Life has been pretty complicated lately which has had a knock on effect on my reading. I’m very much in a slump. (It sucks.) So yes, it has been a while since my last book review but fear not because I’ve finally got a new one for you. And today I’ll be talking about How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff. So let’s get straight into it, shall we?
Many thanks to Harper360 UK for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
How to Pack for the End of the World
by Michelle Falkoff
Date of Publication: 10th November 2020
Format: Paperback (310 pages)
CONTENT & TRIGGER WARNINGS:
references to antisemitism and racism
alcohol and drug use
off the page sex
A group of teens at a boarding school who are concerned with the current state of the world compete in survivalist-inspired games. But sometimes just your regular teenage drama feels like the end of the world.
This is not in any way an apocalyptic story. Don’t let the title deceive you! It’s actually a coming-of-age story about friendship and belonging while also dealing with a multitude of social issues such as climate change and fascism. Since it’s character driven, it is quite a slow burner but I did still enjoy it. Just not as much as I’d hoped to.
Still, there were a lot of things that I loved about How to Pack for the End of the World. First of all, I really warmed to Amina. I could identify with how current events can trigger severe anxiety and how isolating that can be when other people seem to deal with those same events differently. It’s not something I’d seen in fiction before and since it’s a lived experience for me, I thought it was incredibly relatable.
There’s also a lot of diversity within the group. Not just in regards to gender, race and sexuality but also attitudes to religion, class and upbringing. I also loved that there was ace and anxiety representation!
One more thing that I enjoyed was the romantic subplot between two of the characters. It was very PG – sweet and wholesome! (Exactly the way I like it!)
While I enjoyed a lot about the book, I wasn’t entirely sold on the plot. I felt like it was trying to be a lot of things at the same time and the plot itself wasn’t clear until much later than I would have liked. The ending also felt quite abrupt but definitely gave me The Breakfast Club feels. So ultimately, I liked it but I didn’t love it.
- Diverse characters
- Lots of social themes including climate change, fascism and racism
- Features a series of “games” around the idea of surviving the apocalypse in its many possible forms
Read This If…
- You like slow burn character driven fiction
- The end of the world both scares you and fascinates you in equal measure
If my review of How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff has piqued your interest, please do go and check it out. It’s available now from all good book retailers!
What would you pack for the end of the world? Let me know in the comments below!