Don't mind the weird and spoiler-riffic cover; it's a book that's well worth the read. Here's why:
The year is 2015; the place, London. The UK is the first (and so far only) country to implement carbon rationing, a system that aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by giving its citizens a limited amount of "carbon points" that will "pay" for everything, from their heating to their electricity to what food they buy. It's the kind of radical action that's needed - because countries haven't really done anything about global warming/climate change/carbon consumerism, but this does cramp everyone's style. Including Laura Brown's, a punk rock 16-year-old who plays bass for her band, whose family is pretty much breaking apart, and that pretty much gives voice to the frustration, angst, wit and sassiness of her generation. (I like her!)
This book is her diary for the year, and through it we learn about the various disasters that she must endure through: the winter cold with limited heating allowed, the drama surrounding the boy she likes who also happens to live next door, the droughts, her father's unemployment and subsequent depression, her repeated exam flunkage, the drama and excitement surrounding her band, and of course the HUGE disaster that happens in December and that wipes out London and Londoners alike.
I really enjoyed this book and was (figuratively) glued to its 320 pages; the British slang was a bit weird at first, but I quickly figured out what the terms meant - and eventually saw that a glossary was provided at the end of the book. Nice. Also, the end of the book features a little explanation about the British school system (useful for non-Brits like myself), as well as a Celsius-to-Fahrenheit temperature conversion thing (useful for non-Celsius-using people), a glossary of "ecoterms" (useful for people who don't know that much about environmental jargon), and a bunch of URLs to sites for people who "Want to learn more about living green". Woooh, it's not a bibliography but close enough!
So yeah, this is a really enjoyable book, that deals with subjects such as environmentalism, and various social issues such as have/have not tensions, feminism, activism, governmental hypocrisy, the whole mafia/black market phenomenon, how people cope, how cults are started, youth rebellion and others. And it wasn't preachy about it.