18774020“… the girl who worked there accepted gold only, and not jewelry – it had to be melted down already.”

What is this book about?

Cal and Frida, a young couple from California, have fled the city to live a life of isolation. The cities are in ruin, devastated by a yet unknown threat and have created a post-apocalyptic or maybe just apocalyptic world. Life has become dangerous, modern life untenable and all Cal and Frida can do is stick together while facing the current wilderness of the state of California. After a while the loneliness is getting to Frida and with the belief that she is pregnant, they head out into the unknown forests in search of others.

Why is it boring?

The first part of the book is just Cal and Frida, two young kids trying to make it on their own. They do their chores, have a lot of sex and simply try to survive. Even though this sounds like the most boring part of the book, because the excitement should happen after they find a settlement and Frida’s long lost brother, but for me it was completely reversed. The first part is filled with mystery of why the world is in shambles and does a great job creating this familiar, but now scary world. The second part is more conventionally boring by explaining the past and thereby ruining the power of my imagination.

Who would you recommend it to?

Anyone who likes a good realistic dystopian novel.  Don’t expect any YA dystopia filled with action and mutated humans. This book is a drama, a serious story with a heavy focus on human emotion. Wilderness freaks and land-pirates should definitely pick this one up.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I went into this book with high expectations which were immediately confirmed by the first part of the book. The great mystery that was set up of what had happened to the world and why Cal and Frida had decided to flee the city gave me hope that I was reading a grown-up version of the Adventure Time apocalypse. When things got explained it turned out my expectations were way off, the mystery of the end of the world wasn’t even really that much of a mystery. But the writing is solid and although it is easy to find Cal and Frida (especially Frida) annoying, you still care for them and any of the remaining survivors. It’s a great book if you want to delve deeper into human emotion and isolation, but if you are looking for an action packed novel, you really have to look further.

Rating 3,5/5
If you want to read California you can pre-order it here!

Author

Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She’s one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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