Finding books for teenaged boys is tough. When my sons were in their teens I couldn’t find stories they were interested in that weren’t adult. By adult, I mean R-rated, at best. Books written for boys are for younger boys, not bad stories but written with 8-to 13-year-olds in mind. I’m hearing that the problem is the same now, maybe worse.
I recently finished reading a series of books that I thought, “I’d give this to my son to read.” The 2020 trilogy by Ever N. Hayes is a near-future apocalyptic adventure told through the eyes of one family and their friends.
The story begins in Book 1, Emergency Exit: 2020, when the United States has been attacked with multiple chemical weapons by a multi-national coalition. The very few who survive are making their way to the one safe state: Hawaii. Ryan and his two adult children Danny and Hayley, along with friends begin their trek from the woods of Minnesota. Along the way, they encounter others with the same goal and enemy outposts looking for survivors to imprison or kill.
The story is engaging. Some of the well-developed characters are the kind of people I’d like to have coffee with. I immediately purchased the next in the series. (Gotta love e-books. It’s possible to start the next book in a series without waiting for a hard copy to arrive.) The most impressive, though, is the fact that 2020 has no graphic violence, gory descriptions of torture and death, no foul language, and no sexual content. A book written for adults that I would let a teenaged boy read.
The second in the series, Redemption 2022, includes an unmarried couple living together, but again no sex scenes. The same is true of the third, Scars and Stripes: 2025.
One of my favorite genres is apocalypse stories, zombie or otherwise. I wish more of them relied on good storytelling, as Hayes does, rather than graphic violent and sex scenes, and foul language.
Although I recommend this book for adults and teenagers, parents should read ahead and not just rely on my word.
My only negative about the 2020 series is it is only a trilogy. If you’re looking for good stories for your teenaged son or enjoy a good thrilling story, I highly recommend the 2020 series.
(Note: Evans just released a new edition of Emergency Exit: 2020 on July 16. The new edition has 80,000 more words. Evans says on his Facebook page, “other than the plot, it is nothing like it was before.” My review is based on the original edition.)
by Ever N. Hayes
Emergency Exit: 2020
99 cents (Kindle)
Scars and Stripes: 2025
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