ARC Review: Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain

Book cover for Instructions for The End Of the World by Jamie Kain.

I received an e-ARC from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Instructions for the End of the World
Author: Jamie Kain
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): From the author of The Good Sister comes a gripping novel about two sisters who learn that there are things in life—love, loss, and self-discovery—that you simply can’t prepare for.

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck. 

When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, it’s too much too handle for her mother, who abandons them in the middle of the night. Heading out to track her down, Nicole’s father leaves her in charge of taking care of the house and her younger sister, Izzy. For a while, Nicole is doing just fine running things on her own. But then the food begins to run out, the pipes crack, and forest fires start slowly inching their way closer every day. Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help her when she needs it most, but when she starts to develop feelings for him, feelings she knows she will never be allowed to act on once her father returns, she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and really start living for today?

Instructions for the End of the World is a gripping, young adult novel that explores family, friendship, and love in the midst of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances. 

Goodreads | Book Depository

Sometimes when I read a synopsis for a book or even find the cover to be appealing, I am immediately drawn in. Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain certainly has a fantastic sounding synopsis and the cover is quite stunning. Sadly, the plot of this book took forever to move forward, which I didn’t appreciate. I did enjoy the forest setting, though, which was probably why I continued reading. However, this book is overly unrealistic and hard to believe, which really affected my enjoyment of the novel.

Unfortunately, the plot of Instructions for the End of the World is very slow-paced. The characters took forever to develop, and the story seemed sort of flat. Judging by the summary, I expected this book to be super fast-paced and exciting. However, nothing major really occurred in this book, and it became sort of boring after a while.

Instructions for the End of the World does, however, have an incredible setting. The book takes place in an empty forest, where Nicole and Izzy’s father forced the family to move to. I’ve always enjoyed forest settings, because they are the perfect backdrop for all sorts of things to take place. What I enjoyed even more about this forest was the fact that there is a group of people basically hiding in it. This aspect of the book did actually surprise me, and it was what kept me reading on.

Though Instructions for the End of the World has an interesting setting, it is overly unrealistic. I understand that this book is fictional, but I was honestly rolling my eyes at this book because it is way too unrealistic to even appreciate the rest of the story. I mean, sure the kids could be abandoned, but who moves to a forest that just so happens to be already occupied by other people and tells their kids that it is all to learn survival skills? There were so many elements in this book that I just couldn’t handle because they were so irrational.

Instructions for the End of the World has a slow moving plot and characters that take forever to develop, yet an intriguing and mysterious setting that I really enjoyed. However, this book is extremely unrealistic, which I found pretty unenjoyable. If you are able to open your mind to the plot of this story, then I feel like you would appreciate this book and find that it is the right fit for you.

13 thoughts on “ARC Review: Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain

  1. Faith says:

    Awe, it’s sad that you didn’t enjoy the book :/
    I’ve never heard of this book before but seeing it now the cover is stunning and the title really drew me in. (End of the World? WAT) But slow-paced stories definitely aren’t my thing. I probably won’t be picking it up.
    Great review! 🙂

  2. Jaime Lynn says:

    Well, that is unfortunate! I think that, pretty cover or no, I am going to have to pass up on this one. A slow-paced story isn’t something that I can handle unless the plot is INCREDIBLY good and the characters INCREDIBLY well-written. SO this one is a pass for me!

  3. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books says:

    I just read this one and I was so disappointed. The parents were ridiculous and I can’t believe they even had kids. I also thought this book would focus on them trying to survive more. But it ended up being about two teenagers just waiting for their parents to come home. Like you said, nothing really happened and the ending was a big nothing. Great review.

  4. aleciask says:

    Such a let down wasn’t it? I totally agree with the slow pacing and the unrealistic elements to the story and it’s what left me really disappointed in the read.

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