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Days Like This - Alison Stewart What makes books more interesting for the readers is when it has a setting close to home. What made me want to read Days Like This was that it was set in Sydney, but a very different and changed Sydney than that which we know of today. No matter if it was set in Perth or some unknown shanty town in the country, I would have still been filled with excitement because it is set in Australia. Sure, there’s many contemporary books set down under, but not really much of dystopian, the current ‘thing’ growing in YA. We really haven’t had any dystopian story set here since John Marsden’s Tomorrow series. Alison Stewart gave us as Aussie readers a view into a damaging and corrupt society which could be a possibility for many of us in the future.Days Like This is set in a dystopian Sydney where the Commitee controls. Rapid climate changes and disastrous natural disasters strike, immediately dumping those in the outer regions into poverty. Desperate people begin to seek refuge in the city, in need of food, water, shelter; the bare necessities. But the Committee cuts those without wealth and relations in order to successfully sustain its resources by using the Blacktrooper security force to build a wall around the city. Disobeying the Committee is not something you would want to do.Lily, her twin brother Daniel and young sister Alice are lucky to live within the Wall. However, not all is what it seems. Their parents begin acting strangely and soon after, Daniel disappears before he turns seventeen. After the medications they are forced to take and the bracelets forced to wear to avoid them from escaping, Lily knows that something is wrong. That she could be next if she doesn’t escape. But she knows nothing about whats beyond the Wall where her answers lie. Surviving is all that it takes to find her brother and return for Alice too.From the beginning I had a fondness for Lily. She exhibited traits which we find most endearing in a protagonist. Although stubborn and strong, she is benevolent to the point that she would risk her own life to not only save those she loves, such as her brother and sister, but rather those she had only just met. I loved this about her; a person for others. But at times it seemed like she was trying to always be ‘the hero’ than just being her ordinary self.At times the plot is slow and steady but it isn’t until the last third that it takes a turn for the worst and packs an explosive punch. And yes I understand that this world is dealing with environmental issues and climate change and what not, and yes Alison wrote a thrilling, dramatic, intense, graphic tsunami scene, but what I found almost hard to believe from a ‘reality perspective’ is that the tsunami hit at the exact moment when Lily and co. were doing their ’thing’. Besides that, Alison’s description of these devastating scenes were easy to visualise. Walls of water towering over the city. Sydney Harbour being engulfed by water. The terror and devastation in its wake. I found myself caught up in the story just wanting the devastation to end. And then it subsided and I was finally relieved to breathe again.Overall, Days Like This was a cunning new dystopian for Australian readers to devour, which packs a punch in all the right places. However, I don’t believe it needed the epilogue that it has as it felt cheesy after experiencing a whirlwind of a ride just beforehand. Without the epilogue, it would’ve left us craving for more and given us the chance to think what will happen next, rather than being force-fed an ending such as that. I wish I hadn’t read the epilogue and that is final.