Thoughts on Instructions for the End of the World
Instructions for the End of the World
By Jamie Kain
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion review. This, however, does not change my opinion in any way, shape, or form. Thank you St. Martin's Griffin for the review copy!
He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck. When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, her life is completely turned upside down. It’s not that Nicole isn’t tough. She’s learned how to hunt, and she knows how to build things—she’s been preparing for the worst-case scenario for what seems like forever. But when she and her sister, Izzy, are left alone in this remote landscape to fend for themselves, her skills are put to the ultimate test. She’s fine for a while, but then food begins to run out, the pipes begin to crack, and forest fires start to inch closer every day. When Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help, Nicole feels conflicted. She can take care of herself. But things have begun to get desperate, and there’s something about this boy she can’t shake. As feelings develop between these two—feelings Nicole knows her father would never allow once he returns—she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and start living for today?
This book was both poetic and beautiful from the beginning, but that also made it very confusing in the begining. When the writing was being super thought-provoking and deep, I often found myself wondering, "What is the point of this?". However, I did like that the writing made you think, unlike some other mindless YA writing. The writing was one of the best parts of this book, it made the pages turn themselves, and kept me on the edge of my seat.
"She's a whole world unto herself, waiting to be explored."
-Instructions for the End of the World, page 108
I also really liked how different the perspectives were. Both of the perspectives added to the story and gave you a little bit more than you would have gotten with just one or two perspectives. However, while the characters' narration really added to the plot, I found the characters themselves to be a bit flat. I did like Nic and Wolf, though. I really liked how much Nic cared for her sister at all times, even when she and her sister were polar opposites and didn't get along too well. She was also very useful in dire need, which I thought proved how strong this character in particular was. Wolf wasn't one of my favorites because of who he was, but more because of his backstory. I absolutely loved his backstory and was super intrigued. Unfortunately, I did not see a substantial amount of character development in these characters, and that disappointed me.
I also thought that sometimes this book could be slightly offensive. It bashed people who are very faith based. As a Catholic, this offended me, and if you are Catholic also, I would consider that before picking this book up. However, besides the faith-bashing, I really liked the vibe and message this book gave off. I found it to be something a little bit different, and something worth picking up.
"Just be open to the possibility of change, but know that you don't have to control the outcome."
-Instructions for the End of the World, page 96
I really liked the mystery that was laced throughout the book, it was definitely one of the better parts of the story. This book was also very emotionally heart wrenching at points, and I applaud any author that can do that without making it seem like you are trying to make it heart wrenching. This book did a perfect job of it, and I definitely enjoyed it. There was also a great passion I could definitely see in the writing, and I felt that the author definitely had her heart and soul put into this work, as any author should do.
Overall, if you won't be easily offended by faith bashing, and don't mind flat characters, I would give this a read. It's a very quick read packed with great, thought-provoking writing, along with backstory and action that keeps you on your toes. I would specifically recommend this to people who enjoy contemporaries that are a little bit darker.