Surviving Antarctica [Andrea White]
I picked this book up when I found myself subbing for two weeks. I jumped into chapter 21 with the students and was very confused, as one is wont to be when starting from the middle. So I went back to the beginning to catch up.
The whole time, I was plagued with mixed feelings. The concept of this book is cool: a dystopian society that selected 5 kids to reenact an expedition through Antarctica? Yes. Good. I'm on board. However, the execution of the story left a lot to be desired. Two of the characters were entirely indistinguishable from each other until the last 30 pages or so, and I didn't connect with any of them at all.
The gravity of the kids' situation is never really delved into...there are so many scenes that could be catastrophic, but just peter out after a page or two. I found the writing be dull; I understand that it is written for a young audience, but the vocabulary really could have been improved significantly.
My biggest issue with the book, though, came with the resolution of the story. It just ends. As a reader, I felt let down. I won't give things away, but the end was supremely unsatisfying in my estimation. Things wrapped up far too nicely, and the way it concluded brought up bigger questions about how the plot progressed as a whole. It created more plot holes than it filled. For me, the resolution killed any positive impression I had of this book.
Honestly, I'm so disappointed that this is required reading for a class. This is one of those books that I feel will turn the kids off to reading, simply because the story isn't as well thought out as it could have been.
Overall, I was underwhelmed.