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Teen review: Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd

My name’s Leo. I’m a tenth grader at Pittsburgh Obama Academy 6-12 (Also known as IB High and formerly Schenley). I’m a gender-queer, lesbian, mentally ill writer. I’ll be reviewing books, with occasional graphic novels and music — I mostly read fantasy and horror, and listen to various forms of rock.


Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd

Eighteen year old Laura Brown lives in a world of carbon rationing, global water crisis, and vicious government crackdowns – in a London just six years into our future. She tries to focus on uni and her band, but there’s only so much she can ignore before she has to join the rising activist movement – or she won’t be able to live with herself.

This book is apparently second in a series – Carbon Diaries 2015 being the first one – but I picked it up without knowing that and I think I understood it fine. It’s very well written if you like diary format, although with the continuity problem of “how is she remembering all these conversations word-for-word.” That probably only bothers me.

It makes for extremely depressing reading. The London government gradually spirals out of control in a realistic manner, there are scenes of police brutality and extreme poverty, and (minor spoiler) France’s Neo-Nazi wins the election while Laura is there.

Don’t read this if you’re bothered by politics or have something against punkers, but otherwise, this is well written, and it does have a hopeful ending. The one real problem with the writing is that it takes a very long time to get to the point – typical of diary format, I’ve found.

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