I would like to thank the author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
This has to be one of my harder reviews to write in a long time. I want to give the book 3 stars, but that would be a disservice not only to the author, but to the intended audience. I am not the audience this book is for, so I had to sit back, mull it over and after thinking about the teen boys and girls who will be reading this book, I find that the author has really nailed it on the head.
This book is considered dystopia, but honestly, it's more about the hardcore teen skaters, their love for the sport, the search for the perfect park and how family is more than blood alone. Yes, there is a catastrophic event, which unfortunately the author builds up but that story itself falls flat. Get over that part and the reader will see the Ollie's, the half-pipes,etc and feel the camaraderie of the skaters.
The author places popular songs, movies and other pop culture items in this book and they fit perfectly in their place. Readers years from now will not be lost on references, because the author picked classics that flow over generations and feel just as special with the next. Any reader, no matter if you are in the skate culture or not, will be able to follow along.
Back to the dystopia story-line. This is where the book itself is weak. There is no real who, what, where or why covered. There are some areas put in context, but not to the depth that there should be. Also, the fact that these group got from point A to wherever their point B is without much interference from other individuals is a bit of a stretch. The group detailed hardly ever sees other people unless it's at the skate refuges and unless there was a huge nuclear disaster, they would have had to deal with a whole lot more people on the road and in the towns. Also, the end wraps up way to happily for all. Maybe the author didn't want to scare his readers, but there was a lack of believability to the book throughout the entirety of it.
I recommend this book to any teen looking for an action-adventure read. They can be skaters themselves or just have an interest in the subject. The book is told from a single POV, but the author provides enough insight to the other characters that it almost feels like multiple POV's at times. This book is for teens of any genre, cultural background and economic background. There's no romance, no sex, nothing that gets in the way of the ultimate theme that friends have each others backs through the good and the bad times.