Book Review: Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien

Z for za

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Ann Burden has been living on her own for nearly a year when a man tumbles into her valley. This might not seem too unusual, except that the world was desecrated by a nuclear war. This stranger and Ann, may very well be the last people on Earth. As she turns sixteen, a crucial year for any teen, her life revolves instead around her safety.

As the two between comrades of this radiated world, Ann hopes for a positive future. But how much can someone trust a stranger even if they are the last on the planet?

What a great vintage YA! This is a fantastic example of how I wish modern YA would explore with main female leads. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE ROMANCE YEAH? Ann is a brilliant female character, full of thought, logic and bravery. She rocks! Power to girls everywhere for learning how to rework a tractor when electricity doesn’t exist! She is flawed with her caring, but that’s a good thing in the end. Ann just never gives up and is a beacon of hope. Ah, how there needs to be more characters written with strength like Ann Burden!

As this is vintage YA, it’s riddled for discussion. The male character Mr. Loomis is a textbook example on why men in power just end up killing everyone. Just because he’s a man doesn’t mean he actually knows what’s best. I mean seriously, a scientist that believes he knows more about farming than an actual farm girl? Pla-LEASE. I bet this book makes a lot of men uncomfortable. Losing control is not easy for anyone, but as men are usually in that position, seeing his deterioration provides a humbling experience for everyone including myself.

I was on edge with each chapter. Even with the simple plot I didn’t know what was coming next. It’s short and well written and stands as an excellent example of why we as humans should never let science grow out of control. In the end, the Earth will always find a way to be the victor. 

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