Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Carbon Diaries 2015

Lloya, Saci The Carbon Diaries 2015
Holiday House 2008 330p 17.95 978-0-8234-2190-9 hs

In a dystopic London, forced to ration carbon dioxide because of global warming and climate changes, 16-year-old punk-rocker, Laura, chronicles the year 2015 in a society out of control. A chilling look at the near future, and a cautionary eco-thriller. Much is being written today about our "carbon footprint" on the world, and the effect that will have on future generations. So, it is not surprising that this novel, set in the near future should deal with just that. Told in diary entries in the year after the Great Storm, Laura details life in her dysfunctional family, set against the backdrop of a dystopian Britain. The government has instituted mandatory carbon rationing, resulting in the elimination of luxuries, such as travel and heating. Laura, in her pitch-perfect teen narration, describes the frightening weather, riots, the collapse of her family, the black market, and her yearning for normalcy - playing in her punk band and her crush on the boy next door.

A first novel, and a new voice to be heard. Pair this with classics like Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984, as well as Doctorow's Little Brother for a thought-provoking and chilling glimpse into the near future. P. Naismith

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