Some Fine Day - Kat Ross
Originally Reviewed: January 3, 2015
On page 137 I read a line where she’s wondering “Is it possible to have a midlife crisis at the age of sixteen?”
WOAH. She’s only 16? I completely forgot. The way she talked and acted, I thought she was about to graduate from a post-secondary military academy.
On page 199, it gets even better – because she’s sixteen.
“If I wanted to kill you right now with my bare hands, I could do it in a dozen different ways. Some fast, some slow. Some real slow.”
Sixteen. Sixteen years old, and this is what her dystopian society has turned her into. Then they wonder why she’s trying to *spoiler so I’m not finishing that sentence.*
There may not be any specific enemy in this book, but I’ll be damned if Ross didn’t give me a thoroughly hateable enemy in Raven Rock. If you have an enemy, they need to be hateable.
The fact that Jansin, the heroine, is only sixteen largely escapes me for perhaps 2/3 of the book. She doesn’t act like she’s a teenager. She’s not the only one. Her eventual love-interest, Will, is only a year older than she is and yet I keep thinking he’s in his late 20’s. I have a really hard time noting this as YA, except if it wasn’t YA there would have been a lot more happening between Jansin and Will than there was.
So, what exactly happened? I’d say about a generation ago (when the parents in this society were little and the “grandparents” were parents) we have an event similar to what you’d find in The Day After Tomorrow (I’m a sucker for end of the world movies, what can I say?). Massive, massive storms, though they don’t just freeze and die out in one hemisphere like the movie. Nope. They just charge right across the continents, causing massive flooding, scouring trees and even grass from the earth, and ending society as we know it.
A fraction of the population escapes underground. Future generations are taught that it was perfectly planned and executed. Heroes were born, and society saved. Except they left out the part about how many people were left to die on the surface, which Jansin finds out in the worst possible way.
On a vacation to the surface, she gets kidnapped. By humans.
She learns a lot about what things were like before the “descent”. She learns a lot about surviving, and about living, and about what the “real world” is like. She begins to question whether or not she would want to return underground.
She begins to question whether or not she would have the choice, once the militia from Raven Rock found her.
It is so hard to go into what makes this book special without spoilers. I know I’ve bashed YA novels before about their kids being unrealistic in the way they react to danger and their lives getting tossed around, but Ross handled things splendidly. You don’t spend almost 10 of your most formative years in a military academy to learn to freak out when crap hits the fan. No, you learn to breathe, to analyze, to act based on your desired outcome and not what’s currently raining down on you.
Jansin struggles of course. She goes through a massive trauma and it’s only 2 months before everybody decides she’s had enough time to recover and expect her to move on. Ain’t that just like an adult? She may have been trained for combat and all sorts of other things, but she’s still 16 years old and suffering from post-traumatic stress. Jansin deals in the only way she knows how – the way the military taught her – which really sets things up for a potentially explosive ending. The whole time everybody things she’s fine and has recovered, she’s questioning everything she was ever taught.
On the ending…
This has probably been one of the best YA dystopian society/post apocalyptic books I’ve read, but the ending was a HUGE let-down! So much of a let-down that I would have given this book 5 stars if only the ending wasn’t so damned anti-climactic. I want to know what happens to Raven Rock, and who’s where, and what was found… there’s so much I was left wanting to know. If this was obviously a book that was part of a series or a collection, it wouldn’t be so bad – the answers must be coming somewhere, right? But it’s not, so where are the answers?