ALAN Pick, April/May 2006

(Assembly for Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE)

Young Adult. Ages 12+

The Last Place on Earth

Henry Holt BYR, February 2016

Henry Hawking is sixteen years old, brilliant, funny, and sly. And now he’s missing. But no one seems worried except his best friend, Daisy Cruz, who knows that Henry’s security-obsessed parents would never leave town without taking proper precautions. And Henry would never go away without saying goodbye. Daisy considers all of the obvious explanations for Henry’s disappearance before hacking Henry’s home alarm system and sneaking into his house, where she finds a note that pleads, “SAVE ME.”

When another classmate disappears, Daisy panics, but soon she receives a text message that leads her from her crowded California suburb to a dusty road deep in the mountains and beyond. What she finds there makes her wonder if she ever knew Henry at all . . . and makes her fear that the world as she knows it will never be the same.

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REVIEWS

“Snow gives the dystopian novel an intriguing twist, starting her story just before everything falls apart. She has her level-headed, independent, somewhat naïve protagonist confront increasingly challenging situations in believable ways. Romance takes second place to survival, and the characters’ language is appropriate for young teen readers” –ALAN (Assembly for Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE)

“Snow’s latest is tricky to summarize without giving away a major plot point, but its original premise and crisp, unpredictable characters are a compelling reason to pick it up . . . With a title like The Last Place on Earth, readers might be duped into thinking they’ve trod into dystopian territory, but instead, Snow weaves a modern teen-crush story into a far-fetched but nonetheless possible (and at points both laughable and tragic) adventure tale.” —Booklist

“Sixteen-year-old Daisy Cruz hasn’t heard from her best friend Henry Hawking for days. She’s worried that an awkward moment they shared has damaged their friendship, but as the days pass, she knows it has to be more. Also, why is everyone at school suddenly falling ill? A note on Henry’s desk leaves Daisy certain that he’s in danger, and additional clues lead her deep into California’s Los Padres National Forest, and finally to an underground bunker. Then things get really weird. Snow (Bubble World) presents a quirky entry into the “Is this it for humanity?” genre, as Daisy is thrust into a potential apocalypse she is ill-equipped to handle. Daisy’s engaging voice and dry wit are a real highlight, especially where her survivalist ineptitude is concerned (“Did you know that straight bleach can actually burn a hole in your clothes? Neither did I!”). Themes of loyalty, friendship, and family bonds are the foundations of a winning story filled with small, poignant moments that, against a background of uncertainty, don’t feel small at all.” –Publishers Weekly

“Each page turned offers some new twist … a must-read!” —Teen Ink

“Daisy’s wit and sarcasm enlivens this story of courage, loyalty to friends, and love of family.” –International Literacy Association

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