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A Matter of Days Hardcover – June 11, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385739737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385739733
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Few have survived the BluStar plague. This book opens on Day 56, when Nadia pulls a quilt over her dead mother and helps her younger brother finish packing the Jeep so they can hit the road. Nadia isn't quite old enough to drive, but since the virus has killed almost everyone in the world, traffic isn't a problem. They plan to drive from Washington state to West Virginia, where relatives may still be alive. Nadia and Rabbit are somewhat prepared, thanks to their soldier father (who was killed in Afghanistan) and their uncle, a military doctor who encouraged them to play first-person-shooter video games and purchased camping gear for them. They are smart about how to scavenge gasoline and food and sniff out safe places to sleep. They adopt an injured dog and join forces with Zack, a streetwise older teen they meet on the way. This is a first-rate survival story, as the travelers use their wits to negotiate shopping malls, abandoned railroad stations, and deserted towns. Occasional violence and a few four letter words make the likely audience a little older than readers of Susan Beth Pfeffer's "The Last Survivors" series (Harcourt). Fans of Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave (Putnam, 2013), S. D. Crockett's After the Snow (Feiwel & Friends, 2012), or Cormac McCarthy's adult novel The Road (Knopf, 2006) will find this a satisfying read. The plot tension is excellent, with just the right pacing of desperately needing something and finding, stealing, or making it. The story comes to a satisfying conclusion on Day 100, while leaving the door open for a sequel.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

AMBER KIZER is also the author of the popular Meridian trilogy.

Customer Reviews

This book was very good with a fast-paced story and likable characters.
Jacqueline Nash
They are witnesses to the kindness that endures and victims of the corruption and outlaw culture of their new world, showcasing the best and worst of human nature.
Wastepaper Prose
The characters were strongly developed and the story line was very realistic.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wastepaper Prose on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Intense, realistic, and entirely believable, A Matter of Days took my breath away. Amber Kizer does post-apocalyptic in the most beautifully understated way and makes a disturbing pandemic and the world created in its aftermath feel absolutely plausible.

BluStar came on quickly, eliminating much of the world's population in a matter of weeks. Some people had a natural immunity, but Nadia and her younger brother Rabbit were vaccinated against the hemorrhagic virus. But surviving wasn't enough. They have to make a treacherous trip cross country from Seattle to West Virginia, confronting the new and hostile world formed in the wake of the disease in hopes of reaching a safe haven they hope will offer a new beginning.

So often post-apocalyptic novels are over-the-top, but I think the restraint is what impressed me most about A Matter of Days. Human nature and emotion are the focus of the story despite the fact that a virus sets everything in motion. After the journey begins, BluStar takes a back seat.

A story this clean and streamlined is refreshing. It's got an intriguing concept, good pacing, tight writing and engaging characters with voices all their own.

Nadia is frightened but unwavering in her quest to reach West Virginia, even though there's a chance there may be no one there to greet her and her brother. Rabbit doesn't have the luxury of being an 11-year-old boy and rises to the challenge; however, Kizer drops the occasional reminder that he's just a kid. Then there's Zack, a would-be delinquent L.A. street kid who's managed to put his less than savory skills to use for survival. The unlikely trio compliments each other incredibly well.

I was also happy to see that plot and the interaction between characters were the thrust of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Amber Kizer's A Matter of Days has a deceptively simple plot: a virus has swept the country, leaving the majority of the population dead, and a small number of shell-shocked survivors in its wake. Nadia and Rabbit, who watched their mother die a painful death from the virus, called BluStar because of the blue bruising that forms as the victim's blood hemorrhages beneath the skins surface, are two of those survivors. They're survival had very little to do with luck. Before the virus took hold, Nadia's uncle sent her a cryptic messages urging that she, Rabbit, and her mother administer shots he sent, with no explanation other than a mysterious and chilling insistence of importance. Nadia and Rabbit immediately followed through, but, by the time their mother complied it was too late. Now, left alone, the siblings set out to fulfill their uncles command that they make their way across the country to their estranged grandfather's well-stocked bunker in West Virginia. Thus begins a journey filled with danger, chance encounters, and a chilling look at the destruction BluStar has wrought in only a matter of days.

One of the things that sets A Matter of Days apart from other post-apocalyptic literature is how little introduction the plot requires. The premise set forth by this novel is one of the most realistic in that it was far to easy to imagine events actually occurring. There is no long, drawn out downfall from the time BluStar strikes to their decimation of most of the human population. As the title implies, it really is only a matter of days until the entire world is forever changed. Because the effects are so immediate, it was terrifying how easily the reader could put themselves in Nadia and Rabbit's shoes. Just imagine if next week, your entire family had died in front of you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle @ In Libris Veritas on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.

A Matter of Days is a survival book with a rare feature, there is no over the top sci-fi angle and there are no monsters waiting to destroy them. Instead it’s a survival book with an incredibly realistic feel and very realistic cause, and in it we watch a sixteen year old set out in a world half dead and fend for herself and her younger brother.

The book is very short and it moves quickly, literally counting the days that have passed since the human population started to dwindle down to almost nothing. The cause is not really important, but it’s something that could happen incredibly easy in our world of fast travel and constant contact. A virus. The effect is what Nadia and her brother Robert, known as Rabbit, have to deal with. They have to leave the marginal comfort of their home and make their way across a country where danger is present. I loved the realism in this. We see two siblings take care of each other, support each other, squabble and joke with each other. We see them break down and we see them make bad choices, but they pull through.

Nadia and Rabbit are amazing main characters. They have been taught to survive by their military father and thanks to their uncle, who had enough warning about the virus spreading, supplies and a goal. With their parents dead they have to fend for themselves and I could honestly see how human these two were. There were moments when my purely logical brain would scream for them to avoid something, but in their real desperation they would go anyway. I also loved their banter and even their squabbles, because it’s rare to find a YA book (outside of contemporary) with a sibling relationship that truly seems real.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Hello bibliophiles,

Thanks for finding me here on Amazon. I'm thrilled to say I've moved into the hybrid author category and now am also publishing books directly to Kindle. I've always loved Christmas romances so this year I wrote my own. WISH is available directly to Kindle so be sure to check it out.

I delve into taboos with my stories--PIECES OF ME looks at the connections formed by pediatric organ donation, A MATTER OF DAYS is my ode to survivalists, the Meridian books deal with dying and death, and my Gert books take on human sexuality and "good girls." All are wrapped up in stories I hope have readers entertained and turning those pages.

When I'm writing there's always a candle going--with the correct scent for the book of course! The wrong candle can make me nauseous so I'm often in candle stores sniffing and snorting and thinking about projects! A MATTER OF DAYS candle was "dirt" and came from a great shop in Indiana. MERIDIAN was pine and fire, SPEED OF LIGHT grape bubblegum. ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME required hazelnut coffee and that held true for the second in that series FROM BUTT TO BOOTY. My middle grade novel from Penguin coming out summer 2016 has been scented of fresh tomato!

Like the character of Auntie in MERIDIAN, I quilt. You can see photos of completed projects on my websites. I'm most proud of the quilts I've made and sent to The Freedom Quilt Project which matches quilts with families who've had a service person killed in action.

I have lots of animals: a dog, cats, a rooster named Hunk and a flock of hens who wander our property in Puget Sound. I like watching the nature channel out the windows and have fed wild birds for years.

I read 20 or more books concurrently. Everything is game for me--I never know when a character or book will need a certain piece of information so I read obscure to the popular, fiction and non, YA and adult. I change books the way other people change the channel. If you're interested in what I like visit my personal website and check out the best of page where I list books I'm reading and my thoughts.

I'm addicted to trashy reality television--I'm sure you've wondered who the people are who watch those VH1 and MTV love shows--that'll be me! I adore sour candy like Sour Patch Kids, Gummy Worms, and hard jawbreakers. I'm always listening to loud music--be it pop, international hits, classical, musical or metal. There's a soundtrack/playlist for each of my projects and it helps me get into the writing zone faster to have the right music going.

I'm grateful for the awards my books have received but nothing beats a heartfelt message from a reader who found comfort, solace, joy, perspective or something else personal in one of my stories. PIECES OF ME received a Kirkus star, Kirkus Award Nominee, and incredible blurbs from some of my favorite authors. A MATTER OF DAYS is a Lonestar Book in Texas, a finalist for the Truman award, Cybil Award nominee. MERIDIAN was an Arkansas state book award winner.

I love connecting with readers--find me on Facebook, twitter @writeamberkizer, my official website: AmberKizer.com.

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