After losing everything from her old life to the Earth Shaker, Penelope (Pen) sets out on a journey in the remains of the world. Her quest is guided by The Odyssey and she happens along some unexpected friends that will help her find her family. Along with Hex, Ez, and Ash, Pen starts out looking for her family and ends up finding more about herself. As she comes across shocking revelations of her mother’s past and the truth behind the Earth Shaker, Pen learns to find meaning in the little things in life… or what remains of it.
Overall, this was a very fulfilling book. There were new surprises at every turn, which kept it really exciting. However, this book is deceptively long and it took me more time than expected to finish. Block’s writing style is effortless and she travels from present day to flashbacks of the past. This book can get quite gory and graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend it to particularly squeamish people. On the whole, it was very enjoyable and satisfying.
I really enjoyed reading the visions that Pen saw in her head. She could look at someone and see their whole past and the hardest moment in their lives. It was a very subtle way of sharing the backgrounds of some characters without coming right out and saying it. It was also really interesting to watch Pen grow from a broken, lost teenager into a strong, tough woman.
Review by Asha, grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library