“It will either work, we’ll get high, or it’ll kill us.” I spoke out loud without thinking.
“Beats walking across the country, doesn’t it?”
This will be a short review, because I have little bad to say, yet a bit of criticism. A Matter of Days is pretty much the road-trip from hell. An illness have shook the world and taken out about 95% of the population in the time of a couple of months, if even that. With her mother dying, Nadia is forced to go across the country with her eleven year old brother in hope to find their uncle there. Said uncle had prior to the outburst given Nadia hints on what was coming and even provided the two of them with a vaccine before the outburst. And so the story begins, in the middle of this chaos, and their journey begins. Over the next month or so, we follow these siblings in their struggles as they drive toward, what they hope, is safety.
As said, I have little bad to say about the book as it is. The writing is good, the characters are likable and easy to follow, and the whole atmosphere is believable. However, this feels like the perfect introduction to a post-apocalyptic dystopian for young kids. For someone who’s read some science fiction/dystopian this is more of a story without real context. The story is literally only about their trip to the other coast, little introduction to the world before or after. The explanations for the virus is loose, as well as all of the characters backgrounds. I feel that for me to care for a person who’s lived through the apocalypse, I want to know what kind of person they were before to understand their actions in the present. There are some information on Nadia in this case, but not enough for me to go satisfied. For someone new to this type of book, it’s probably enough.
For the trip then. Nadia and her brother face struggles most people would in this setting. Who to trust? Should they help someone? Is everyone going to help them? The usual stuff. There isn’t really anything new, at least not to me, yet it’s nothing wrong with it either. I did enjoy some parts. What I enjoyed, the almost-romance. It’s barely there; it’s more hinted there might be something later. Yes, after the latests spur of dystopian fiction and all the overwhelming romance in it, I’ve stayed away from it for a while, but I do enjoy this kind of romance. The one that’s not sure, the one where the people involved rather gets to safety first rather than ruin everything by being obsessed with each other.
So yes, nothing wrong with this book, the concept is just not new to me, and neither are the events in the plot. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just not enough for me. Other readers who want to start reading dystopian, this would be a decent choice, with good characters, an eerie setting, and a good portrayal of what people might do under these circumstances.