I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen
on March 26, 2015
Source: the author
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There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.
With her criminal record, sixteen-year-old Char is never going to get a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect Earth’s survivors. The Arks are reserved for the real goody-goodies, like Char’s mom, dad, and brother, all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.
With Earth on the brink of destruction, Char must use all her tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they want to see her or not.
Once she arrives on the North American Ark, Char discovers that the remnants of humanity haven’t achieved the egalitarian utopia they’d planned for. For starters, the “Officers of the Peace” are anything but peaceful, especially since stealing a spot on an Ark is a crime punishable by death…
Okay, so… WOW. I read The Ark right after a super disappointing book, and my spirits were low. I wasn’t even going to hope for this to be a great read, because honestly, debut authors can go either way. One chapter in… I liked the vibe, but I couldn’t get my hopes up yet. Five chapters… seriously digging this book, but can the author possibly keep it up? Laura Liddell Nolen managed to dig me out of my reading funk, no matter how stubborn I was! I kept pausing, just to reread a paragraph or a sentence that struck a chord with me, and by the end, I swear half the book was highlighted.
The FEELS, people! The first 30% of the book painted a too accurate look at what the end of the world would look like. It was heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what choices I would have made in a similar situation. It takes a lot from a book to make me tear up, but my imagination took off and then there was no stopping it. Pass the Kleenex!
The MC, Char, was absolutely perfect in her imperfections. I found her so incredibly easy to relate to… even though I’m not a thief and have no intention of ever spending a day behind bars. I’m not even the least bit rebellious, but I found her motivations were familiar. Char’s family is her number one priority. She is willing to die alone in outer space if that’s what it takes to see her brother’s face one more time. There are a handful of secondary characters who are all important in their own right, but who are also still standing somewhere in Char’s shadow. I have no idea who I can trust and what their motives are. I am ridiculously excited for the sequel to see where this leads!
The story, by necessity, is dark, with extreme loss of life. That being said, it isn’t overly graphic or gory, and there isn’t a lot of excessive swearing or sex scenes. It’s a clean read about the end of the the world, mature enough for adults, but not about to go over anyone’s head either. I would have no problem recommending it to teen readers. In fact, I think I’ll be recommending this book to as many readers who will listen. 😉