Jingling Our Change
For over 40 years, Bloom’s been kicked around by the hard knocks of life. Events cascade into chaos as she tries to help her friends survive the infrastructure collapse. Polite society experiences a massive correction. Struggling through violent clashes and heartbreaking decisions, the small group grows strong bonds as they work together to hold on to their food, guns and property as the government reaches in to take what they want by granting themselves ever-increasing authority. Individuals quickly reprioritize their loyalties, as the political elite focus on micromanaging the population. While some people look toward liberty for the future, others decide to take full advantage of the anarchy by feeding off people’s adversity. Either way, only the strong can survive. There are no handouts left.
I received this book and its sequel as a Christmas present from a family member. I read a lot of dystopian novels and the giver thought I would enjoy this story that was geared more towards adults rather than teens.
He was right. I was immediately shocked by the first sentence, "The president assassinated another American family last night."
Full Warning: Otting does nothing to try to cover her political views in this book. The pages are packed with secret government plans and worst case scenarios. All of that aside, no matter where you stand on this country's current situation, the author makes sure to present her opinions with a suspenseful, well written story.
The main character, Bloom, is a refreshing female protagonist with just enough grit and vulnerability to make her compelling and worth your time. Otting introduces her in a way that shows off both her thought provoking writing and well crafted story telling. Bloom's tragic back story will tug at your heartstrings and keep you reading to see how her life turns out. The other main characters are just as fleshed out, but the story focuses mostly on Bloom handling all of the sudden changes.
I wish the same could be said for the antagonists in this book. The main villain of this story is the faceless government, which is falling apart at the seams and desperate to keep control of the population. In the span of just three weeks, they pass and enforce outrageous, privacy invading laws, and leave citizens no choice but to hand over their freedoms in order to survive. The entire country is in a panic, fighting tooth and nail for a half gallon of milk. I'm sure the scenario is meant as a "what could happen if we are not careful" warning, but at times the drama seemed over the top and unlikely. The villains that did have faces made quick appearances and came across as outlandishly evil and flat. I would have liked to have seen at least a glimmer of humanity in them.
That said, Jingling Our Change is intriguing, thought provoking, and action packed. (once you get to the second half of the book) Politically charged, this drama will have you questioning your convenient lifestyle and scrambling to stock food storage in your basement. The book ends leaving a dastardly situation for the characters to climb out of in the sequel, Nanny State Nightmare. Difficult to put down, Jingling Our Change is well deserving of 4 stars.
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