Book: The Carbon Diaries 2015
Author: Saci Lloyd
Source: Local Library
In 2015, the global climate crisis has escalated to the point that Britain has decided to invoke carbon rationing--the first nation in the world to do so. This book follows 15-year-old Laura through the tumultuous first year, as she fights to get used to making a choice between taking a car to school and turning on her computer. Her family feels the effects too, as her parents’ marriage creaks under the strain of their new life and her rebellious older sister Kim gets involved in the carbon black market.
At the same time, Laura is trying to live her own life. What with bad grades, boy drama, and the fledgling punk band she fronts, she’s got more than enough worries. Between her personal woes and the sociopolitical upheaval, that's just twice as many opportunities for the world to end, one way or the other.
What I loved about this book was the balance between a girl’s everyday life and the worldwide concerns of a planet going to hell in a handbasket. Drought and flood in the same year? Strikes over water in Belgium? Holy wow. And yet, boys are still the same, except this time he's got the excuse that he didn't have enough carbon credits left to call.
The last quarter of the book relies heavily on infodumps, diagrams, and classroom lectures to reveal the scope of the disaster facing them, but the rest of the book is pretty seamless. It’s a thought-provoking and worrisome vision of our possible future that still manages to be an engaging story about a girl trying to make it to adulthood with her sanity intact.