The unthinkable has happened: we’ve run out of oil. It’s not because of anything really drastic: there have been no catastrophic natural events or wars. There is simply no more oil. Which means no more gasoline. What happens now?
It came on suddenly, leaving 14-year-old Dewey Marriss and his four siblings home alone — their parents are stranded in Maine on vacation — for who knows how long. They were only supposed to be home, running the family’s bike shop, which never really got much business, for a week. Now, the little bike shop is suddenly no longer little. Bikes are the new transportation and everyone needs theirs in working condition. Now. It’s something that Dewey and his brother, Vince, can handle (while older sister Lil manages the homefront) but the longer the crunch goes on, the more stressed the siblings become. It doesn’t help that Dewey thinks parts are slowly going missing; can he figure out who the thief is before everything completely collapses?
It’s a vaguely dystopian premise, and an interesting one to explore: what would happen to society and the infrastructure if the oil — for whatever reason — ran out? The book doesn’t go as far as a true dystopian does; there’s no mass breakdown of society, there’s no struggling to live. In fact, there’s really very little about the larger crisis situation. It really is a story of how Dewey and his siblings deal with the crisis, and how their friends pull together to make it work. And it’s really fascinating how that happens. It helps that Connor’s writing is incredibly engaging: she keeps the story simple, yet doesn’t talk down to her readers. There’s a mystery surrounding the missing parts, but it comes on slowly. It’s not really a central plot line in the book, but it’s still interesting to try and figure it out, and there’s a nice twist involved, as well.
It’s an immensely entertaining book, one keeps you turning pages until the very end.