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America Pacifica

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  961 ratings  ·  199 reviews
America Pacifica is an island hundreds of miles off the coast of California, the only warm place left in a world in the grip of a new ice age. Darcy Pern is seventeen; her mother has gone missing, and she must uncover the truth about her disappearance--a quest that soon becomes an investigation into the disturbing origins of America Pacifica itself and its sinister and rec ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  961 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-end

this is a new slant on the old dystopia.

so, north america has been consumed by a second ice age, and all that's left is this one island off the coast, reinforced by heaps of garbage that is gradually crumbling into the sea. whatever survivors were able to escape from the cold remains of the mainland struggle for survival under a system that is blatantly unfair and led by some egomaniacal lunatic who ignores the suffering and makes wild promises and plans that cannot be fulfilled. however, there
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"People like you and me, we're the next generation."

This was a very odd book. At first, it was jarring - full of weird lingo, a lot of food with the word 'jelly fish' in front of it, and jobs and locations that were familiar but not. Soon enough, I got the rhythm of the storytelling and it all started to meld together. The circus, the missing, the hunt, the rulers and the haves/have nots. It's still a weird story that didn't feel cohesive from beginning to end but it was interesting.

I thought fi
May 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: lovers of teen dystopic fiction
Maybe the problem with this book is that I read it t0o soon after Catching Fire, which shone a light on how poorly drawn the protagonist was and how little I cared for her compared to my feelings for Ms. Katniss Everdeen. Overall, I think the premise of this book was good, and I thought many of the details of what it was like in America Pacifica were well done, but I never felt like Darcy was fully developed as a character, and **SPOILER** I didn't understand how she suddenly became a hero to ev ...more
May 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
America Pacifica by Anna North

The growing trend in dystopian fiction has sucked me in hook, line and sinker. I thought I was getting another gem with AMERICA PACIFICA, the concept seemed so very original. Yet, unfortunately the tone and descriptions of the world ruined it for within the first few pages. The novel was just too gritty, the descriptions left a terrible taste in my mouth and I felt like I was swallowing back bile as I read through these pages. This, I guess is a remarkable testament
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is actually entitled, "America Pacifica" by Anna North. The cover is correct (stating Anna North) and the ISBN number goes to "America Pacifica," NOT "Teaching Children Tennis the Vic Braden Way." This book is amazing (America Pacifica), so when Goodreads fixes this error I will rate the book as such. Sadly I've never read a book by Vic Braden, but Ms. North's book is about a near future where the world is in a second ice age. Everyone seems to live on a small island that still retains ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, fiction
I had to chew on this book a while before I could write this review. It is without question very well-written, a literary dystopian novel with an intriguing setting and a strong protagonist. However, the plot seems to stumble a bit right when it should be cresting.

We do not see many characters in great depth. The reader lives in Darcy's head, and Darcy doesn't let herself get close to anyone. People you think you should trust turn out to be less than trustworthy, and really, it's a good thing th
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Think Winter's Bone crossed with Ship Breaker, spiked with a little bit of The Hunger Games, and you have a good idea of what is excellent and maybe not so excellent about America Pacifica. The not so excellent thing is that because the market is so heavily saturated with dystopian worlds and headstrong girls in search of justice and/or their family members, this will seem like so many things you've already read and loved before. Perhaps in contrast it will fall short. You might be tempted to pu ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oh boy, where to start? I had originally picked up this book because it seemed like a really interesting premise. Darcy, a young woman, is faced with the mystery of her mother's disappearance on an island that many from America flee too after a sort of Ice Age takes over the mainland making it uninhabitable. And the premise was but it wasn't particularly well executed. This book is gritty, very gritty. Some parts of the book are almost stomach turning, which I don't usually have an issue with wh ...more
Anne Marsh
Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
'm not sure what to do with AMERICA PACIFICA. The book has one of the most gorgeous covers I've seen recently and some absolutely riveting world-building, but it wasn't what I expected, which left me disappointed.

I was looking for a more traditional, fast-paced post-apocalyptic story, where much of the book focuses on the journey and the characters' struggles to survive in their changed world. This is a much more established world-- the characters already have their places and the story's empha
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, fiction
This was a pretty disappointing read. The protagonist was . . . difficult to like or empathize with. I also didn't really believe in the world the author had created. Set maybe 50-60 years in the future, after climate change created an ice age all over the US, 20,000 people made it to a far off and uninhabited island that they proceeded to completely trash. Somehow, they were still able to have beef and tobacco and cheese [food], and young people understood tons of references to things that are ...more
Jul 09, 2017 marked it as dnf-or-not-for-me
For my written post, please check out the link below:
Debra's Book Cafe

Debs :-)
Anna North’s America Pacifica is a grim, imaginative but ultimately sad novel set in a dystopian world in which the United States has been reduced to an island teeming with filth, waste and suffering. The past -- the happy American land of plenty we know -- is nothing but a tattered memory in the minds of the elderly. Though Darcy is resourceful, she’s decimated after her mother’s disappearance -- and I could feel the panic, bewilderment and fear seeping through the pages.

In fact, that’s how I f
Jessica Oban
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
TL:DR Skip it. Wimpy, whiny, and undeserving hero who doesn't do anything the rebels could have lived without. Overuse of the words "sea" and "sweat".

How is this girl a hero? The only thing that she does that is the least bit heroic is in the final pages, after the battle and after she's been declared a hero. Everything that happens to Darcy is because time/place, not because she actually made decisions to affect something. Even then she does everything grudgingly while pouting.

It's not like sh
After a second ice age overtakes North America, America Pacifica is one of the few habitable places in the world, a volcanic island. Darcy lives on America Pacifica with her mother, poor but relatively content. Until the day her mother doesn't return home from work. As Darcy sets out to find her, she learns more about her mother's mysterious past and the disturbing truth and circumstances surrounding the founding of America Pacifica.

America Pacifica was fairly enjoyable. It suffered a little bi
May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I received this book from the Goodreads Giveaway. I really wanted to like it, but couldn't even bring myself to finish it. I found myself wanting to grab a red pen and start editing away. I was confused by the writing within the first page (2 nameless female characters were introduced in addition to the narrator in the first paragraph. The second paragraph refers to one of them as Sarah - I thought it was the first character mentioned, or a new fourth character, but it turned out to be the secon ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Working through how I feel about this book. The writing was good, detailed, and vivid. I felt like I was there, which is a little unfortunate given that it's not a pleasant future that North has painted. In the year 2043, a teenaged girl named Darcy lives on an island in the Pacific after North America has succumbed to the Ice Age's second coming. Her mother goes missing one day and that disappearance unravels Darcy's whole life as she embarks on a search for her.

The novel is dark and gritty, le
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I liked this book so much more than other dystopian novels I've read lately. Probably because it's so plot-driven. All dystopian novels present a bleak vision of the future, and in this book it's a fairly near-term future (2040's) when an ice age leads everyone to abandon North America and colonize an island in the Pacific where it's still warm. Life on the island totally sucks -- the rich people keep on living with all the comforts of home, while the poor live in shantytowns ma ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't mind the grittiness of the writing or the harsh environment descriptions at all. It actually seemed to make the setting of the book more realistic to me. I suppose if something like the premise of this book were actually to happen, that would be how it would really be.

I enjoyed the twists and turns and visiting the different places along with the main character. I thought that the characters she meets along the way to finding her mother added depth and made t
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I very much enjoyed this book. It is set in 2043, and America has turned into ice, and some survivors moved to a new island between Hawaii and California, and established a new country - America Pacifica. 15 year old Darcy grew up there, and it is a very unequal society with her and her mom barely scrapping by. When her mom disappears, Darcy goes on a hunt to find her and in doing so uncovers secrets about the ruling people of America Pacifica, the mainland, and about her mom. This future world ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I might have liked this more if I haven't read such mindblowingly phenomenal books in the same category this year. It was a well done dystopia with a teenage girl protagonist but it did not blow me away. I can't decide if I loved the references to contemporary pop culture. I think it was supposed to make it seem scarier because it should make it feel more close to now but do we really expect a 17 year old girl who grew up on this island with only her mother who refused to talk about the past to ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Only read this book if you have a morbid curiosity to experience the reality I am about to describe: America Pacifica is a twenty-year-old dystopia located on an island--colonized after survival on the mainland of North America has become impossible due to a sudden and swift ice age--controlled by a ubiquitous and ultimately debilitated man via propaganda and violence against incoming ships seeking to rescue people from the overcrowded city. Add to that a tendency for the main character--who was ...more
Samantha Allen
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was a really interesting concept that was, I think, a little poorly executed. North set up a really great dystopian-future world, and the story's plot, which is driven by the main character's need to find her mother, seemed promising. But about halfway through the book the world starts to dissolve a little -- it begins to feel too unrealistic, and my willing suspension of disbelief started to dwindle as I read it. Also the characters never fully materialized for me. They seemed like shadow pu ...more
Steph Su
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this. Oh, I did. My gods, I wanted to finish this--until I put it down after approximately a 90-minute sitting... and then never got back to it. There's nothing wrong, per se, about the book. North is a talented author. Her world-building's spectacular: I could pretty much see this world about which she writes, this conglomeration of cultures and classes all crammed on a small tropical island. But I honestly felt no investment in the characters. And that, I guess, is what has se ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is getting tiresome. Another review disappeared. Oh well, I didn't have that much to say - this is one of those averaging an "A" and an "F" for a "C-"....

Well written, postapocalyptic tale with an unsympathetic protagonist and everyone else is awful. Hard to root for anyone. Reminds me of why I liked Battlestar Galactica so much - the question wasn't so much whether mankind would survive, but rather whether we deserved to survive...

But. Well written, especially for a first novel. Just nothi
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-magic
I enjoyed this book, AND I was put off that it is marketed as fiction and not sci-fi (like maybe sci-fi isn't a good enough genre or something). I also found it dark in that dystopian way that is depressing. I wanted some more info about the people who stayed in North America to adapt to the cold and change their habits...maybe there will be a book two?!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison Smith
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow! a dystopian novel which leaves you wondering if it might'nt be a better choice to succumb to the encroaching ice rather than battle on as a survivor on a small island ... Anna North is able to convey atmosphere brilliantly - novel is sort of Blade Runner plus. Recommended. But not a jolly read, I have to say.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. I like the premise, but it's hard to make it through a book when you don't like the main character. I didn't feel like cheering for Darcy, and the first half of the book took me over a week to get through, because I was so disinterested. It picked up after that, but even then I was not able to care much for anyone in the story.
Joël Doty
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Dystopian novel that takes a simple concept - A young woman wants desperately to find her missing mother - and turns it into a page turner. A pretty dark world with a female protagonist willing to get what she needs!
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a generally interesting take on dystopian society. I had this feeling at times it was a bit contrived, manufactured. But overall, I enjoyed it.
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Future Wastelands: April 2014 - America Pacifica 1 9 Apr 01, 2014 06:40PM  

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Anna North is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her first novel, America Pacifica, was published in 2011, and her second novel, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark will be published by Blue Rider Press in May 2015. She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, and Salon, and is now a staff editor at the New York Times.

Learn more on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
“Maybe she had some sort of extraordinary quality, secret even to her. Maybe she did have the power to alter the things she'd always assumed she'd have to endure.” 3 likes
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