This was yet another of the book club suggestion for our June CBR book club, with the theme The Future is Queer. I had nothing to go on except the book description but thought it sounded interesting and the short chapters and multiple POVs made it a relatively quick read.
Official book description:
Seven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.
When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.
For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.
With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.
So the premise of this book is that it turns out Earth and all the people and creatures living on it is basically some big science experiment for a bunch of aliens, who now deem the project a failure (mostly because humans have bollocksed things up pretty badly at this point) and want to basically press the big red destruct button which will end all human life on the planet. However, the proper procedure has to be followed, and there are those who are for full-scale destruction of the humans and those that feel it would be unethical and wrong. So they send a message that Earth has seven days to get its affairs in order, so to speak, before the final verdict will be delivered.
Naturally, not everyone believes in the aliens, but the vast majority of people do and naturally start panicking. We follow three teenagers in the week that leads up to the final decision. Jesse lives in Roswell, New Mexico and decides to help his struggling single mother get enough money to pay their bills by setting up a fancy-looking device and claiming he can send messages to the aliens. The people flocking to Roswell seem more than willing to pay, even the ones who suspect it’s most likely a hoax. Cate is forced to watch her schizophrenic mother turn herself over to the authorities to be committed and decides to go looking for her missing father. Along the way, she starts travelling with Adeem, a young man looking for his sister, who left without leaving any forwarding address after coming out to the family as gay.
Full review here.