I know... This isn't the kind of book I usually read. But something about the cover intrigued me, so I picked it up at the library and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Set in a dystopian future where sea level rise has wiped out most of the coasts and people are fighting for resources elsewhere, Jay and his family have found refuge in Karloff County. Karloff is a gated resort for the super-wealthy and to ensure the guests get the best possible experience, a large staff of "helpers" live within the walls to run everything. Jay's family are helpers and grateful to be there where they don't have to fight for scraps of food and where life feels relatively safe.
Until Connie, one of Jay's tight group of friends, disappears overnight without a word. And then a huge influx of the world's richest people start pouring into the resort and not leaving. And these guests expect even more than the regular guests and are not afraid to use their power to get what they want.
Desperate to figure out what is going on and why their safe little community has suddenly become decidedly unsafe, Jay and his friends start digging for the truth. And what they discover is worse than anyone could ever imagine. Karloff County isn't just a vacation spot - it's been designed to be a bolthole for the world's most powerful, a place to hide while civilization outside the walls crumbles and burns to the ground.
As Jay and his friends uncover horror after horror about the place they've been happy to call home, they have to figure out whether it is more dangerous to leave Karloff County or to stay.
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. Dystopia is not usually my jam, but this world was so preposterous, so over the top, I kind of believed it. I mean, if the world is ending, why not hide out in a place that's like Disneyland times ten? If you can afford it... The characters were well drawn and distinct and I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on alongside them.
So I'd recommend this one.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:Welcome to the funnest spot around . . .
Jay is living his best life at Karloff Country, one of the world’s most famous resorts. He’s got his family, his crew, and an incredible after-school job at the property’s main theme park. Life isn’t so great for the rest of the world, but when people come here to vacation, it’s to get away from all that.
As things outside get worse, trouble starts seeping into Karloff. First, Jay’s friend Connie and her family disappear in the middle of the night and no one will talk about it. Then the richest and most powerful families start arriving, only... they aren’t leaving. Unknown to the employees, the resort has been selling shares in an end-of-the-world oasis. The best of the best at the end of days. And in order to deliver the top-notch customer service the wealthy clientele paid for, the employees will be at their total beck and call.
Whether they like it or not.
Yet Karloff Country didn’t count on Jay and his crew--and just how far they’ll go to find out the truth and save themselves. But what’s more dangerous: the monster you know in your home or the unknown nightmare outside the walls?