We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly

Setting: Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: August 30, 2016

I'll come right out and say that We Are Unprepared made me pretty uncomfortable while reading it. Vermont is coming off an incredibly warm winter where there was very little snow. We're also dealing with a hot, dry summer. In fact, as of Friday, the Burlington area was more than four inches low in terms of rainfall this spring and summer. Area lakes are clearly showing the lack of rain, especially Lake Arrowhead where I'm seeing far more silt along the shores than ever before. With that were also forecasts of flooding rains for this weekend that were supposed to be devastating, though the rains once again really skipped over my area. That's why the story hit a little closer to home than I wanted. There is a level of "this weather is so unreal" going on.

New Yorker's Ash and Pia escaped city life to live in a remote town in the Northeast Kingdom. They have restored their dream home. They grow their own foods, as much as is possible anyway. Life in general seems perfect. Soon, things are not as peachy.

When the government warns of a superstorm, Ash and Pia respond in different ways. Ash tries to be logical, while Pia joins a group of preppers that believe in doom and gloom. The pressure of their different beliefs is starting to take a toll on their relationship, and that's if the storm doesn't end everything first.

The true heart of We Are Unprepared for me was young August. August is their neighbor, a young boy whose parents are pill popping idiots, for lack of a better description. Ash and August form an incredible bond. I adored that part of the story.

I admit, I never cared for Pia's character. I didn't like her with Ash. Read the book and you'll see what I mean. There are other characters in the book I did enjoy and some even reminded me of my own neighbors.

In the end, there were aspects of We Are Unprepared that seemed a little too realistic and made me cringe a little as I read the book. I couldn't put it down, but I still never felt uplifted while reading it. It ended up being a good but gloomy read for me.


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