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Suzanne Weyn, Author
Suzanne Weyn, Scholastic Press, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-545-17278-3
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Paperback - 183 pages - 978-0-545-17279-0
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-545-32882-1
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Weyn's near-future novel avoids many of the traditional dystopian trappings in favor of looking at a handful of teens just as the world runs out of usable oil—"It was right in front of everybody's faces, but they pretended it wasn't happening." Goth outcast Gwen, living with her petty criminal brother after being abandoned by their parents, has a crush on her neighbor, Tom. Tom, in turn, wants to date vain cheerleader Niki. They all find their traditional teenage concerns overshadowed (if not obviated) by the growing oil crisis, which has led to insanely high gas prices, shortages of everyday products such as ballpoint pens, and a looming war with Venezuela. As the situation escalates, the lack of oil leads to food and power shortages, creating a snowballing series of crises. Weyn (Distant Waves) nicely handles the teen romance and the attempts to deal with the crisis, but clumsy exposition and infodumps often drag down the first half of the book. Readers who persevere will find the ending somewhat rushed and tainted by deus ex machina. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
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