A review of Life (really!)

Today I am reviewing Life. Not the all-encompassing Life we all live; that would take too long. No, the Life I’m talking about is Rebecca Belliston’s new book: Life–Citizens of Logan Pond.

This story is set in the future after America has experienced a fatal financial collapse. Life as we know it doesn’t exist anymore. Freedoms have been stripped away and citizens are heavily monitored and worked by the government. Carrie is 17 when her parents leave Chicago and head back to Logan Pond to live with their good neighbors who have citizen cards. Five years have passed, and Carrie is part of a clan of about 30 non-citizens who are based around May and CJ Trenton’s home. With the risk of weekly raids by government workers, they’re sole source of safety is Oliver, a policeman who is sympathetic to their clan because of his feelings for Carrie. But when May’s daughter and handsome grandson find their way back to Logan Pond, life changes drastically for the clan and Carrie. Tensions arise, love triangles form, and tempers erupt.

I’ve asked Rebecca some questions about her new book and she has graciously answered them.

Where did the idea for this series originate?

RB: Six years ago, I got stuck on a single question. “What if the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t come from some huge war or catastrophe? What if it comes from the absence of one small thing: the dollar?”  This question wouldn’t leave me alone and has grown into this series. Ironically, six months after I started writing, my husband lost his job (our only source of income), so I got to experience some of this fear firsthand. Before I started writing it, however, I hadn’t thought much about the nation’s collapse, other than reading other dystopians. But I think about it quite a lot now. Not too cheery, but I guess it’s good to be prepared.

Who is your favorite character in Life?

RB: Greg. Hands down. He’s just so angry, and I’m not sure why I enjoy writing that, but I adore him in the same way a mother adores her misbehaving toddler. I can see so much potential in him, and I want to help him reach it. (I know he’s not real. I do. I promise.)

I loved Greg too. When is Liberty–your 2nd book–estimated to be released? (Because I’m anxious for it)

RB: Liberty is nearly finished (on my part). Just a few more chapters to write. I love where the story has gone, so hopefully you–and everyone else–will, too. If all goes well, it will be released next summer-ish.

Rebecca gave me some questions to answer after reading her book: Below are both of our answers to the same question.

  • What’s one non-essential item you would keep? (Char: Book of Mormon) (Rebecca: my computer. It’s my brain. Everything is on it: books, pictures, Google, emails from family, calendars. Unfortunately there wouldn’t be electricity, so that would be lame to keep it, but I probably still would, just in case.)
  • What responsibility would you have in a clan like this? Must be essential: food, clothing, or shelter related. (Char: gardening, teaching kids, basically what the character Carrie does fits me well) (Rebecca: I think I’d be the same. I can grow vegetables, teach a couple of subjects, and babysit little ones. I probably could sew a little, and I know how to cut hair if necessary.)
  • Would you have stayed in Logan Pond or moved back to a municipality? (Char: This is a hard one. I’m so law-abiding that the thought of staying in Logan Pond as an illegal squatter goes against every grain of my being. But with that said, if I had been in Carrie’s parents situation and feared the future for my kids in the municipality—like my young single daughter being taken advantage of in those tight quarters—I might have done the same thing they did and sought refuge out on my own with others I knew would have my same values and morals.) (Rebecca: I think you and I are very similar Char. 🙂  I would answer pretty much the same. I’d probably head back to the clan just to protect my kids)

Which character of yours  do you relate to most?

RB: Probably Carrie. I have a hard time speaking up for myself when I probably should. I don’t mind being a wallflower in social situations. And my family is everything to me.

Is Logan Pond a real place; do you live close by?

RB: I do live on a pond, and I do live in a subdivision with about 20 families of people I adore. However, my pond is not Logan Pond, and my subdivision is nothing like the one in the book. Different people. Different roads, shape, setup, etc. So in the book, the neighborhood is completely fictional. Even Shelton, the town, is fictional.

How much do you think chocolate would be worth in this new society of bartering…or has it gone obsolete (heaven forbid!)?

RB: Oh man, chocolate? There are so many things I’d miss in a situation like this, but chocolate would definitely be up top. I’ts hard to envision a life without Reese’s. I might even give up my computer for a lifetime supply. Maybe. 🙂

This book had great writing, awesome characters, and a believable plot and situation. I inhaled this story. I couldn’t stop reading, wondering what would happen next. I found myself asking what I would do in the situation Carrie and Greg are in, and I hope I never have to find out in real life. Scary.

I highly recommend Life. It was a book I couldn’t stop thinking about once I finished. You can find out about all the characters HERE! It’s such an ingenius character map.  And if you don’t know Rebecca Belliston yet, visit her website enter a Rafflecopter giveaway, and check out Life on Amazon. Happy Reading!

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19 thoughts on “A review of Life (really!)

  1. I love these questions and now you’ve got me thinking about what I would do in a situation like this. I’d probably be the one raiding the chocolate factory for lifetime supplies 😉

  2. I love that the dystopian future deals with a financial collapse. I figure the “end of the world” (should it occur…) won’t be from nuclear war but rather from a cyber attack where everything shuts down, including all financial bodies. Talk about frightening. Nice to see an author explore that premise.

    • Yes. A cyber attack could definitely instigate something exactly like this, and it’s very frightening. There have definitely been times in writing this book when I freaked myself out with, “Oh my goodness, this could actually happen. Yikes!” And yet, I sincerely have enjoyed exploring the premise. Thanks for your comments!

    • It was a pretty scary scenario, especially thinking how easily the dollar could collapse because of the Bozos in Washington who don’t know how to budget to save their lives.

  3. That’s a very interesting premise, and unfortunately a very plausible one. I’m always wondering if there was a easy way to live in a smaller community where people share what they make or grow. Our society has grown so big (and greedy), it can’t sustain this for much longer without change.

  4. Always love getting a glimpse of a writer’s inspiration! Off to check out Rebecca’s site–and probably go find some chocolate. Apparently I’m very open to suggestion!

    • Who isn’t open to suggestion when chocolate’s involved? Hope you enjoy Rebecca’s site. It was fun to play around in. I love the character page.

  5. The photo of the half-eaten Reese’s distracted me to the point I almost forgot what I was going to write! I like the sound of this premise — I don’t think I have run into anything even remotely similar out there. I am curious about her site. I shall go poke around!

    • Ha ha. You made me laugh with the Reeses comment. It is kind of distracting, isn’t it? Sorry…kind of. Hope you like Rebecca’s site. I think you’ll love the character page. It’s fun to play on.

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