left me wondering, and asking “Would I have really been able to drive a car at 10?” (I was maybe almost tall enough with the seat pulled up.)  I think I am going to have to find it, if I can, and read it again.   

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Today [the day I wrote the review and posted on LibraryThing], at the grocery store, I saw vitamin C tablets. My first impulse was to stock up and buy them all . . . which sums up the impact this book had on me this week. Near the end of the book, the local doctor explains that a lot of people had scurvy and the vitamin C was worth its weight in gold.

Overall, this disaster novel was powerful . . . I could not put it down and stayed up half of the night to finish it. Every few years, a disaster (particularly earth science-related) book gets my attention that pulls me in immediately. I look forward to the sequel.

I have to agree with another reviewer, in that I wish we had a chance to get to know the protagonist, Alex, a little more in the time before the disaster (the huge dormant volcano under Yellowstone blows, and Iowa is in the “red zone”). We get hints as to his previous life, but they are brief and fleeting. What we know most is that he is good at tae kwan do, because that comes in handy in his travels to reconnect with his family.