Rating: 3.5 / 5
I HOPE YOU GET THIS MESSAGE by Farah Naz Rishi is a book I knew nothing about when it showed up as one of the two books in October’s Owlcrate Book Box along with some other excellent goodies! As I was mood reading my way through November I decided to give this one a shot and I’m glad that I did! I wound up tearing through this one in just over a day.
I HOPE YOU GET THIS MESSAGE looks at faces its final week. The population of Alma is deliberating on the fate of Earth. They see it as a failed experiment and their own needs for a hospitable planet on which to live has them thinking it is time to wipe out the human race. Earth gets word of this pending extinction with just a week to go until the end.
The book follows three teens in these final days. Jesse is a guy without much to tether him to the world or those in it so he finds a way to make a quick buck off peoples’ desperation by promising that he can get radio messages to Alma so people can beg for humanity’s survival. Cate has dealt with having to take care of her mother’s fragile mental health her whole life and these final days are a chance for her to seek out the father she never knew. Adeem is angry with his sister for taking off after his family’s less than perfect reaction to her coming out, but he’s determined to track her down and bring her home.
This book takes a very interesting look at what the world turns into when there are only days left. Some turn to religion, some turn to having fun with no expectation of consequences. The world turns into a dangerous place as order and civility break down. Adeem and Cate wind up traveling together by chance and what seems like a simple journey turns into a race against the clock to make it on time with many obstacles along the way. I did appreciate that there were adults along the way who acknowledged that it is a bit odd that these teens were off on this journey on their own without adult supervision (that seems to rarely happen in YA novels).
This novel delves into some heavier content – trigger warnings for suicide and mental health. There is a lot about family struggles, friendships and loss. It is a very serious novel for the most part, but the author did show some good moments of humor along the way as well. The conclusion to the novel left me a little bit underwhelmed, but not to the extent that I didn’t enjoy the book overall.