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He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man-except for the one that struck.
When Nicole Reed's father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, it's too much too handle for her mother, who abandons them in the middle of the night. Heading out to track her down, Nicole's father leaves her in charge of taking care of the house and her younger sister, Izzy. For a while, Nicole is doing just fine running things on her own. But then the food begins to run out, the pipes crack, and forest fires start slowly inching their way closer every day. Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help her when she needs it most, but when she starts to develop feelings for him, feelings she knows she will never be allowed to act on once her father returns, she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow's disasters, or will she take a chance and really start living for today?
Jamie Kain's Instructions for the End of the World is a gripping, young adult novel that explores family, friendship, and love in the midst of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances.
Kain follows The Good Sister with another story of sisters one dutiful, one rebellious stuck in a family that is falling apart. Nicole and Isabel's father is an obsessive survivalist who drags the whole family to live in an abandoned house in the woods and makes 16-year-old Nicole hunt game for dinner. When the girls' mother can't take it anymore, she drives off, their father goes after her, and the girls are left alone to fend for themselves with little money, no transportation, and dwindling resources. With the help of Wolf, an intriguing boy who lives at a nearby commune, Nicole and Isabel fight to survive in a crumbling house and learn to rely on each other. Kain gives Nicole, Isabel, and Wolf strong narrative voices, though occasional passages from the perspective of Laurel (a friend of Wolf) feel out of place. The novel shines when Kain probes the destructive tensions and jealousies that can arise between siblings, and the ways in which families dissemble and find ways to mend. Ages 13 up.