Post-apocalyptic dystopias are very popular nowadays. There is no limit to the number of possible scenarios to explore, from a zombie uprising to a nuclear war.
I’m a huge fan of this genre. I find it fascinating to see what an author’s perception of the aftermath of a worldwide catastrophe is like. As such, I’ve been able learn a thing or two about surviving in multiple scenarios.
Here are a few survival lessons I’ve learned from post-apocalyptic books – I’ll leave the title of the book and its description so you can check it out for yourself.
Ashes; Ilsa J. Bick
This book is about a world that could become our very own at any moment. Anyone that remains alive must learn how to adapt to the new world and not just survive, but also live.
“An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. When it happens, Alex was hiking in the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom―a young soldier―and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.”
What I learned:
It’s best to be a part of a small group rather than a larger one. While the saying goes that there is safety in numbers, it’s easier to protect a small group, avoid power struggles and can go by unnoticed.
This Is Not A Test; Courtney Summers
This was one of the first post-apocalyptic books I ever read. A friend recommended it to me, actually. It’s a zombie apocalypse and emphasizes the importance of safety.
“It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life―and death―inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?”
What I Learned:
If a zombie uprising does happen, in order to survive the apocalypse, your best bet is to take shelter at a mega store or another large, stockpiled building like a school. There’s lots of food and plenty of other items you may need to defend yourself or have for comfort.
Monument 14; Emmy Laybourne
This is a great book for people of all ages. It’s actually the first of a trilogy. It’s full of suspense, the characters feel real and the overall feel of the book brings something a bit new to the survival scene.
“When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves. They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store. Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying.”
What I Learned:
Another tip to survive is that when you’re inside and safe with the people you know, never let anyone else inside, even if they’re banging on the door. They’re most likely going to be a crazy person and who knows what else they’re capable of during desperate times…
Ashen Winter; Mike Mullen
This is the second book to Mullen’s “Ashfall”. Nevertheless, it’s a captivating read and describes life after a super natural disaster. What makes this so good is how real the possibility of this happening for real could be.
“It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this trilogy. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.”
What I Learned:
I had a few key takeaways from this book. First, keep your hair short as long hair is easier to grab. Also, and this may go without saying, but don’t try and start a family in this new world. It’s hard enough to look after yourself, let alone a baby.
I hope that you learn as much as I did from reading these books about how to survive the post apocalypse. Hopefully I will never need them but it’s always good to have a plan just in case the world decides to turn against us. If you want to really get ready for the post-apocalypse, I also recommend you check out this article from CoolThingsChicago.com on the best topics on this subject.