Post-apocalyptic YA: The Other Side of the Island

The Other Side of the Island, by Allegra Goodman

How the world ends: Global warming, unpredictable weather, and rising sea levels leave the world with only a few habitable islands

And those islands are increasingly controlled (and enclosed, and shielded from most weather–in theory), with an emphasis on Safety First and on making sure no one acts in Unpredictable ways–echoes of our world, which I think is what makes the best post-apocalyptic fiction work.

This wasn’t a perfect book, but it was a very readable one that I very much enjoyed: the tale of young Honor, who from the start struggles to fit in, being born as she is in a year when everyone is given H names, yet burdened by a name in which the H is silent. The narrator, speaking from someplace in Honor’s future, also helped make the story compelling, explaining bits of the story for an audience from that future, slipping in comments about how, say, “This was in the days before the streets were air conditioned.”

Though the fact that the narrator came from a future that seemed to approve from Honor’s past did keep the ending from working for me, a little, since that ending was–as ending often are–about changing her present. The ending felt just a little rushed to me, as well.

Still, an enjoyable end-of-the-world read. 🙂

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