Monday, January 18, 2016

Audiobook review: Anyone? by Angela Scott

Title: Anyone?
Author: Angela Scott
Narrator: Elizabeth Phillips
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
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The end of the world? That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy….

…Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.

Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.

Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.

But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?

Lately I have been on the hunt for good apocalyptic fiction. I gave We All Looked Up a try last year and was entirely unimpressed, so since then I've been wondering if there were any good books at all about the actual apocalypse. Well, there is. It's called Anyone? Honestly, I was a little hesitant to read this book at first, simply because I'd never heard of it or its author. I am SO glad I decided to go ahead.

Anyone? is a story about a girl, Tess, who is stuck in a bunker in her backyard. Alone. Something you may not know about me is I am (not so) secretly a prepper. I am fascinated by conspiracy theories and the many possibilities of how the world might end, so to get to read a book that starts with a girl in a fully functioning, fully stocked bunker seemed like an awesome opportunity! Okay, back to the story. Tess is in her dad's bunker and she has no idea what is happening outside or if anyone is coming back for her. She waits it out as long as she possibly can before finally emerging to find herself still entirely alone. Until she meets Cole, an obviously too old for her guy who's actually enjoying the solitude of post-apocalyptic America.

Cole is a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong! I loved Tess too! It's not often you come across a heroine in dystopian fiction who isn't either ridiculously bad ass or ridiculously helpless. Tess is neither of those things. She's believable and easy to sympathize with and I loved her. But Cole... There was just something about his character that I loved. He was kind of a sarcastic jerk and there was never any real clarity into his past or why he was enjoying himself so much at the end of the world. Cole was also accidentally romantic and protective and I adored the relationship he had with Tess. There was always a sense of taboo surrounding them that made the possibility of Tess and Cole ending up together really enticing.

Obviously, the true test of good (post) apocalyptic fiction is the setting and Anyone? did not disappoint! Not only is the city already in a state of ruin from whatever it was that took place before Tess emerged from her hiding place, but there are insane natural disasters happening all around Tess and Cole as they work their way towards their goal. There was always a feeling of foreboding around their journey and it was deliciously creepy and made me feel always on edge.

What really sets Anyone? apart from other books in this genre was the fact that I could never quite tell if I could be sure of anything. Tess becomes something of an unreliable narrator as the story progresses and I honestly felt like I was losing my mind a time or two, but in a good way! It really added to the feeling of unease that made this book so great!

My main complaint with Anyone? and the only reason it didn't get a 5 star rating from me is that the ending was too abrupt. There were a ton of questions that were raised throughout the book that I really hoped to find out the answers too and, sadly, that didn't happen. I was left feeling like I needed to know more! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that this will be a series either, so I don't think there's much hope for clarity in the future. Still, that little tidbit wasn't enough to drag this book down and honestly the uncertainty in the end kind of fit with the ambiguity that ran through a lot of the book.

If you're a fan of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, you most certainly should give this book a try! It is completely fantastic and pretty unique to anything else I've ever read. I could actually see myself giving this one a re-read in the future, and that is something that rarely happens!

°o°  Notes on the Audiobook  °o°
Elizabeth Phillips did a fantastic job of narrating this audiobook! I really enjoyed listening to her guide me through the story and felt like she was convincing in differentiating between the different characters in the book. I would definitely listen to more books read by her!