The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

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three and a half dragons

So much slang. Just so much. Some was good, some was bad, but there was a lot.

I was not the right audience for The Last Book In The Universe. Unlike Riordan where I can enjoy the ridiculousness even though I’m well above the target audience age, this was written super simply with no whimsy or even particularly good writing so it made the age gap quite obvious.

Good world-building or world tearing apart? I could imagine the smoke and the dirt and the complete lack of proper shelter. I could visualize it better than in some dystopian/apocalyptic movies I’ve seen so that’s a huge plus. I can absolutely imagine everyone teching out with videos injected into their brains. It’s basically Ready Player One but with even crappier shelter. It reminded me of Mad Max but with VR for people to completely veg out.

**Not necessary to the review, just random mumblings** It’s honestly meant to scare young kids into realizing that all that time in front of the TV can rot their brain. TV can be educational, but most people aren’t watching National Geographic or even a particularly enlightening or emotionally fulfilling drama show. Sorry, I don’t watch TV so I often come across like a curmudgeon about it. I do find myself thinking “kids these days don’t read” but then I remind myself that most of the “kids” I see are in the college library which means that they are at least keeping the library going and also they are incredibly busy. I didn’t even read much in college because I had so much going on (at least those first couple of years). Once I got the hang of college I read voraciously. **end of random mumblings**

I enjoy Ryter as my bookish soul reaches out to the one educated person in a city of teched out people. Also, he isn’t condescending to Spaz or anyone else which is a hugely difficult thing when he knows the damage they are doing to their brain. I personally would have enjoyed an adult book about Ryter rather than a children’s book about Spaz. I want to know how Ryter survived up to this point and how he managed to keep his possessions. I want to know what books he read before they were all destroyed.

The story sort of falters when they reach the city. There’s not as much drive or interest because Spaz just kind of shrugs and assumes they will take care of everything. He got to see paradise but becomes complacent because of it.

The ending is horrifying. **Spoiler alert** The mentor gets torn apart/ dragged behind a vehicle. It’s really not a positive ending. Not to mention it’s not a hopeful ending. The ending is just a well shucks maybe we’ll try to fix this later, like a decade or so from now, but you probably won’t live that long so that sucks. **end of spoiler alert**

Overall, The Last Book In The Universe was a quick read so I can’t grumble too much and the beginning was enough to pull me in and make me want to finish it. I’m just not satisfied with the ending, but others may be. Read it and tell me what you think.

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