Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick

Book Review #298

Title: Snowflake, AZ

Author: Marcus Sedgwick

Publisher: Zephyr

Genre: YA

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: September 5, 2019

Pages: 320

A timely, contemporary novel challenging ideas around health – our own and our planet’s – and the stigma that persists around illness by Printz Medallist and internationally bestselling novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Ash gets on a Greyhound bus to the place Bly was last seen: Snowflake, Arizona. Six thousand feet up in the wide red desert, Ash meets Mona; her goat, Socrates; her dog, Cooper; and finds stepbrother Bly, too.

In their ramshackle homes, the walls lined with tinfoil, Mona and her neighbors are all sick. But this isn’t any ordinary sickness: modern life has poisoned them, and when Ash too falls ill, the doctor’s response is, “It’s all in your mind.” Meanwhile, as Ash lives through a cycle of illness and recovery and loss, the world beyond is succumbing to its own affliction: a breakdown of civilization only distantly perceived by Ash and the isolated residents of Snowflake, from which there may or may not be a chance for recovery.

This humane and thoughtful novel is about resilience, trust, family, and love, when all seems lost.

This book was very confusing to me. Even though I tried my best to let go of this early opinion and judgement that I have with this story, it didn’t help that it just got even more confusing along the way. I wanted so much to get into it but unfortunately, I just couldn’t force myself.

I was intrigued by the aspect of Ash’s sickness and his perception regarding the sickness of the world. But as the story continued to prevail, I could see why the author would decide to write about this. Our world is dying—mother earth is utterly sick and its caused by our own hands. We need to be better than this, learn from past mistakes and for a better environment for the next generation. If this continues, I’m not sure she could take it anymore and it would be too late by then.

This book has little dialogues spanning throughout the story. I am someone who enjoys reading characters conversing with one another and if I pick up a fiction book with barely any dialogues, I’ll feel like there’s slightly something wrong. I don’t know that’s just me though.

Anyways, this was an eye opener read about health, hope, relationships, a community that would do what it all takes to move forward and be better. It would seem like all is lost, that they are too sick to cure what is left of the world but it shouldn’t be that way. That even though some of our society couldn’t care less but there’s still others out there who wouldn’t settle for anything less.

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