Anyone? — Angela Scott
The end of the world? That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy . . .
. . . Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.
Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.
Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.
But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?
#ReadIndie Review: No matter how many end-of-the-world books I read, I never seem to get sick of them.
This one is about sixteen-year-old Tess, who is shaken awake by her father in the middle of the night and led to his bomb shelter. He tells her not to open the door until he comes back, so she waits . . . and waits . . . and waits. Several weeks after her father left, she can’t wait anymore. Tess opens the door and discovers that everyone in her city has vanished.
Throughout the book, the reader is kept just as clueless as Tess. She doesn’t know what happened to the world or where all the people went. I loved trying to puzzle out the mystery with the characters. The twists in the story are surprising. I didn’t see most of them coming. Once the plot gets moving, it goes quickly. Tess is constantly in danger. There’s some crazy weather and a disease that she may or may not have been exposed to . . .
Tess eventually does come across a few other people. One of them, Cole, is a strange dude. He’s completely in love with the apocalypse and thrilled that he can do anything he wants. There’s a big difference between his personality and Tess’s. Cole would be happy if he never saw another person again. Tess is obsessed with finding her father and brother. She’s convinced that the people will come back, and Cole will get in trouble for breaking into their houses and stealing their stuff. Tess and Cole make an unusual pair.
There are a few issues that kept me from completely enjoying Anyone?. First, there are typos, which always distract me. I also thought the story took a long time to get going. Like I said at the start of the review, I have read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction. The beginning of Anyone? isn’t very original. The story does get more original as it goes on, but I spent a huge chunk of time wondering if the book was going to break out of the post-apocalyptic stereotypical formula.
In addition to waiting for the original bits, I spent most of the book wondering where this story was set. For the majority of the novel, we’re only told “American west.” As someone who has spent her entire life in the American west, I know that it has an extremely diverse landscape. I wasn’t sure which version of “American west” I was supposed to be picturing. Eventually, we find out that the characters are in Utah, but I needed to know that right away.
My biggest issue with the book is the ending. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I didn’t buy it. It’s rushed and abrupt. I hope there’s a sequel. I have so many questions.
I flew through Anyone? because the characters are engaging, but I was let down by the ending.
I was given a free copy of this book as part of the #ReadIndie Challenge. This does not influence my review.