Author: Blythe Woolston
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Random House Canada (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
In a near-future world of exurban decay studded with big box stores, daily routine revolves around shopping—for those who can. For Zoë, the mission is simpler: live.
Last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where “your smile is the AllMART welcome mat.” Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be foreclosed and stripped of anything valuable now that AnnaMom has moved away, leaving Zoë behind, or move to the Warren, an abandoned strip-mall-turned-refuge for other left-behinds. With a handful of other disaffected, forgotten kids, Zoë must find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption. She may be a last girl, but her name means “life,” and Zoë isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss. Zoë wants to live. (Source: Goodreads)
When Zoe Zindleman’s school closes she’s fast tracked to graduation and gets a job at megacorporation AllMART. What follows is not much of a plot at all and is mostly just a string of random events that don’t really amount to much. Woolston sets up what could be a really interesting and meaningful dystopia, but she lets it all build up to nothing.
I’m not sure if you picked up on it but I didn’t enjoy this book at all. The plot was lacking, in that there was basically no plot. There was no character development or depth displayed at any point in the entire novel. There was entirely too much time spent on building a world that is entirely too similar to our own world to necessitate spending the entire book building the world and then doing nothing with it.
Woolston spends the entirety of the book explaining and developing the world, but never gets around to doing much with it. We learn about AllMART and see some of their evil practices but we don’t ever see Zoe working against this or trying to make any change to her world. She just stays in the same situation, same state, without any change for the whole book. There was no motivation for me to actually read anything in this book except for the mistaken hope that the book would actually start to have a plot.
I can’t say much beyond that because there isn’t much more to comment on. This was hardly a book, it didn’t have a plot at all.