Hot Best Seller

Trashlands

Availability: Ready to download

"This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.” –Publishers Weekly starred review From the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn "This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.” –Publishers Weekly starred review From the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce any new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency. In the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become, Coral is a “plucker,” pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She’s stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for the strip club at its edge, where the local women dance for an endless loop of strangers and the club's violent owner rules as unofficial mayor. Amid the polluted landscape, Coral works desperately to save up enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her stolen free hours, she does something that seems impossible in this place: Coral makes art. When a reporter from a struggling city on the coast arrives in Trashlands, Coral is presented with an opportunity to change her life. But is it possible to choose a future for herself? Told in shifting perspectives, Trashlands is a beautifully drawn and wildly imaginative tale of a parent's journey, a story of community and humanity in a changed world. “A harrowing tale that is a natural extension of our current climate crisis.... Highly recommended.” –Booklist, starred review


Compare

"This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.” –Publishers Weekly starred review From the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn "This thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.” –Publishers Weekly starred review From the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce any new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency. In the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become, Coral is a “plucker,” pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She’s stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for the strip club at its edge, where the local women dance for an endless loop of strangers and the club's violent owner rules as unofficial mayor. Amid the polluted landscape, Coral works desperately to save up enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her stolen free hours, she does something that seems impossible in this place: Coral makes art. When a reporter from a struggling city on the coast arrives in Trashlands, Coral is presented with an opportunity to change her life. But is it possible to choose a future for herself? Told in shifting perspectives, Trashlands is a beautifully drawn and wildly imaginative tale of a parent's journey, a story of community and humanity in a changed world. “A harrowing tale that is a natural extension of our current climate crisis.... Highly recommended.” –Booklist, starred review

30 review for Trashlands

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Trashlands by Alison Stine is a quiet but impactful read. It presents a look at what our world may end up like if we don’t start caring for our planet right now. Mass flooding and other natural disasters caused by climate change have shrunk North America and completely changed everyone’s way of life. In this new world, nothing is definite, and everything is a struggle. Women are more vulnerable than before the floods; children are often forcibly taken to labour camps; plastic is the new form of Trashlands by Alison Stine is a quiet but impactful read. It presents a look at what our world may end up like if we don’t start caring for our planet right now. Mass flooding and other natural disasters caused by climate change have shrunk North America and completely changed everyone’s way of life. In this new world, nothing is definite, and everything is a struggle. Women are more vulnerable than before the floods; children are often forcibly taken to labour camps; plastic is the new form of currency. In an area renamed Scrappalachia, Coral lives with her partner on a junkyard known as Trashlands. Trashlands is a dance club owned by a vile man called Rattlesnake Master, the self-appointed Mayor of the community. Rather than work as a dancer, Coral is a plucker, someone who salvages usable plastic from the shore and woods. In her limited spare time, she creates art sculptures from scraps and leaves them in the woods for people to do what they will with them. Several years ago, Coral’s son Shanghai was forcibly taken to a children’s labour camp. Since then, Coral has been trying to save enough plastic to buy his freedom. A reporter named Miami arrives at Scrappalachia with a vague goal of trying to find something. Miami’s life becomes intertwined with the people of Trashlands, and his presence opens up the possibility of changing some of the lives in the community. This story has multiple perspectives and a timeline that jumps from the past to the present and vice versa. I found it less jarring as the story progressed. Usually, when reading from multiple POVs, I’ll prefer one perspective over another, but with this book, I found them all engaging. Mr. Fall and Coral were definitely my favourite characters. This novel is paced slowly and is meandering, but it managed to capture my attention entirely. While this book explores some dark themes, there is still a lingering hope that permeates through, signalling that it is not too late to change things. CW: child abuse/neglect, drug usage. Thank you to MIRA for the arc via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Trashlands by Alison Stine is a dystopian science fiction fantasy novel. The story is one that is told by changing the point of view between a few characters and is set in a future world in the United States. Years from now the landscape of the continents will be changed with the coastlines changing which herded people inland. The global powers around the world agreed to cease in the production of plastic which in turn made it more valuable than ever with it becoming the new currency. Coral lives Trashlands by Alison Stine is a dystopian science fiction fantasy novel. The story is one that is told by changing the point of view between a few characters and is set in a future world in the United States. Years from now the landscape of the continents will be changed with the coastlines changing which herded people inland. The global powers around the world agreed to cease in the production of plastic which in turn made it more valuable than ever with it becoming the new currency. Coral lives among the Trashlands in a place junkyard in Scrappalachia always searching for a way to survive. Coral’s child was stolen from her and taken to the recycling factories to work where only small hands can manage. Coral has never given up hope that she will one day find her child again so when a reporter shows up she sees it at a sign to change her life. So Trashlands by Alison Stine is mostly getting glowing reviews but I found myself on the outside looking in once again when I read this novel. For me the biggest thing that kept me from becoming engaged in this story was the lack of world building involved. I never found myself understanding the hows and whys to get myself connected to the rather disturbing world inside with ladies at a dystopian strip club putting up with the violence. Since I was in the minority I’d say if this one is on your radar give it a try for yourself. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    I recently read Stine's first novel, the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award winner Road Out of Winter, and really liked it. I liked Trashlands slightly less, but still found it to be an immersive read. The book is set in the near future world ravaged by climate change, in an area of extreme poverty. Scavenging for plastic forms the basis of the survival-driven economy of the poor. But even while people spend most of their energy just trying to survive, they also try to find ways to live - through art, re I recently read Stine's first novel, the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award winner Road Out of Winter, and really liked it. I liked Trashlands slightly less, but still found it to be an immersive read. The book is set in the near future world ravaged by climate change, in an area of extreme poverty. Scavenging for plastic forms the basis of the survival-driven economy of the poor. But even while people spend most of their energy just trying to survive, they also try to find ways to live - through art, relationships, and sharing with others their memories and their stories. The book is not plot driven, but instead features a more experiential slice of life. The characters, their feelings and experiences, hopes and fears, their interactions with each other and their surrounding environment, are the real feature here. The picture being painted is of a difficult life of poverty (always universally and exponentially worse for women and children), the daily struggle to survive, and the little things that make life "a life." There is no real beginning and no real end, just a segment of time where the reader gets to drop into the lives of the characters. Alison Stine is a poet whose writing is suffused with imagery and emotion, but also at times somewhat fluid with respect to anchoring events in time. It all does come together, the events accreting in an organic fashion, unfolding in the mind of the reader to form a layered whole. This is a book to experience and to soak in, to think about about the people in it and their efforts to live and to persist despite the difficult world they live in. It's not a book for everyone, I don't think, but it was good for me. People had thought there would be no more time, but there was. Just different time. Time moving slower. Time after disaster, when they still had to live. . . . But once you left a place, it was hard to come back. Mr. Fall knew that. You forgot the way. Or the way was blocked by debris, floods that washed away the path, fire that cut a new path. You ran out of money, plastic, food. You were needed in a new place. You needed other places, other people, more. . . . Letting go—that was how you lived. Holding on too hard, too long, could end you, sure as an animal stuck in mud.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    Trashlands is a very haunting tale of a future post-apocalyptic world in which plastic becomes the currency of the world following a climate apocalypse. Away from the cities, in a junkyard known as Trashlands in Scrappalacia, Coral lives in an old school bus with her adoptive father, Mr Fall, and her man, Trilllium. Life is extremely hard for Coral and the others as she searches and “plucks” plastic from the river to help feed her family. Trillium works as a tattoo artist, and Mr. Fall teaches s Trashlands is a very haunting tale of a future post-apocalyptic world in which plastic becomes the currency of the world following a climate apocalypse. Away from the cities, in a junkyard known as Trashlands in Scrappalacia, Coral lives in an old school bus with her adoptive father, Mr Fall, and her man, Trilllium. Life is extremely hard for Coral and the others as she searches and “plucks” plastic from the river to help feed her family. Trillium works as a tattoo artist, and Mr. Fall teaches school to the children of the junkyard. Nearby, a stripclub known as Trashlands is where the self-proclaimed Mayor of Trashlands lives with his bright pink neon sign powered by solar. Evil Rattlesnake Master makes sure everyone who lives there has to depend on him for food to survive. Men wander into his club to watch the dancers and drink homemade brew spending their hard earned plastic. Two of the dancers are friends with Coral and her family and do what they can to help Coral find her son. Seven years before, Shanghai was snatched at the age of 7 to work in a factory to sort the plastic that would be made into bricks. The plastic bricks were the new materials to use to build homes, or other buildings. I love post-apocalyptic stories and Trashlands is one that will stay with me for a long time. I really found myself rooting for Coral, her family, and her friends. It was really eye opening to see how they survived on almost nothing whatsoever. No clothes, shoes, medicine, food, even water. They knew how to make do with almost anything, bark, weeds, plants, and especially, plastic. This was a tale of a very dark and very bleak future. But I couldn’t get it out of my head and would pick it back up every chance I had. *Thanks to Harlequin Books and NetGalley for the advance copy!*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    ➙ 3⭐ ➙ Narration 😕 = Should’ve Had More Narrators ➙ Narrated by 🎙️Brittany Pressley ➙ Dystopian ➙ ♻Plastic is king👑...and currency💲 ➙ Non-ending for an ending ➙ Cover 💕Love💕 I should have known...after the first book by this author, that also didn’t have an actual ending that this probably wouldn’t either. I don’t get it. Did I miss something...because it felt like everything was happening and we were at the climax of the story...and then...end credits. And that last chapter; WTF was that? Seriousl ➙ 3⭐ ➙ Narration 😕 = Should’ve Had More Narrators ➙ Narrated by 🎙️Brittany Pressley ➙ Dystopian ➙ ♻Plastic is king👑...and currency💲 ➙ Non-ending for an ending ➙ Cover 💕Love💕 I should have known...after the first book by this author, that also didn’t have an actual ending that this probably wouldn’t either. I don’t get it. Did I miss something...because it felt like everything was happening and we were at the climax of the story...and then...end credits. And that last chapter; WTF was that? Seriously though this story had everything going for it, great writing, premise, characters, authenticity...it just needed to be finished. This is exactly what happened in her other book Road Out of Winter. I’m not a “write your own ending” kind of person...I feel like someone stole my book so I couldn’t finish it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Not since I read Station Eleven have I fallen this hard for a book that is fairly bleak, but so beautifully done that it pulls you in. Trashlands is a look at the land of Scrappalachia. A world after a cataclysmic world climate event has decimated everything that we once took for granted. Numerous plants and animals alike, a thing of the past. A new generation of people exist who can barely comprehend a world where things were once single use, or convenient. Instead, this is a world of survival. Not since I read Station Eleven have I fallen this hard for a book that is fairly bleak, but so beautifully done that it pulls you in. Trashlands is a look at the land of Scrappalachia. A world after a cataclysmic world climate event has decimated everything that we once took for granted. Numerous plants and animals alike, a thing of the past. A new generation of people exist who can barely comprehend a world where things were once single use, or convenient. Instead, this is a world of survival. One where a single wrong step can mean your death. And yet? People manage to thrive. We all know that characters are my favorite parts of stories, and so I have to give a ton of love to Alison Stine for the vast tapestry she weaves. Coral and her family are vivid, and sturdy. Even if the reader is thrown into the story without much explanation, it’s not hard to understand Coral’s way of being. She is used to a world where men rule, and women suffer the consequences. She has known hurt, and loss, in a way that has altered her forever. Around her are numerous other people, each eking out their own meager life as best they can. From Trillium, the tattoo artist, to Foxglove, the sex worker, each one has their own unique way of dealing with the world. I loved that Stine didn’t attempt to build any fake levity here. This story pulls no punches. It shows each person’s struggles in vivid color, but that also allows the little bits of happiness to leak through and shine brighter. It’s the kind of story that once again reminds us that we should be more present in the moment, and thankful for what we have. This would have easily been a five star read for me, if only it did a bit more of a deep dive on what actually occurred to cause this new world. Since I am heavily a character driven reader, it didn’t bother me as much as it might some people. The way this story is told is almost poetic in a sense, which makes sense now that I know Stine is a poet as well. The story walks this line of tense atmosphere that keeps you on your toes. I was happy to see the people I met fully fleshed out, rather than quickly rushed over. The world never felt large per say, but in a way that felt like exactly what it was supposed to feel like. Still, for people who are more focused on world building, Trashlands may feel a little unsatisfying. The other slight issue I had was that some of the messages here felt a little heavy handed, especially set against such a poetically told story. Again, this is definitely a story that is pushing people to pay attention to climate change and our part in it. It never pretends not to have its own sense of feminism either, with the female characters constantly assessing this “after” world ruled by men. These things never pulled me out of the story, but I do feel they might affect other readers differently so they are worth mentioning. Am I glad I read this book? Absolutely I am. It was gorgeous. A huge round of applause to Alison Stine and this work of art.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terry Tyler

    Some decades from now (anything from 50 to 100 years' time, I believe), the earth has flooded, many flash fires have occurred, and waters are polluted by industrial waste and plastic. Society as we know it has broken down, and new ones have emerged. The currency for the poor is plastic - they 'pluck' it from the water and sell it for recycling into house bricks, which affords them a meagre, subsistence-level way of life. Coral, Trillium and Mr Fall live in Scrappalachia, formerly without the 'Scr Some decades from now (anything from 50 to 100 years' time, I believe), the earth has flooded, many flash fires have occurred, and waters are polluted by industrial waste and plastic. Society as we know it has broken down, and new ones have emerged. The currency for the poor is plastic - they 'pluck' it from the water and sell it for recycling into house bricks, which affords them a meagre, subsistence-level way of life. Coral, Trillium and Mr Fall live in Scrappalachia, formerly without the 'Scr', a vast area of junkyard. Their own corner is dominated by a strip club: Trashlands. Meanwhile in the cities, the workers are a different sort of poor. They live a hard life, too: a high rate of crime, queueing for food, and little in the way of comfort. As often with this genre of book, what I was most interested in was the world-building. At first there was frustratingly little, just a few snapshots showing how the current situation came to be, but it built up as the story went on with much more detail near the end, by which time it meant so much more than if I'd learned about it from the beginning; the narrative often divulged information in words left unsaid. I liked how the fashion for names has changed; mostly, people are named for places, plants and animals that I imagine no longer exist: Tahiti, Miami, Foxglove, New Orleans, Mangrove, Golden Toad - and Coral. There is no big apocalyptic happening but a slow deterioration of the world we know, starting with the floods. This means, of course, that there is also a gradual deterioration in intellectual possibility and knowledge of the world, as the internet and TV no longer exist and most books have been destroyed; also, the people are more concerned with staying alive than being educated. It's like a move back to medieval times, but with a polluted world rather than vast areas of lush green and clear water waiting to be utilised. The story is told in medium length chapters from many points of view - Coral, her man Trillium and her 'father', Mr Fall; also Foxglove and Summer, 'dancers' at Trashlands, Rattlesnake Master who owns it, reporter Miami from the city, and a few others. Always my favourite structure if done well, and this was. The story itself centres around an event in Coral's earlier life, but the plot seemed like a backdrop for this detailed picture of our future world, rather than the opposite way round. There were a couple of areas that I thought could have done with a bit more thinking through, like how the people of the junkyard would have been unable to work or survive on a diet of insects, weeds and the odd rat, and that petrol and diesel deteriorates in about a year at most, but every post-apocalyptic story I've ever watched or read ignores this second point; if it's good enough for The Walking Dead, I'll suspend my belief here too 😉. To sum up, I was absorbed by this book all the way through, thought about it afterwards and would love to read more. There: that should be all the recommendation you need!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    3.5 stars The first half was more like 3 stars, because I couldn't connect with the story. The narrative felt a bit arbitrary and meandering. I was missing drive. The second half went more towards 4 stars with a powerful open ending in the way that already convinced me in the author's "Road into Winter". 3.5 stars The first half was more like 3 stars, because I couldn't connect with the story. The narrative felt a bit arbitrary and meandering. I was missing drive. The second half went more towards 4 stars with a powerful open ending in the way that already convinced me in the author's "Road into Winter".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Q. Rada

    This was a total title/cover grab, and it was SUCH a good one!!!!! Mad Max dystopia but make it a climate disaster? Plus that ambiguous ending thoughhhhhhh!!!!!! 🙀🙀🙀 Check your trigger warnings for this, though. She dark.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Stone

    Book: Trashlands Author: Alison Stine Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Mira Books, for sending me an ARC. I loved Alison’s first book, Road Out of Winter, so much. It was one of those books that just pulled you in and left you wanting to read more. There is just something about the way she writes that just pulls you in and makes it very difficult to get out. She presents everything in a manner that is so real and it just makes you feel as if you are there. You are in Book: Trashlands Author: Alison Stine Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Mira Books, for sending me an ARC. I loved Alison’s first book, Road Out of Winter, so much. It was one of those books that just pulled you in and left you wanting to read more. There is just something about the way she writes that just pulls you in and makes it very difficult to get out. She presents everything in a manner that is so real and it just makes you feel as if you are there. You are in the Trashlands with the characters, experiencing all the horrors and joys of what the characters are going through. Plus, the situations that the characters are put in could actually happen. I think that is the scary about this book. Everything that happens in this book could actually happen. We are dealing with a world in which society has pretty much broken down and now everyone has to pick up the pieces. We see people out trying to come up with ways to survive. Some of the characters have to do things that they normally would. Coral is the character who comes to mind whenever I think of this. Her son has been taken from her and is now working in the factories. We see her putting herself in situations with the hopes of trying to get him back. We also have young women working at a strip club because, again, they have no other options. So many people are put here because of that reason. There is no choice. The only other choice is to die and many of these people do want to live. They have this desire to keep on going. It really makes you stop and wonder what you would do if you were in their situation. Would you have the will power to keep on going or would you just lie down? I like it whenever books make you think about what you would do if you were in the same situations as the characters. The characters we meet throughout the course of the book are very complex and developed. Again, this all comes down to the situations that they have been forced into. They are a product of the world again them. However, some have chosen to use what life has thrown at them for good, while others have not. It just depends on what the characters have decided to do with their lives and what to make of them. We do see a lot of people bringing out the good in humanity. We see them come together and try to have a somewhat normal life. We also see a lot of people bring out the not so good aspects of human nature. Again, it all comes down to how you are going to deal with the situation. Once again, it also makes you questions what you would do if you were in the characters’ situation. Again, I think what I really liked about this book is the fact that it pulls you in and really makes you think about what you would do if the world fell apart. I know it kind of did in 2020, but this is on a whole other level. If you are looking for a science fiction book that makes you think and seems real, I highly encourage you to pick this one up. You will not be sorry that you did. This book comes out on October 26, 2021. Youtube: https://youtu.be/f738VWG_1GI

  11. 4 out of 5

    David V.

    Received as an ARC via my employer Barnes & Noble. Started 8-30-21. Finished 9-3-21. Wanted to read it in one day but 3rd knee surgery got in the way. Don't you just hate stuff like that?! Anyway this book is fantastic. Not a wasted word. Takes place in the (unfortunate) not-to-distant future when coastal flooding has eliminated many cities, plastic and chemicals have ruined the earth(although plastic becomes the currency of barter),and the Midwest is the junk capital--Scrappalachia. The life of Received as an ARC via my employer Barnes & Noble. Started 8-30-21. Finished 9-3-21. Wanted to read it in one day but 3rd knee surgery got in the way. Don't you just hate stuff like that?! Anyway this book is fantastic. Not a wasted word. Takes place in the (unfortunate) not-to-distant future when coastal flooding has eliminated many cities, plastic and chemicals have ruined the earth(although plastic becomes the currency of barter),and the Midwest is the junk capital--Scrappalachia. The life of these Pluckers is heartbreaking yet somehow impressive with their ingenuity and often hopefulness. The goal to stay alive and their efforts to form "families" is foremost. I wanted to know more about these people---what happens next. Always leave them wanting more! Would make a terrific movie or TV series. Now I have to read the author's first book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    It's not often that I enjoy reading post-apocalytpic fiction about how we destroyed the planet, but Trashlands is a very notable exception. Then again, it's not often you'll find a post-apocalyptic novel that's this beautifully written. It took me a few chapters in to realize that the story was bouncing between the present and the past, but once I got past that I was good to go. The characters all have unique and well-rounded arcs and the world Stine imagines is vivid in its bleakness. The abrup It's not often that I enjoy reading post-apocalytpic fiction about how we destroyed the planet, but Trashlands is a very notable exception. Then again, it's not often you'll find a post-apocalyptic novel that's this beautifully written. It took me a few chapters in to realize that the story was bouncing between the present and the past, but once I got past that I was good to go. The characters all have unique and well-rounded arcs and the world Stine imagines is vivid in its bleakness. The abrupt ending took me by surprise but didn't disappoint me in any way. And yeah, you'll probably look at the plastic you pass on the side of the road a little differently after this read. I received an advance review copy of Trashlands in a Goodreads giveaway.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is one of my favorite books to read in a long time, and I read a lot of books. The whole world has gone to hell and about the only jobs left are scavenging for used plastic or dancing in a dump of a joint called Trashlands. Everybody has gone through something traumatic in their lives and yet they still bond and care about whoever and whatever they can make into a family life. Scavenging for food, for garbage, for acceptance. Trying to protect children (who are kidnapped to work in factorie This is one of my favorite books to read in a long time, and I read a lot of books. The whole world has gone to hell and about the only jobs left are scavenging for used plastic or dancing in a dump of a joint called Trashlands. Everybody has gone through something traumatic in their lives and yet they still bond and care about whoever and whatever they can make into a family life. Scavenging for food, for garbage, for acceptance. Trying to protect children (who are kidnapped to work in factories sorting plastic) protect themselves, protect what little freedom and family life they have. Despite all the problems, the good people are people readers will care for and relate to, and the bad people are bad in all the bad ways and if you relate to them then that's icky. The residents of Scrappalachia are so isolated that they don't know that cities still exist, that there are jobs in the world that aren't scavenging or dancing in dives. All strangers are to be distrusted until one day a kindly reporter arrives from a big city, looking for his sister who has gone missing. And you know what happens when an outsider arrives. Their world turns up-side-down. (Actually, there are a lot of outsiders, but most are men drunk of alcohol made from rot, there for nothing other than ogling dancers. Will the kidnapped child ever return? Will the characters get out of their grueling lives? Will the main character bite her lip until she tastes blood? (Yes, but only once so my bite-o-meter did not even wiggle.) This is one heck of an exciting ride, even if few of the cars of the world still run. Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin (who knew Harlequin printed horror?) for allowing me to read this post-apocalyptic ARC ebook.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stacy DeBroff

    Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reader’s copy. This book is simply amazing! It’s an eco-dystopian thriller set in the near future, when the Earth has been ravaged by climate change, rising sea levels and flooding, chemical leakages, and plastic pollution. Much of the land has turned toxic and the few remaining barely-getting-by-cities rely on recycled plastic bricks both as currency and building materials. in a place called Trashlands located Scrappalachia (a future play on Appalachia, here se Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reader’s copy. This book is simply amazing! It’s an eco-dystopian thriller set in the near future, when the Earth has been ravaged by climate change, rising sea levels and flooding, chemical leakages, and plastic pollution. Much of the land has turned toxic and the few remaining barely-getting-by-cities rely on recycled plastic bricks both as currency and building materials. in a place called Trashlands located Scrappalachia (a future play on Appalachia, here set vaguely in Southern Ohio), the destitute spend their days hunting through a highly polluted river for recyclable plastic that they can sell, much like panning for gold in bygone days. Plastic has become the new currency. Picking through trash for plastic that has not been recycled before, they barely scrape out an existence as they face hunger, poverty, lack of nutrition, violence, an evil overlord, and scavenging kidnappers coming in randomly to snatch young children for factory work due to their agile fingers ability to pick out small usable plastic pieces. At the center of Trashlands stands a neon-lighted strip club which attracts the worst kind of men, staffed by well-meaning women who turn to sex work to survive. Rattlesnake Master runs not only the club but treats Trashlands as his own fiefdom. He charges residents for food, electricity and basic at jacked up prices much like the factory company stores of old. At the center of this story stand three strong compassionate women survivors, single mom Coral and club workers Summer and Foxglove, who transcend their abject poverty and the misogyny of the men who come into Trashlands to get intoxicated and laid. By their sides are compassionate men looking out for them: Coral’s surrogate Dad, Summer’s lover and teacher of the children, Mr. Fall; Coral’s older boyfriend Trillium, and a reporter from the city coming to avenge his sister’s death in Trashlands. The action centers on pulling together the resources to rescue Coral’s son who was kidnapped years prior, and who has his own narrative interludes while imprisoned in the plastic brick factory. It comes together with heart and ferocity, where the instinct to survive and to draw ones you love close transcends into hope and conquers evil. You want these characters to be your best friends if you found yourself in an apocalypse, and you hope that you would have the heart and grit to make it through like they do. This books also resonates with you long past finishing it- and you’ll never look at the massive plastic trash that our consumer lives generate and pollutes the Earth the same way.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Johnson

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Alison Stine is back with another spectacular work of speculative fiction. Set in the near future, Trashlands transports readers to another vision of Stine's dystopian Appalachia. In Road Out of Winter, Stine envisioned a world in a state of near-perpetual winter, and now Trashlands showcases a world devastated by floods and tornadoes, where most cities are barely still standing and plastic is the only form of cur I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Alison Stine is back with another spectacular work of speculative fiction. Set in the near future, Trashlands transports readers to another vision of Stine's dystopian Appalachia. In Road Out of Winter, Stine envisioned a world in a state of near-perpetual winter, and now Trashlands showcases a world devastated by floods and tornadoes, where most cities are barely still standing and plastic is the only form of currency. Full of Scrappalachian plastic gatherers called "pluckers," and workers at the Trashlands strip club, Trashlands is a quiet analysis of how much things can change and how much they can stay the same--power is held in the hands of a few, traumatic events have lifelong consequences, and love is complicated. This novel has firmly cemented Alison Stine into my "auto-buy" authors category. Come chat with me about books here, too: Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chaya Nebel

    In an unspecified future, water has flooded the coast of the US, and the characters of the novel live in a place called Scrappalachia, where they scrounge for plastic of any sort, the new currency in this new world. The novel tells the story of several of these sad and desolate creatures, all living in a garbage dump called Trashland. Their stories are bleak and sad, and tell of missing children, illiteracy, sex workers, hunger, child labor, air and water pollution, etc. It's not a happy or upli In an unspecified future, water has flooded the coast of the US, and the characters of the novel live in a place called Scrappalachia, where they scrounge for plastic of any sort, the new currency in this new world. The novel tells the story of several of these sad and desolate creatures, all living in a garbage dump called Trashland. Their stories are bleak and sad, and tell of missing children, illiteracy, sex workers, hunger, child labor, air and water pollution, etc. It's not a happy or uplifting story at all, so if you're in the mood for a dystopian desolate read, this is it. There are some weird narrative choices here, such as the characters' being named after plants, seasons and places instead of regular person names; there is also a question of why if only the coasts were ruined, is life not still OK inland? And why wouldn't these people move there? Why don't the characters know what "air conditioning" is? (instead using their made-up word "chillers"?) It would help to know how many years from our future this takes place. On the one hand, the children are ignorant of basic luxuries or the function of ordinary objects we take for granted, suggesting this is at least several hundred years' hence, but then there are characters, like Mr. Fall, who clearly has a memory of these past times (and teaches this "history" to the kids)... it's a little confusing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I was super excited for this after really enjoying the author's debut . And so my expectations were high, sure. But Trashlands? Yeah, blew my expectations right out of the water. I adored this book, so much. And now I shall tell you why. ►It is so full of heart. These characters have been through it, yet they're still surviving. Some survive for themselves, some for their families, You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I was super excited for this after really enjoying the author's debut . And so my expectations were high, sure. But Trashlands? Yeah, blew my expectations right out of the water. I adored this book, so much. And now I shall tell you why. ►It is so full of heart. These characters have been through it, yet they're still surviving. Some survive for themselves, some for their families, but they try so hard to make their lives mean something. Coral, the main character, is trying desperately to get to her son, who was stolen by what amounts to child traffickers.  And everyone in her life strives to help each other as best they can, even in the most dire of circumstances. ►The world was kind of incredibly done. The author alludes to life outside of "Scrappalachia", but it is where the main story takes place. It truly seems plausible that at the end of the world, trash is all that remains. That people are finally forced to reuse everything, to make something new from the refuse our generations leave behind. It's bleak, for certain. The few who do have wealth treat those who don't.... well, you know, as you'd expect- horribly. The strip club in the sea of garbage is a shining example. The owner not only owns the club, he owns all the foreseeable land around it, and in essence, everyone on it. People steal, cheat, lie, and it's messy, to be sure. ►The atmosphere was spot-on. I mean, it's garbage world, so you'd need it to be pretty bleak! And it was, but with definite hope, too. The homes were made of scavenged vehicles, odds and ends the occupants find along the way. The land itself was desolate, and barren, which was fitting too. ►It was thought-provoking and emotional. Obviously it was thought-provoking in its relevance, but more than that, it brings up so many questions of how the reader would handle these situations, too. And you cannot help but feeling absolutely devastated for Coral, for so many reasons. Without going into too much detail (for fear of spoilers of course), Coral's story absolutely tugged at my heartstrings- and her desperation to find her son was gutting. ►I loved the characters so very much. Beyond the fact that they were all survivors (of all varieties), they were all really well developed and unique. I loved that they all had personalities and goals and lives, even in such bleak times. Like yes, survival was a priority, but they all also were their own people beyond that, which I found especially lovely. Bottom Line: Absolutely loved everything about this book, cannot wait to see what Alison Stine has for us next!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    [ BLOG TOUR ] Thank you to Mira and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Trashlands is an engaging novel reflecting a likely future of our world through haunting and lush details. Through multiple POVs comes a story of love and sacrifice, estrangement and community, living and surviving, art and purpose. And plastic has become the currency that rules all. I read this book in quiet fascination, riveted. Existing alongside the complex, deeply scarred residents of Trashlands as they worked and s [ BLOG TOUR ] Thank you to Mira and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Trashlands is an engaging novel reflecting a likely future of our world through haunting and lush details. Through multiple POVs comes a story of love and sacrifice, estrangement and community, living and surviving, art and purpose. And plastic has become the currency that rules all. I read this book in quiet fascination, riveted. Existing alongside the complex, deeply scarred residents of Trashlands as they worked and scavenged day in and day out in order to survive. The setting has its own dismal magnetism. Trashlands is the name of the strip club and the surrounding area. It’s located in Scrappalachia (the Appalachians in North America), specifically the Ohio region for most of the story. Some cities (The Els) survived the floods, fire, storms and pollution. City life is a tenuous illusion of normalcy, vastly different from that of Trashlands where homes are made with garbage, bugs are a cuisine, and women and children are the most vulnerable. The proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” rings true in this forever-changed world. People have had to get creative in how to use and reuse plastic, clothing, medicine, and more. As I got to know the characters, I grew to care deeply about them. For Coral, doing all she can (giving all she can) to one day buy back the son she lost. For Foxglove, a dance at the club, trying to exist (to cope) in a body not fully her own. For Trillium, distancing himself from the pain of the past through his work as a tattoo artist. To name a few. The author has constructed a cast of dynamic and likable characters and their heartrending stories. I liked that we got a range of memories/perspectives of those who remember life before the floods and those born into this new life. I have never read speculative fiction or climate fiction before, so I wasn’t sure if I would like the story. But I was pleasantly surprised by how invested I was with what was going on. Trashlands was a really good read. There’s a lot to say and think about. The falling action was particularly touching after going through so much with the characters, experiencing the struggles of their world, and reliving their darkest memories. I highly recommend this story!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    TRASHLANDS is a somber story fighting for your family in a place dubbed Scrappalachia, home of Trashlands, a "dance club" owned by a very evil man. But the evil here is in which they have to use plastic as currency while living in basically a large trash dump. The cost to stay living there? Oh... just one child. As they have the tiny hands that can sort and pick through plastic easier than the large hands of the adults. Uff. Y'all. This book is extremely well written. For me, it was a bit of a tr TRASHLANDS is a somber story fighting for your family in a place dubbed Scrappalachia, home of Trashlands, a "dance club" owned by a very evil man. But the evil here is in which they have to use plastic as currency while living in basically a large trash dump. The cost to stay living there? Oh... just one child. As they have the tiny hands that can sort and pick through plastic easier than the large hands of the adults. Uff. Y'all. This book is extremely well written. For me, it was a bit of a trudge to get through as the slow pacing, multiple POVs and ping ponging between past and present and the subject matter had zero levity within. I'll tell ya though, this is a wake up call to what we as a society are doing to our planet. I couldn't imagine living in a trash dump or ever even consider plastic being something of a commodity and to which they use to barter/buy. Everything is outdated and younger generations will never know of... well, I suppose the nicer things in life. It is scary to think that this world could actually progress in this manner. With dystopia you always have the good and the bad, the will to go on and to also just give up entirely. This is more character than plot driven and I do wish there was a little more to the world building or at least more detail as to how we came into this situation... but I think we can, as readers, make a pretty solid freaking guess. Go into this one knowing you'll get quite the story. It's grim and raw and won't be for everyone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Thatcher

    This story depicts a (hopefully alternate) near future that is post-climate apocalypse, where manufacturing and society as we know it is a thing of the past and plastic is currency, life … all that is left. The characters that populate “Scrappalachia” are struggling with conditions we can hardly imagine and versions of the patriarchy and capitalism that we sadly can. This is a different and interesting story well worth the read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Disappointing. I should preface my review by noting that I was a huge fan of Road Out of Winter and was very much looking forward to this. Set in Scrapalachia at some time in the not too far future, it's the story of a group of people who survive by picking plastic and live gathered around the Trashlands strip joint. Coral, who was found as an abandoned baby by Mr. Fall, is meant to be the centerpiece as she aches for her son Shanghai, who was taken by a gang to work in a plastic recycling facto Disappointing. I should preface my review by noting that I was a huge fan of Road Out of Winter and was very much looking forward to this. Set in Scrapalachia at some time in the not too far future, it's the story of a group of people who survive by picking plastic and live gathered around the Trashlands strip joint. Coral, who was found as an abandoned baby by Mr. Fall, is meant to be the centerpiece as she aches for her son Shanghai, who was taken by a gang to work in a plastic recycling factory. There's also a couple of strippers, three good men, a bad man, and so on. The world building is weak- I never understood what happened, why the plastic was in Scrapalachia, who was paying for the plastic the people picked, why on earth Miami thought he could find a single pink plastic bracelet and so on. The time line didn't work. The perspective jumps from person to person, which usually doesn't bother me but I kept getting Foxglove and Summer confused. And then there's Shanghai. Stine has a lot to say about our overuse of plastic, among other things, but she lost me. It's grin,, dark, and horribly gritty. Thanks ro the publisher for the ARC. I'll be the odd one out.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steph Carr (LiteraryHypeWoman)

    Don't go into this expecting high action (like I did) because it's not there. It's a slow burn story of a mother trying to survive in a near-future dystopia and dreaming of getting her son back. Stine does an amazing job at world building and development I'd this society where plastic is currency and the conveniences we enjoy now don't exist. It's written beautifully once you get that it's a picture of their life, not an adventure story. Don't go into this expecting high action (like I did) because it's not there. It's a slow burn story of a mother trying to survive in a near-future dystopia and dreaming of getting her son back. Stine does an amazing job at world building and development I'd this society where plastic is currency and the conveniences we enjoy now don't exist. It's written beautifully once you get that it's a picture of their life, not an adventure story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Do you ever read a book and wonder about the person who imagined it? I sit here in awe of the author right now. Such a logical dystopia with fully realized and believable characters and life, and such truth regarding our future in ways I hadn't even an inkling about. I was mesmerized a bit by this book and am so glad I read it. I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and hereby pass on my recommendation you read it wholeheartedly! Do you ever read a book and wonder about the person who imagined it? I sit here in awe of the author right now. Such a logical dystopia with fully realized and believable characters and life, and such truth regarding our future in ways I hadn't even an inkling about. I was mesmerized a bit by this book and am so glad I read it. I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and hereby pass on my recommendation you read it wholeheartedly!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cara Wood

    This is a wonderful story of resilience and love set in a bleak future. I had the pleasure of speaking to the fabulous Alison Stine about her experience writing this (she lived in a school bus for a week!) https://deaddarlings.com/meet-alison-... This is a wonderful story of resilience and love set in a bleak future. I had the pleasure of speaking to the fabulous Alison Stine about her experience writing this (she lived in a school bus for a week!) https://deaddarlings.com/meet-alison-...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    This book is wonderful! It hit all my sweet spots -- environmentalism, sustainability, strong female characters, multiple perspectives -- not to mention the fact that it is incredibly well written.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a review of an uncorrected proof, that was given to me via my library system. (Free ARC for completing some volunteer training.) I've been pondering my review for the past week, because ultimately I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Trashlands teaters between being speculative fiction and full blown dystopian fiction, which is fine, and the world built by Stine is definitely interesting - I would have loved to have seen more of the world in the cities and away from the junkyard surro This is a review of an uncorrected proof, that was given to me via my library system. (Free ARC for completing some volunteer training.) I've been pondering my review for the past week, because ultimately I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Trashlands teaters between being speculative fiction and full blown dystopian fiction, which is fine, and the world built by Stine is definitely interesting - I would have loved to have seen more of the world in the cities and away from the junkyard surrounding the titular Trashlands strip club. The story of massive environmental damage and devastation is told from a handful of points of view, all surrounding our main protagonist, Coral, a naive, redheaded "plucker" and artist. Coral lives in an old rainbow painted school bus with her tattoo artist partner Trillium, and is surrounded by a group of loyal friends, including Mr. Fall (her adoptive father), Miami (a reporter who becomes an instant friend), strippers Summer and Foxglove, and their lives of extreme poverty and hardship as Coral avoids the gaze of Trashlands' owner/operator Rattlesnake Master. All while Coral tries to earn enough plastic to find and free her missing son, Shanghai. In this world, pluckers scavenge plastic, primarily from waterways, to be resold for industrial use (no new plastics are being made), and children are regularly kidnapped and forced into unsafe working conditions processing the plastic. This is one of those books that avoids being totally bleak, by maintaining an underlying shimmer of hopefulness. Everyone is living is abject poverty, without enough food, no clean water, and where a simple injury becomes life threatening without readily available antibiotics. But they find love, they find purpose in art and education, and they plug along with this idea that they can do more than just survive. That said, there are a few things about this book that make no damn sense. It takes place some unspecified time in the future, and presumably the massive storms that have destroyed much of the country took place about 20-40 years ago. But the ages of the characters are incredibly nebulous, which in and of itself isn't an issue, the problem comes when the characters of various ages don't seem to line up very well with what they remember in what I will refer to as the "before times." For example, Mr. Fall is the oldest character, and he might be about 50, and Summer is probably somewhere in her 40s. They both remember things in the "before times," but Mr. Fall was under 10 when the floods came, and so Summer shouldn't be old enough to remember anything from those times if that's the case. Also, not everyone died during these cataclysmic events, so it doesn't necessarily make sense that the names of certain items have shifted so drastically in basically one generation. Also, let's talk about food. There is a whole scene from when Coral is pregnant where a midwife tells her she needs to be eating more insects - OK, sure, she's growing another person, she needs more protein. But... where are they getting these insects? They talk about how hard the scavenging is, they can barely find roots and berries, the prey animals are scarce, crops aren't growing, etc. Where are the crickets coming from? Single crickets aren't exactly easy to catch, and bulk crickets would need to be cultivated just like a crop or raising livestock. Possibly similar, how are the oak trees still pumping out enough acorns to make flour when everything else is dying? Lastly, and this might be a pro or a con depending on your point of view, but somehow this book seemed to dance around the brutality of this future world. Coral becomes pregnant with Shanghai after being groomed by an older man, so she is violated, but in a (relatively speaking) non-violent manner given how it could have gone. At Trashlands, Summer ends up selling a girl to Rattlesnake Master (who remember, spends a lot of time lusting after Coral), and the girl goes happily into her new situation because it's better than the off-page cruelty she's experiencing in her old life. We don't see him phyiscally harm this girl in anyway (which I view as a positive), however, I feel like in any other book he would not have respected the boundaries of Coral, Foxglove, Summer, or Joshua Tree to the extent that he does. Rattlesnake Master's... benign neglect, I guess, didn't feel particularly realistic given the other implied atrocities happening elsewhere (and the story they told about him burning down Summer's vegetable patch because he didn't want them to raise their own food and not be beholden to him). There is another instance involving Rattlesnake Master and Coral later in the book that I won't spoil, that also didn't feel true to how Rattlesnake Master should have acted, given his fixation with Coral. He starts off as this sort of scary boogieman, only to just fade into the background. Regarding the messages around climate change, pollution, and overconsumption, and they are absolutely there, and they are pretty obvious. I'm not sure there is much to be gained by me commenting about them though. I think given the rest of the story, if you are already very concerned about these things this book isn't going to make you any less concerned, and if are not concerned about these things, I suspect this book isn't going to start making you be concerned.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Destiny

    Content Warnings: Violence, Death, Drugs, Human Trafficking / Kidnapping, Body Shaming, Manipulation / Sexual Coercion, Pregnancy / Still Birth, Starvation Rather than "dystopian" (as Goodreads seems to describe the novel), Trashlands is a post-apocalyptic novel (hopefully I'm not the only person that makes that distinction). After the floods come and reshape the continents, mankind is surviving in the only ways they know how. Some people continue to live in cities, where luxuries still exist bu Content Warnings: Violence, Death, Drugs, Human Trafficking / Kidnapping, Body Shaming, Manipulation / Sexual Coercion, Pregnancy / Still Birth, Starvation Rather than "dystopian" (as Goodreads seems to describe the novel), Trashlands is a post-apocalyptic novel (hopefully I'm not the only person that makes that distinction). After the floods come and reshape the continents, mankind is surviving in the only ways they know how. Some people continue to live in cities, where luxuries still exist but tend to be unreliable; some people are on their own, stalking through the woods and attempting to survive on the land; but most people seem to find groups and camps to be a part of for however long they can stand it. And the one thing that makes the world go round is plastic. Plastic is snatched up from rivers and dug out of the ground to be used as currency, because as the ways of the old humans are forgotten, plastic is the only form of money that can be trusted. It's the only thing in the world that will last forever. This particular story follows the people of Trashlands, an encampment in the middle of Scrappalachia that is best known for the nearby air-conditioned strip club. The AC, neon signs, bass-heavy music, and naked ladies bring business to the area and help keeps the money flowing into the camp. Or, well, it keeps the money flowing into Rattlesnake Master's (the self-appointed mayor of Trashlands) pockets. We move through several perspectives throughout the story, but most of our time is spent with Coral. Coral is a plucker, one of the people who plucks plastic from the river, and an artist. She's a mother to a long-lost son, as well, but most of all, Coral is just a person who is trying to live in the world. Sometimes she searches for happiness, but other times she just attempts to convince herself that she's happy with the lot she's been given. Maybe even sometimes she is happy with it. We learn a lot about Coral and the other people in Trashlands: what they remember of the past, how they've come to the encampment, and how they cope with all the things they have to do to continue living. It's sad, but in some places it can even be hopeful. For the most part, however, it's just now. The present. And maybe that can be enough for them. I really enjoyed this book and being able to see all the ways the world continued to survive. Mostly, though, I liked seeing what the people of Trashlands thought of the people of the past. Their perspectives had changed so drastically from present day that they can't imagine simply needing to own things, don't understand consumerism in the way we live it now. It was incredibly interesting, and the ending is sort of open-ended, but I do find myself rooting for these characters to get what they want out of life. I definitely recommend this book to people who appreciate post-apocalyptic novels. There is a little bit of social commentary about the continuous, wasteful use of plastic and pollution in the current day, but it tends to be fleeting thoughts from people who are living through a hard time. Most of the time, they have to focus on the present because it's they only way they can get by.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elli (Kindig Blog)

    I enjoyed reading Alison Stine’s debut ‘Road out of Winter’ and I was excited to see how her latest book, also a dystopian fiction would match up to my high expectations. In some ways Trashlands is very similar in feel, but it has some key differences and this one certainly feels a lot more polished. Road out of Winter didn’t focus as much on the causes of the disaster that changed the world (a perpetual Winter that never ceased), however Trashlands gives a lot more backstory on the events. Ther I enjoyed reading Alison Stine’s debut ‘Road out of Winter’ and I was excited to see how her latest book, also a dystopian fiction would match up to my high expectations. In some ways Trashlands is very similar in feel, but it has some key differences and this one certainly feels a lot more polished. Road out of Winter didn’t focus as much on the causes of the disaster that changed the world (a perpetual Winter that never ceased), however Trashlands gives a lot more backstory on the events. There’s been rising sea levels, floods and pollution and the world’s powers have agreed not to make any more plastic – meaning garbage is now currency. The scale of the disaster in a global, or even across state lines way is not explored fully – we only learn of events through character backstory but these small insights make for an interesting read. The story also has a moral of how much plastic we consume and throw away and I certainly felt guilty about my water bottle as I was reading it! Alison Stine really shines at making believable, interesting and gritty characters and this really comes through in Trashlands. We meet Coral - a young mother who uses precious plastic to make art after her child was taken away, her partner Trillium - a tattoo artist, Mr Fall - an older teacher trying to keep the memories of the old society alive and Foxglove – a stripper who allows men to permanently ink their names on her body. The setting is Trashlands: a junkyard converted to a strip club owned by the shadowy Rattlesnake Master who owns everyone and everything inside. We learn a lot about the characters through conversations and backstory and this continues all the way through the book meaning you still have more experiences to learn about to explain why people act a certain way. There were some inconsistencies in this though – although I understand that Coral wanted to make art, sacrificing large plastic pieces that could have been worth a lot of money (money that she is saving to help her find her son) seemed very out of place. I didn’t really understand why she didn’t use nature or another medium instead of something so precious. There’s a fair amount of tension and drama in the book but not too much action happens. I was quite disappointed that the ending leaves a key event hanging in the balance with no resolution but it has kept me thinking about the story for a while after I read it! This is also how Road out of Winter ended – not quite a ‘happy ever after’ conclusion but something which could be taken either way. Overall, Trashlands is a character driven dystopian story with a point to make about how we are harming the world around us. Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin – MIRA for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review. For more of my reviews check out www.kindig.co.uk

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tessa Talks Books

    What I Loved Trashlands by Alison Stine brings the reader to a most uncomfortable place. Why do I love that? I do because it is through discomfort that real change is born. This story is incredibly thought-provoking on a topic for which there are no easy answers. Let’s face it – no one is anti-environment, but there is not a cheap, easy answer for our situation. Plastic is cheap, and recycling it isn’t nearly as cheap as just making more. And, who doesn’t love low cost? How many of us are willing What I Loved Trashlands by Alison Stine brings the reader to a most uncomfortable place. Why do I love that? I do because it is through discomfort that real change is born. This story is incredibly thought-provoking on a topic for which there are no easy answers. Let’s face it – no one is anti-environment, but there is not a cheap, easy answer for our situation. Plastic is cheap, and recycling it isn’t nearly as cheap as just making more. And, who doesn’t love low cost? How many of us are willing to have our buying power diminished by the expense of finding more environmentally conscious methods and products? That’s why Trashland’s impact comes from its ability to put readers in an uncomfortable situation and let them just take in that discomfort. I couldn’t help but think of the prospects of a future in Scrappalachia, which was once the gorgeous Appalachia that we all know in person or by pictures. Imagine that pristine landscape reduced to a place of little life, and lots of trash is sad and mind-blowing. To experience what it’s like to live in a garbage dump and spend your days fishing plastic out of the river to trade for whatever goods are available is just beyond what we would typically consider or would quickly dismiss. And that is just the tip of the iceberg for what the people in this book must endure. All the characters are highly complex and layered. This story is perhaps even more character-driven than it is plot-driven. The theme of family is heart-breaking and powerful, as everyone needs a family to even hope to survive. And, the narration of this story, through multiple first-person narrators, instead of being confusing, ends up making the story even more immersive and impactful. Characters Coral is arguably the main character of this story which features many of the inhabitants of Scrappalachia. She is everything you can hope for in the main character – determined, relatable, and incredibly sympathetic. Life has not been good to her, and to see that level of resilience is just extraordinary. All the narrators are survivors, but Coral has something special about her that compels you to keep reading even as your discomfort grows. What I Wish I wish there were more straightforward answers – that simple. But, I know we must continue to think about the problems and possible solutions even when they make us uncomfortable. To Read or Not to Read If you are looking for a thought-provoking story with strong, relatable characters, then you will want to visit Scrappalachia soon.

  30. 4 out of 5

    M. K. French

    Several generations from now, floods, fires, and earthquakes in the wake of climate change disasters forced global powers to stop producing new plastics and pollutants. Coasts and national borders were redrawn due to the flooding, and entire regions were devastated by garbage, and the survivors of these disasters eking a living out of the poisoned ground. Coral is a plucker, one that plucks plastic out of polluted rivers, living near a junkyard in the shadow of a strip club. She's never had a ch Several generations from now, floods, fires, and earthquakes in the wake of climate change disasters forced global powers to stop producing new plastics and pollutants. Coasts and national borders were redrawn due to the flooding, and entire regions were devastated by garbage, and the survivors of these disasters eking a living out of the poisoned ground. Coral is a plucker, one that plucks plastic out of polluted rivers, living near a junkyard in the shadow of a strip club. She's never had a chance to want anything before, and a reporter from the coast provides the stirrings of hope. I read this book with a barely contained sense of rage. Not because it's terribly written; on the contrary, its spare language is excellent at evoking the quiet desperation of these characters, the men that seek to abuse those without power, and the hopelessness that pervades Scrappalachia. This is a world where children are stolen and forced to work in plastic factories, picking out plastic from sludge and slurry, then make bricks for the rich to build with. This is a world where the disposable trash of our daily lives is the currency bartered for all the trappings of life. A fall or infection could be death, as there is no medicine other than what was scrounged out of a dilapidated and decayed array of buildings. There's no food, water, fuel, or clothing that isn't polluted in some way, gone stale with the lack of knowledge or filters to clean it; when the focus is on survival, information was one of the first things to go. I felt like part of this world, one with the problems of Coral, Foxglove, and Summer trying to eke a life outside what Rattlesnake Master would give them; the glimpses of their pasts are ones of loss and pain, and the families they tried to build for themselves are small and just as broken as they are. I felt their struggles and pains like my own, a testament to Alison's skill. Even those considered rich in the cities aren't too much better off than they are. There are still glimmers of hope here and there, and the future lies in the relationships that people are still able to make. That's the only way to survive, and I wish all of the characters except for the Rattlesnake Master the best.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...