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5.0 out of 5 starsA not-to-be-missed page turner
Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2020
Michelle Falkoff has written a timely, thoughtful, provocative book that I couldn’t put down. The plot is filled with unexpected, compelling twists, each character is vividly imagined, and Amina’s narrative voice is a beautiful balance of innocence and intellect. HOW TO PACK FOR THE END OF THE WORLD gave me hope that there is a path forward from these precarious times to a place where empathy instead of rancor reigns.
4.0 out of 5 starsHow to Pack for the End of the World
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
Ever since an attack on her synagogue, Amina becomes obsessed with anti-Semetic behavior and has begun to live in fear with recurring nightmares. When a scholarship position to the prestigious Gardner Academy opens up, Amina's parents send her in order to change her mindset. Amina is very unsure about Gardner, but attends a pre-orientation game night where an interesting question in Would You Rather captures her interest. The question leads to a gathering of five people from the game night: Wyatt, Hunter, Chloe, Jo and Amina. Amina finds that she has plenty in common with the group, they all have fears. Moreso, she finds a group of friends that she is comfortable with. However, someone seems to be targeting their small group with very personalized attacks and Amina has a new set of fears to deal with.
How to Pack for the End of the World is a contemporary Young Adult fiction that deals with a lot of issues in a unique way. None of the issues become too heavy and none of the characters are designed around their fear, social standing, sexuality or mental health. They are all just regular teens dealing with everyday issues. Each character was well developed and unique. While their backstories and challenges weren't all divulged at once, this added another layer of mystery to the story. I loved the idea of the Eucalyptus Group and how each game they played helped them develop more as well as get to know one another. The personal attacks were another added layer that almost seemed like a side story to me but were really more at the heart. It was difficult for me to forget that this story took place at a high school and involved kids that were 16 to 17 years old as some of the situations felt more at a college level and classwork seemed to take a back seat. Overall, an entertaining young adult story with amazing characters.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
5.0 out of 5 starsHow to pack for the End of the World
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
This is a very different book than what I usually read, and though I have a much different viewpoint on what will happen at the end of the world, I did the different aspects of the story the students have kind of interesting.
Amina’s parents sends her to a prestigious boarding school because she is obsessed with the end of the world and they are hoping this will help with the anxiety she has been having. After there a few days at the school she is invited to a mysterious meeting along with four other with somewhat the same anxiety problems and the same reasons for their anxiety. As they discuss their anxieties, they each contribute with their survival skills and help with ways to survive when the day happens.
I liked the students in this group. They were a little weird at times, but they are not the usually boarding school students. It was sometimes difficult for me to keep listening because the story doesn’t have a lot going on except for the survival skills of the group. I would have liked more depth to the story. There wasn’t a lot of wow there.
I have the audio version of this book. I really enjoyed listening to the Narrator, Stacey Glemboski. She has an excellent smooth voice for audiobooks. Her dynamics and expressions are just perfect. I hope to find more books that she is narrating. She is one voice I could listen to all day!
This book is a four star for me. And if I could rate the narration, I would rate it a 5 plus Stars!
A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2020
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, and though it’s probably a bit odd, I rarely do more than glance at the synopsis. Actually, I like to learn and discover as I read. So that's just what happened with this story. I pretty much went in blind. I had no idea what to expect. So here's what I learned.
Amina suffers from anxiety as she watches the news and observes the chaos throughout the world. Her way of dealing with it is by continually researching things that could help her cope in case of a disaster. In an effort to help their daughter, it is decided that she will attend Gardner Academy, a once prestigious boarding school, that is trying to regain society's trust.
This feels like more anxiety to Amina. However, early on she manages to meet four school mates who show up for a club meeting. A club that proves unique and perfect for Amina’s personality.
As for the reader. The new friends are sure to pull you further into the story. Jo is short on words, mysterious, and only wears black. Chloe is a popular blogger and social influencer, Hunter is into athletics, and Wyatt is the person responsible for starting the club. Each member is in charge of one meeting, which is composed of a survivalist-type game. And it is here that each character’s personality shows through.
The character development is quite interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down. It’s a story about growth, understanding, and friendships.
My Concerns I sometimes had to question where the story was headed and why? And I still do. Though I felt it was more personal taste than the story running amuck.
What I Liked Best I especially liked the choice of characters and watching their true personalities and concerns become exposed.
The story easily kept me interested and I found it unique. I rarely read a book twice, but this is one that I would consider doing just that.
My thanks to iReadBookTours and the author for a copy of this book. My review and rating are only my opinions, of which I was free to post.