448p. ebook available. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763669621.
Gr 9 Up—Bex and her family are experiencing hard times. Her family moved in with her uncle Skip, and Bex helps him out at his garage and gas station. Her mother works multiple jobs to support the family. Bex, her father, and her brother, Mark, are doomsday preppers, though Bex pushes the most for the family to be prepared for imminent danger. When Mark is invited to a sportsman's club, Clearview, Bex is skeptical at first but eventually trains there regularly. She also meets Lucy at the gas station and begins a relationship with her that she keeps from her parents, because they don't approve of most of what Bex does—from homeschooling to her nonfeminine haircut to her training and shooting on her own. When Mark falls in with the wrong crowd at Clearview, he starts acting suspiciously and drops out. Soon, Mark is in deep trouble, resulting in the whole family being arrested and Bex being pressured to take the blame. Kokie takes on a lot of topics, including doomsday preppers and a lesbian navigating a conservative family and value system, but the book splinters when she is arrested. The plot becomes disjointed, and things get quickly and messily resolved. The book's length and the detailed descriptions of cleaning and shooting guns may lose the interest of some readers.
VERDICT A worthy additional title.

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