A dystopic look at what happens to one American town when all the fossil fuels run out...
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.
Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.
Weyn's near-future novel avoids many of the traditional dystopian trappings in favor of looking at a handful of teens just as the world runs out of usable oil "It was right in front of everybody's faces, but they pretended it wasn't happening." Goth outcast Gwen, living with her petty criminal brother after being abandoned by their parents, has a crush on her neighbor, Tom. Tom, in turn, wants to date vain cheerleader Niki. They all find their traditional teenage concerns overshadowed (if not obviated) by the growing oil crisis, which has led to insanely high gas prices, shortages of everyday products such as ballpoint pens, and a looming war with Venezuela. As the situation escalates, the lack of oil leads to food and power shortages, creating a snowballing series of crises. Weyn (Distant Waves) nicely handles the teen romance and the attempts to deal with the crisis, but clumsy exposition and infodumps often drag down the first half of the book. Readers who persevere will find the ending somewhat rushed and tainted by deus ex machina. Ages 12 up.