This is the sequel to Costa-shortlisted The Carbon Diaries 2015 and it continues to document the fate of London and, indeed, Europe, as they fight to survive the carbon rationing introduced to prevent the disastrous consequences of global warming. The planet is in crisis and it seems that the government will stop at nothing to impose its will.
Books featuring teenage diary writers have carved a considerable niche for themselves and here Lloyd captures the voice perfectly – edgy, witty, clever, heartfelt. Laura Brown is determined that the world should hear her band, dirty angels, and understand the message of protest against the government’s draconian methods which they bring to the public forum. Realising this dream is far from easy in the locked-down city which London has become and she is constantly urged to raise her eyes and see the persecution which is inflicted on those who do not succumb to the will of the government.
The narrative takes to the European stage when Laura’s boyfriend Adi falls ill with malaria whilst working at a refugee camp and is transferred to a hospital in Sicily. As Laura and her friends travel across Europe to reach him, they encounter a world of threat, violence, deprivation and fear – all conveyed through the hip patois of their conversations and Laura’s journal.
As Laura struggles to cope with the danger and assimilate her changing feelings about Adi, her parents are fighting their own eco-battles back in England. Communities draw together to move towards self-sufficiency and away from the yoke of government oppression. Lloyd makes our world very real and very changed. She also makes it clear that moral integrity is of paramount importance – especially when heavily laced with humour, friendship and music. She creates a dynamic cocktail that grabs up her readers and takes them along, wild-eyed, for the ride.