Monday, March 30, 2020

Review: Unnatural Disasters by Jeff Hirsch

Title: Unnatural Disasters
Author: Jeff Hirsch
Published by: Clarion Books
Released: 2019
Source: Library

Synopsis: Will the Class of 2038 be the last class ever?
Lucy and her boyfriend have been planning an epic post-graduation trip for months, despite the unstable world they live in. But when everyone's phones start to ring during prom, Lucy knows something terrible has happened—something new. Decades of climate change have taken their toll, religious extremism is spreading, refugees have nowhere left to turn, and terrorism is common. But this is worse. Far worse. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: This was an odd experience for me. I think I was expecting apocalypse, danger, and survival, but that's not what I really got. It's just odd.
The majority of this book is not a true apocalypse story until the very end. It mainly focuses on the life of Lucy Weaver in a small New York town. She goes to school. She has a boyfriend. She does stuff with her dad and Aunts. It has a very strong contemporary vibe to it, but in the background, things aren't going well in the world. There are major terrorist attacks, countries on the brink of war, the threat of nuclear weapons being unleashed. It's the end is near vibes. All this is mixed with Lucy going to parties, having a crush on someone, skipping school. It was just an odd mixture, an odd mixture that I don't know if I enjoyed.
The writing was very fast and easy to read through. I was definitely interested in the story.
At first, I thought this was going to be one of those preachy climate change books, and while climate change was mentioned, I didn't feel attacked by it. I did get the sense that the author didn't really like the military. They were kind of illustrated as fight and bomb happy, which I didn't really agree with.
As I got near the end of the story, there were these odd time jumps. When the time did jump, suddenly it really was the apocalypse. It was just strange, but even then, the author skipped all the details and journeying that makes an end-of-the-world book feel really like an end-of-the-world book.
Unnatural Disasters was just a strange experience. I picked it up because I loved the cover, but it didn't exactly give me what I was expecting. I don't know how I feel about it.
(So, I'm writing this part way after writing my review for this book. Thinking about the current pandemic we've been going through lately kind of made me remember this story. Maybe it wasn't so farfetched as I first thought.)

Very odd experience

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