Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
Set in London, this sometimes funny novel answers the question: What happens when the environment goes completely out of whack and Great Britain is the first nation to voluntarily ration carbon for each citizen, forcing everyone to decrease their energy use by at least 60%. In a practical sense, what this means is that people cannot “afford” to drive their cars much anymore, heat their home adequately, or use all the electricity they want. What it means for the main character Laura is that she has to limit her cell phone use, take ridiculously short showers, and save up carbon points just to practice with her band. The government hooks up “smart meters” in everyone’s home so each family member can check the progress of their personal carbon ration allotment. If they go over by too much, the meter starts shutting things off!
While all this sounds (and is!) pretty serious and devastating, this book is saved from being bleak by it’s snarky and irreverent narrator, 15-year-old Laura. When she’s not busy failing her courses at school, she’s the bassist in her eco-punk band called dirty angels. Her story is told in the form of diary entries, liberally illustrated with sketches, emails, and posters, allowing readers a glimpse into her day-to-day life in a world where people are finally having to deal with the repercussions of global warming.
This is a must read for fans of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and other futuristic fiction, and readers who like humorous, sarcastic and realistic teenage narrators.