Sixteen-year-old Brit Laura Brown just wants to rock out with her punk band, the dirty angels. Unfortunately, the environment keeps getting in the way. Due to the violent global warming storms that keep ravaging greater Europe, the England of the near future has decided to lead the way to a greener planet by being the first country to try “carbon rationing.” Everyone is issued their own “carbon card,” a credit card that monitors how much CO2 your personal lifestyle is unleashing on the atmosphere. Pretty much anything that uses electricity or gas causes the emission of carbon dioxide, so suddenly everyone is shivering and walking instead of turning up the thermostat or hopping in the car to run to the store. Laura’s family takes the new rationing especially hard: selfish sis Kim uses up all her points immediately then locks herself in room and refuses to come out, Mom joins a wacky women’s collective that believes in the power of positive thinking, and Dad falls into a drunken downward spiral after being laid off. Laura’s had it with all of them, and is too busy stalking her hot but aloof next door neighbor Ravi to get involved in their personal dramas. But it soon becomes clear that if they don’t learn to pull together, they’ll be torn apart by the blackouts, looting and fuel shortages that are devastating London as a result of the rationing. Like the sassy British cousin of my favorite eco-thriller, Laura’s in-your-face diary describes what it’s like to be a teen at the end of the world as you know it and still feel fine. In spite of the chaos and craziness that surrounds her, Laura still manages to rage, rock, fall in love and keep her head when everyone around her is losing theirs. A timely first novel that unfortunately feels all too real.
The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd