48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Out of Gas,
This review is from: Empty (Hardcover)
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I tried twice to read this book, and each time I made it a little further. I got about halfway before giving up entirely. So, why did I give up? Well, no disrespect toward the author, but honestly? The book reads like a cross between a sermon and a textbook, with the occasional bit of dialogue thrown in so it could technically be called a novel. I'm not kidding, characters will walk up and out of the blue just start lecturing on how everyday products are manufactured using petroleum, and how with the oil reserves depleted, you can no longer buy cosmetics, or batteries, or hairbrushes, and you can't run your heaters or bathe anymore, and, oh my gosh, no one ever saw it coming! Or someone will start talking about solar generators or wind power, and again, it literally sounds as if they're reciting from a textbook.
I'm nearly halfway into the book, and nothing has happened. A few teenagers are crushing on each other and everyone is grumbling about gas costing $80 a gallon, and how they must walk to school, and the girls can't wash their hair or wear their contact lenses, and the cafeteria is closed because they can't afford to power the refrigerators. There's no one saying, "Hey! Let's start building a windmill in the backyard!" There's no one DOING anything about the problem. They just stand around and mope or whine or get drunk. By this point in the novel, I would expect SOMETHING to have happened. I get that there's no oil left, I understand the people are suffering without their iPhones and their blow-dryers. I get it. But how many chapters do we need of these teenagers grumbling about it? Plus, there are so many different teenage characters that I can't keep them straight. It switches between them, but there is nothing to differentiate them from one another, they all sound exactly the same. It makes it impossible to care about any of them, because I can't tell who they are.
I know people hate it when someone reviews a book that they haven't finished, but I gave this book an honest shot. I tried twice to finish it, and I just couldn't bear to slog through any more. And that's really saying something, because I LOVE "end of the world" post-apocalyptic stories! I think the idea is an excellent one, and I think the author could probably write a really great story if she brushed up on her characterization, dialogue, and plot.
I give the book two stars because the idea IS an interesting one. People SHOULD be made aware of how many items in their everyday life are based on oil, and how crippled the word would be if the oil reserves ran dry. That said, this novel is not the way to go about educating people on the subject.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 25, 2010 1:37:06 PM PST
Kate McMurry says:
Orianna, thanks so much for the intelligent, insightful review. You make really good points that I find very helpful in making a decision whether to read this book.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2010 1:41:31 PM PST
Thanks, I'm glad I could help! :-)
Posted on Dec 7, 2010 6:57:40 AM PST
Ron Edison says:
I agree completely with your analysis and I finished the book. A noble and worthwhile concept but the execution was preachy and heavy handed, and as the romance as bland as an Archie comic book.
Posted on May 6, 2011 8:51:17 AM PDT
W. T. Clous says:
May I congratulate you with your perseverance . I didn`t make it halfway.
Posted on Mar 23, 2012 12:51:38 PM PDT
Sheryl J. says:
Thank you for your well executed review. Since this book is the Kindle bargain of the day, I was going to buy it. After reading your review, I won't spend the $1.99. Instead, I'll use that money towards 1/2 gallon of gas. :) Seriously, great job with the review.
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