Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
This book is about a karass. (Straight from Urbandictionary):
A karass that develops significantly from the moment Ardor, an asteroid, is spotted and seen as dangerous to human society. The chapters in the book are a countdown from 10 as the asteroid gets closer to closer to Earth. We hear the voices of the athlete, the slut, the slacker, and the overachiever throughout the novel and how they correlate to one another.
There’s nothing like an end-of-the-world situation for major character development. 🙂 In this case, the characters realize what kind of impression they really want to leave in life before the asteroid hits and they discover the selves that were hidden behind the facade placed for their family and friends.
“Ardor had already delievered its stale but necessary message: Life was just too goddamn short.”
The months before the supposed demolition of Earth is one of new realizations for Peter, Eliza, Andy, and Anita. They learn how to defy their loved ones, to seek out something more than what they sought before, to not give up, to take as much as they get, to live life to the fullest, to fall in love.
“A sensation somehow totally new and totally familar at once. It was the glistening green blossom of jealousy, and deeper down, beyond the place where the stem met the firt, the parched and greedy roots: love.”
Each character has incredible depth and reading their stories made me wish I was a part of their karass. They are all unique and I feel like readers will relate to at least one of them, whether it’s the jock Peter or the obedient Anita or both. (I’m 5% Andy, 65% Anita, 10% Peter, and 20% Anita tbh.)
I love the concept of an asteroid hitting Earth and the way the author explored it. Shit is happening (furreal) and the reactions of the populous is quite realistic. We have people committing homocide, suicide, stirring up trouble, and all kinds of wickity wack stuff. It’s not surprising though, since the world is ending and all.
“One guy showed up with a sawn-off shotgun and started screaming about how he was going to blow away whoever was responsible for imprisoning his son. It took an hour to convince him to hand over his weapons in exchange for a slive of pizza.”
I can just see this kind of thing happening in the real world if we knew the world was ending, can’t you?
I wrote this review while listening to the album Tommy Wallach made in companion to this story. Check it out on Bandcamp here! Love the style, and love the way in some songs we start with little instrumentation like piano+voice and add more as the song plays. ❤
Oh! I also want to say that when I was reading this book at school, a lot of friends commented on the aesthetic of the cover. I just really love the minimalistic title above the characters at the bottom, okay? It would’ve been better if the cover was glossy though because my finger keeps making marks on the black sky part. ;( To be honest, I like it more than the UK cover.
Which one do you like better?
Overall, this book was beautiful both inside and outside, as well as the companion album. Some people may not be happy with the ending, but I found it quite fitting to the story. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long, long time.