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?
Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself "How did this author know exactly what I was looking for?" This is that book for me. Every time I thought about a situation, it happened. Every time I had a question, it was answered on the next page. Everything about this story was exactly what I needed to read. If it came out that Amber Kizer had some supernatural ability to cruise around people's heads and put it their needs on paper, I wouldn't be even a little surprised. I felt every word and of this story and loved these characters like they were my own family. To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement.
I liked Nadia right away. She's still struggling with the death of her father and now BluStar has claimed her mother. She's angry, but she knows what she has to do. Even though she would much rather just lay down and wait to die, she gets up and puts on a brave face for her younger brother, Rabbit, and is doing her best to get them across the country safely. I could feel her pain and fear flowing off of the pages as I read them and I just wanted to pick her and Rabbit up and bring them to safety myself.
I really admired the relationship between Nadia and Rabbit and loved watching it grow. Something that really made me think was the fact that they weren't really that close before the virus came. I don't think a lot of people think about this when reading these kinds of books. Siblings don't always get along and a lot of times in these stories we just believe that their relationships were perfect before. Nadia is forced to look at Rabbit as an equal and they have to learn to work together. I truly appreciated the realism of their relationship.
Of course, during their journey east they come across some dangerous situations and some just plain heartbreaking ones. They come across an injured dog and have to decide if they should help it or just move on. I don't think I would be able to move on in this situation. I am a sucker for animals and I think I would have an incredibly hard time just leaving the poor dog there to slowly die. This was a situation that I hadn't thought of before and it really hit me.
Then there's Zack. Sigh. He isn't your typical "love interest" and I was actually pretty pleased with how little time was spent on romance. His story was just as gut wrenching as Nadia's and I grew quite the feelings for him as time moved on.
Overall, I guess you could say that A Matter of Days rocked my world. It sucked me in and didn't let me go. The characters are realistic, emotionally engaging and the story is written so beautifully that you won't even realize that you are still at home, relaxing on your couch reading a book. You will be off in that jeep with Nadia and Rabbit, battling the elements and fleeing for safety, and you won't come back until they have reached the end of their journey.
For more about Amber Kizer and A Matter of Days, visit her website here.
*I received this book for free in exchange of an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way and all views and opinions expressed are 100% my own.