Duuuun dun. Duuun dun. Duun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun…
Title: Before We Go Extinct
Author: Karen Rivers
Source: Raincoast Books for review
Description from Amazon:
J.C., who goes by the nickname Sharky, has been having a hard time ever since his best friend died in front of him in what might or might not have been an accident. Shell-shocked, Sharky spends countless hours holed up in his room, obsessively watching documentaries about sharks and climate change—and texting his dead friend.
Hoping a change of location will help, Sharky’s mom sends him to visit his dad on a remote island in Canada. There, Sharky meets a girl who just may show him how to live—and love—again.
What I Thought:
There are plenty of books that claim to be written from the perspective and with the voice of a high school student, but this one actually feels like it was. Karen Rivers posses the unique ability to be able to relate the turbulent, weirdly funny, and sometimes even profound thoughts of a teenage boy.
I loved that both JC and his father were emotional men. Too often we hear the “real men don’t cry” baloney and that stuff just doesn’t help anybody. It doesn’t help us women have realistic expectations of male feelings, and it doesn’t help men because they feel the need to repress emotion. So yay for crying guys!
When I read that JC wasn’t speaking to anybody (at all – not a word) I was worried that I would find that too frustrating to read, and while it was a tiny bit annoying, it wasn’t over the top. It was just enough that it made the moment when he finally did speak again feel extra significant.
I wished that the love interest’s mother had been developed as a character beyond just “religious.” And a few of the chapter transitions were a bit abrupt. There was a section of the ending I thought was suuuper weird! But you’ll have to read it to see what I mean! (Hint: involves a shark.)
I appreciated the shark facts that Rivers included in the book, and how she wrote about the need to save our environment without it sounding preachy. JC seemed very sincere in his beliefs and that helped the message come across well.
This was a great book for high schoolers! There was some language, so just be aware of that, but this is a great read for teenagers learning ways to cope with tragedy and death.
Stay tuned for an interview with Karen Rivers later this week! (PS how funny/awesome is it that a woman with the last name Rivers wrote a book about the ocean? Love it.)
Buy this book here with my affiliate link and I get a small percent!
DUN DUN DUN!!!