Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book 21 - The Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd - London, England

The diary entries of Laura Brown are not light weight or frivolous by any means. Laura is writing her diary in 2015 - the first year of the new carbon rationing in Britain. Everyone is issued with a carbon credit card and their daily use of carbon itmes (electricity, transport, food imported) is all monitored and rationed. For any teenagers the prospect of rationing use of the Internet or electricity for their rock band is daunting. Even more worrying along with the extremes weather events throughout Europe - snow blizzards in winter, drought and heat waves in the summer, her own family is facing their own extremes. Laura's older sister Kim rebels by sneaking away to Ibiza a couple of times in one month taking the whole family into carbon debt. Her father Nick, loses his job as a teacher in tourism as no one canuse their carcbon credit on travel anymore and her mother finds all the stress too much to cope with. Laura records all the events happening around her with the self obsessed focus you would expect of most teenage narrators. She has to adopt an elderly person in need, though her neighbour Arthur seems to bring with him some unusual perspectives into this situation as he remembers the rationing from post war days. 
With all the complexities of modern life, the usual ones of teenage life and global warming this novel is quite a read. Lloyd has a sequel already published - The Carbon Diaries 2017 and a film offer from the BBC.

Saci Lloyd's website has a brilliant book trailer for the diaries.
The Guardian story about the film of the The Carbon Diaries