Callum and his skater buddies are enjoying their summer vacation in seaside California - skating at old favorite locations and on the lookout for new ones, and looking forward to heading off to skate camp. Their good times are cut short when a close friend dies in a car accident. The boys mourn, then go to skate camp in the foothills of central California. There they have a fantastic time learning new tricks with some pro skaters, meeting new people and solidifying old friendships.
And then all hell breaks loose.
Bombs explode over many American cities, slowly moving across the country until California is hit, as well. Callum and his friends can't reach their parents or their friends left at home, and so they take it upon themselves to sneak away from the evacuation bus and head out on their own.
The boys skate down the foothills and make their way north toward supposed safety. They meet new people, some scary and some helpful, along with way. They even reunite with old friends and family in random cities and refugee camps. Will Callum and his buds find their families in the government refugee camps in Northern Cali? Check out K.V. Flynn's ON THE MOVE, the first book in a post-apocalyptic series, to find out.
While the premise was what drew me to this title, the execution is seriously lacking. I was excited to read about a group of teen boys on skateboards riding for their lives in a post-apocalyptic California!
Unfortunately, the skater jargon and endless descriptions of skating tricks really threw me off. The boys have exciting adventures, but the likelihood of their using skateboards to do things like ride down mountains, escape government refugee camps, and travel hundreds of miles is just not believable.
The boys themselves were diverse and interesting - they ranged from age 10 to 18. Some of the boys came from rich backgrounds, while others were poor, and one even grew up on a Native American reservation with his father and sister. I really liked the interesting cast of characters, but they went through very little development and weren't enough to keep me interested.
ON THE MOVE will appeal to a very small subset of teen readers. I would recommend it to boys who are obsessed with skating and looking for a book they can relate to.