Friday, February 12, 2010

Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd

This was an ARC I got at TLA last year.  It's been on my TBR list forever so I added to my 2010 TBR Challenge
I really wanted to read this one because it was told in a diary/journaling format and I'm interested in all things journaling.  I teach teens and preteens journaling so bonus points to this one for being geared towards YA.

This takes place in 2015 and global climate change has created an emergency which prompts the UK government to start carbon rationing.
The global climate has declined so precipitously that the country has made the unilateral decision to cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent. Everyone is issued a card that tracks their allowable use of carbon for the year. This limits utility usage, travel, and purchase of anything that has been transported over a distance, including food. Laura has to cope with limits to hygiene, cell phone use, and practice time with her band and listen to lectures on reducing energy consumption. Her father's job as Head of Travel and Tourism at a local college is eliminated. Freezing weather is followed by hot drought and flooding to finish off the year. Her family initially reacts badly to the strains—her parents fight, her dad starts drinking but then tries his hand at home agriculture, her mom joins the Women Moving Forward club, and her sister, Kim, disappears for days at a time and almost dies when a cholera epidemic hits the city.
I try very hard not to get into politics so I won't argue the political merits of this book but it definitely has a message.
It's a scary message aimed at the very group that will have to deal with all this pollution and carbon addiction we and our parents created.
So, all eco-political messages aside, I enjoyed this book.
Seeing all of this from the point of view of a 16 yr old, bass playing girl in a punk rock band whose family started coming undone soon after the rationing laws go into effect is very real.
As much as she tried to stay strong as the world she knew slowly collapsed around her, sometimes she would say, "But I'm just a kid!!".
I remember feeling that way as a teenager.  It use to shock me how much people expected from a young teen.  Hell, I feel that way now!  Sometimes at work I want to say, "But I'm just a kid!!".

Good book, quick read.  Not sure if I want to read the sequel that comes out this month.  It's all very depressing and makes me anxious about the future and Lord knows, I don't need anymore anxiety! 
Pass, the Xanax please!!


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