Sunday, September 8, 2013

Joint Review: A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer

Author: Amber Kizer
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Date of publication: June 2013

On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia's mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren't as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That's their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. 

I ultimately enjoyed A Matter of Days.  In the beginning, I  told Autumn that I thought it was kind of slow. Thankfully, it picked up.  Reading very much like a diary, the story follows Nadia and her little brother Rabbit as they attempt to reach West Virginia and the safety of their grandfather's home.  The world's population has
been decimated by a super flu.

I thought the characters were pretty realistic. I really liked Nadia and Rabbit. They had been trained by both their father and uncle for survival. They were able to put much of that to good use.  Who knew you could pee on a wound as a temporary disinfectant?  Using the mantra "Be the Cockroach", they fought to survive. I'm not sure if I would have been prepared for something like this.  I also like Zack. I loved how he kept calling Rabbit by different animal names.  That made me laugh.

I think this would be good for middle grade level.  There was nothing really objectionable in it. I think that anyone reading this book would benefit from reading the author's notes at the end.  She offers information about pandemics and provides further reading.  She emphasizes that the best thing to fight fear is information.  I thought this was an important message for young readers.  I definitely recommend this one!

I really liked this book.  I thought it was a great story about survival that focused more on positive aspects.  So many of these YA post-apocalyptic stories are all so doom and gloom, it's hard to think that anybody would even want to survive.  However, Amber Kizer writes a great story about family and the will to survive.  Not everybody in this book is bad, just like not all people are bad, just like not everybody in a doomsday scenario will be bad.

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