Thank you to iRead Book Tours for having me as a part of the official book tour for How to Pack for the End of the World by, Michelle Falkoff. For whatever reason, I seem to be drawn to books about “preppers.” This book takes an interesting twist on the worries about the end of the world and the minds of teenagers. Let’s take a closer look here!
Book Title: How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 320 pages
Genre: Literary / Mystery
Publisher: HarperCollins (HarperTeen)
Release date: Nov 20, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13. Language is clean, no sex on the page but reference to it, dark subject matter–wasn’t sure the best category based on descriptions.
If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do? This
is the question that haunts Amina as she watches new and horrible stories of discord and crisis flash across the news every day. But when she starts at prestigious Gardner Academy, Amina finds a group of like-minded peers to join forces with—fast friends who dedicate their year to learning survival skills from each other, before it’s too late. Still, as their prepper knowledge multiplies, so do their regular high school problems, from relationship drama to family issues to friend blow-ups. Juggling the two parts of their lives forces Amina to ask another vital question: Is it worth living in the hypothetical future if it’s at the expense of your actual present?
Meet the Author – Michelle Falkoff – in my separate interview!
I find the concept of prepping for the end of the world interesting. To be able to survive without all the comforts that we have all around us, while not a completely amazing feat as there are plenty of people who survive without our “first world” luxuries, feels like a tall order. Could I do it? I think so, but it would certainly take a lot of effort and changes to my current lifestyle. But when I think of “prepping,” my mind goes more to communes and cults like the one in Wilder Girls. How to Pack for the End of the World takes a very different view of “prepping” and I must say that I really appreciated this change of pace.
The main character, Amina, is a young Jewish girl who is dealing with fears related to anti-Semitic actions in her area. Her fears are heightened when her synagogue is bombed just minutes after her mother leaves. This brings reality just a little too close to home. To deal with her growing anxiety, Amina begins to research the end of the world and how to survive it. Unfortunately, she gets a little too obsessed with her fears, to the point that her parents decide she needs a change of scenery and send her off to boarding school. This is where we join the story… So, no cult. No commune. Just an impending sense of doom internally generated by a scared little girl.
When Amina is shipped off to boarding school, she immediately makes friends with a group of people who, on some level, all share the fear of the impending end of the world or fall of society and that is where the fun begins. Each character has a unique point of view and story to tell. Through this year at school, Amina learns something about herself and her world-view as well.
What I like the most about Amina that is I think there is a little bit of her in all of us. There is a lot going on in the world, and much of it is not good. While most of us are not researching how to survive an apocalypse, I would think that we all have a bit of worry about what is going on. Worry and stress touch all our lives on many different levels. How do we deal with that stress? What can that worry teach us?
I’m not really sure what I was expecting from this book, but I am pleasantly surprised by what I found. If you are looking for a fun, fast read where you might actually learn something about yourself, this is the book for you!
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