Title: The Last Girl
Author: Michael Adams
Genre: YA dystopian
Length: 400 pages
Published by: Allen and Unwin Australia
Source: I won it!
Everyone looked like bad actors in a poorly dubbed movie. Their expressions didn’t match their emotions and their lips didn’t sync with what they were saying. But they were all so loud.
The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.
When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.
Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong’s telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can’t tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother’s mountain retreat. But it’s 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.
Danby’s escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity’s extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.
What a cool concept, right?
Plus, this book is set VERY close to where I live. I really enjoyed that – I didn’t have to visualise some of the places because I actually knew what they looked like. I mean, they’re kind of different since this book uses an apocalyptic setting in the near-future, but still! STRAYA.
Have a random gif of a koala, because I felt like putting one there.
What I also liked about this book was the fact that it was in the very near future – there are references to Disney movies and other items from today’s popular culture. This is a terrifying and well-written projection of a world that seems all too possible. I mean, maybe not from being able to hear each other’s thoughts. But the importance of the media is emphasised in The Last Girl, and I can imagine that its importance will only grow in years to come.
The writing was also really smart. I don’t know how else to describe it, really, except to say that the details in the description were crisp and economical and so visual. It’s so easy to picture everything.
Oh, and also? It’s not a black-and-white, “these people are bad and these people are good” thing. No. Because reality is not that simple – everyone in this story thinks they’re good people, and that’s what makes it even scarier.
Danby is also a fantastic protagonist. She’s not “kickass” as such, but she knows what she wants, and she cares for her brother, and she gets on with things. She’s scared like anyone would be in this situation, and trying to figure things out. A very realistic lead.
This is one of the best examples of Aussie dystopian that you’ll find. Or at least that I’ve found.
Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties
What about you? Have you read The Last Girl? Or if not, is there a book set where you live, where you could follow the action as it was taking place?