Thursday, January 14, 2016

DNF Review: Instructions for the End of the World

Title: Instructions for the End of the World
Author: Jamie Kain
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Source: Finished Copy from St. Martin's Griffin

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck.

When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, her life is completely turned upside down.

It’s not that Nicole isn’t tough. She’s learned how to hunt, and she knows how to build things—she’s been preparing for the worst-case scenario for what seems like forever.

But when she and her sister, Izzy, are left alone in this remote landscape to fend for themselves, her skills are put to the ultimate test. She’s fine for a while, but then food begins to run out, the pipes begin to crack, and forest fires start to inch closer every day.

When Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help, Nicole feels conflicted. She can take care of herself. But things have begun to get desperate, and there’s something about this boy she can’t shake.

As feelings develop between these two—feelings Nicole knows her father would never allow once he returns—she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and start living for today?

My Review

This review is probably one of the hardest ones that I've had to write since I've started blogging. Did I want to DNF Instructions for the End of the World? No, I really didn't, but just one word ruined this book for me.

Yes, I was excited when Instructions for the End of the World showed up on my doorstep. It looked like a short book that I'd be able to finish in no time. I just didn't anticipate not finishing the book because of one word, but I have to stand up for what I believe in.

Now let me make one thing clear before I tell you why I couldn't finish this book. I really did want to read and enjoy this book. I'm always interested in stories about the end of the world or of people preparing for it because they are fascinating in a crazy sort of way. Then I opened the book, and saw that it was set in 2002, and I really wanted to see how these characters were living in a Post 9/11 World because I remember that so vividly. 

From what I did read, I can tell you that the book is narrated by several characters. The first character you'll meet is Wolf, a seventeen-year-old male who watches as new neighbors arrive in town. The next character readers meet is sixteen-year-old Nicole Reed, a girl who is preparing for the end of the world. You'll also meet Nicole's younger sister, Izzy, in the narration, and her section is where I had to draw the line for this book. 

Yes. I DNFed Instructions for the End of the World, and I stopped reading it on page 20, or about 9%. Why? The use of the R-word. I'm not even sorry for this because it's just such an offensive and outdated term. Yes, as a teacher I know that kids are still using this word, and it angers me. Yes, I understand that Ms. Kain probably chose to use that word so that Izzy would have an authentic voice. But I won't stand for it in YA literature or anywhere.

Because I'm a teacher and because I took the pledge years ago, I will not finish this book. I am Spreading the Word to End the Word, and I hope that you, my lovely readers will too.

Jamie Kain grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Sacramento, California, with her husband and three children. Wherever she goes, her beloved pit bull mix, Reno, can almost always be found at her side. She is the author of The Good Sister and Instructions for the End of the World.

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