This, and its companion book Life As We Knew It
, are interesting, well-thought out post-apocalyptic novels, each following a very different teenager through the days following an astronomical cataclysm; where the first book followed the experiences of a middle-class teenager in a small town, this follows a low-income, Puerto Rican-American Catholic boy through the months following the disaster.
In each, I felt that the characters were the weak point, but the thorough examination of the implications of the disaster and the realistic depiction of its effects on the communities in each book were definitely strong. I liked the way the author clearly thought and planned out exactly how the government and individuals would react in a time of crisis such as this. However, I just couldn't bring myself to care very much for any of the characters, and even the inevitable deaths seemed to fall flat, devoid of emotional impact. This was more true in this book than the previous one; perhaps it was the author's reflection of how Alex was reacting to his difficult experiences.
I also found her portrayal of the Puerto Rican immigrant family to be a little stereotypical, but the actual family dynamics worked out pretty well. I thought, in reading the book, that I'd want certain things answered, but the book is satisfying with or without those answers.