Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life (Citizens of Logan Pond, #1)

(Citizens of Logans Pond)
by Rebecca Belliston
From the publisher:
"Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone. 
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
Two people.
One future.

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and maintain contact with Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

Greg sets to work devising systems to protect the clan from the new regime, but it doesn't take long to realize the true reason for their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons' path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.

Life won't let her choose both."

It's hard to review this book because I was so immersed in it that I felt like I was living it. I was scared, I was heartbroken, I was cold when it snowed, I was in pain when the main character was hurting, I missed my parents; but I also loved my neighbors, felt joy at new growth, and loved the sunshine. To me that means that this was an amazing book. At one point while reading, I actually stood up to put my light jacket on and go to work when I said to myself, "Oh this isn't a warm enough coat when it is snowing outside". It was 60 degrees at the time, but it was snowing in the book. That's how in thrall I was while reading.
I loved the main character, Carrie. She was so good, loving, loyal, innocent and giving. I wish I was more like her. It made me wonder how I would react given the same circumstances. I will say that I'm still not sold on the main love interest - he is such a jerk at the beginning. I understand that he has gone through horrors in his life, but he is very cold-hearted at the beginning and I had a hard time getting over that.
I found the whole premise of the book a little scary because it felt like something that could really happen. A lot of the dystopian/post-apocalyptic books I have read have dealt with things like a pandemic, nuclear holocaust, alien invasion... This one simply had the dollar fail. There was a run on the banks - the banks failed. The government took over in a drastic way. Yikes! Maybe that was one of the reasons it was so engrossing, because it felt like something that could really happen to me and my family. Anyway, this was a great book and I highly recommend it. Now we wait for book 2, entitled Liberty , and it is being released on the 4th of July. Pretty cool. And I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the final book in the trilogy will be called, The Pursuit of Happiness .

Areas of concern:
When I bought this book for our library, I thought it was a Young Adult novel. The book does begin with the main character being 17 years old, but then it fast-forwards 5 years, so it is actually not a YA book. However, it kind of had a YA feel to it, and it was very clean, so I am not concerned about having it in the library. In fact, several students have read it and really liked it.
There is no bad language.
There is some talk of girls needing to sell themselves to keep their families safe, but it is done in as non-offensive a way as possible.
There are intense situations where characters fear for their lives.
There are corrupt and very scary government officials.

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