Frida lives with her husband Cal in a house out in the woods, away from civilization. After the world as they knew it collapsed, they were lucky to find a peaceful place to live. But now, Frida is pregnant, and she doesn’t feel secure in the home they’ve made for themselves. She convinces Cal that it’s time to find out what’s beyond their little enclave, even if it means sacrificing their tranquil lives.
California is a book that’s gotten a lot of hype, and I can’t say that my raised expectations served me well with this novel. That’s not to say it’s bad by any means; I raced through it, eager to discover what was beyond every page. The secrets and lies took me on a twisty ride, and I was eager to discover what was at the core of California. However, as I turned the last pages, I found had issues with the book. For one, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters; each of them seemed selfish to me, unwilling to confide in or work with the other characters. What’s more, the revelations in the book just seemed lackluster. I always thought there was something slightly more sinister around every corner, and what ended up being the truth didn’t exactly satisfy me.
That being said, if you’re tired of the ridiculous lengths dystopian books seem to go to these days to shock readers, then California might be exactly the novel you’re seeking. In some ways, I appreciated the fact that it didn’t try to go too far; it’s a more realistic depiction than most I’ve seen. If you enjoy novels of this sort, it’s worth seeking out. If you don’t, then it’s still worth the read, just because some of the issues that bothered me do set it apart from other books in the genre.