Source: Random House Kids– I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Random House Kids
Edition: Hardcover, 269 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Survival/Post Apocalyptic
Purchase:Amazon /Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia’s mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren’t as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That’s their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather’s survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?
A Matter of Days is a survival book with a rare feature, there is no over the top sci-fi angle and there are no monsters waiting to destroy them. Instead it’s a survival book with an incredibly realistic feel and very realistic cause, and in it we watch a sixteen year old set out in a world half dead and fend for herself and her younger brother.
The book is very short and it moves quickly, literally counting the days that have passed since the human population started to dwindle down to almost nothing. The cause isn’t really important, but it’s something that could happen incredibly easy in our world of fast travel and constant contact. A virus. The effect is what Nadia and her brother Robert, known as Rabbit, have to deal with. They have to leave the marginal comfort of their home and make their way across a country where danger is present. I loved the realism in this. We see two siblings take care of each other, support each other, squabble and joke with each other. We see them break down and we see them make bad choices, but they pull through.
Nadia and Rabbit are amazing main characters. They have been taught to survive by their military father and thanks to their uncle, who had enough warning about the virus spreading, supplies and a goal. With their parents dead they have to fend for themselves and I could honestly see how human these two were. There were moments when my purely logical brain would scream for them to avoid something, but in their real desperation they would go anyway. I also loved their banter and even their squabbles, because it’s rare to find a YA book (outside of contemporary) with a sibling relationship that truly seems real. We also have Zack, who is someone they meet along they way. He’s used to struggle and making things work to get by, and it was interesting to see how he fared as well as his dynamic with the siblings.
If you’re looking for a quick, addicting read then I completely recommend A Matter of Days. There is a ton of tension and a lot of true emotion poured into these characters. As an added bonus it’s a stand alone, so you know you’re going to get the answers you need before it’s all over.