Rooney's mom is not worried that she just lost her job because November 17th is not that far away. Mom is a member of the Next World Society and believes that the family will be taken away by aliens on November 17th to live on a planet that is not affected by climate change. Rooney is not a believer and has no patience for her mother's beliefs, especially when Rooney's younger brother David seems to be getting on board with the Society's dogma and turning against Rooney. At a loss for what else to do, Rooney turns to her long absent father. She just wants some money to help in the short term but he offers other help after the prophesied day comes and goes and the group's charismatic leader disappears with all their money.
Who doesn't love a cult story filled with crazy people following an unscrupulous leader? On those points, this book didn't disappoint. Rooney's mom and the other Next World people are so frustrating in their beliefs and in the way Rooney is pushed to ascend with them on November 17. And watching David slip away from her in his worry about being left behind is heartbreaking. What's not so crazy about this cult is that the followers are green warriors, hoping to find a world where people actually care about their planet. I can see how that would lure people in because the enormity of climate change is too much to face sometimes. So some of the beliefs of this group didn't seem quite as wacko as your typical religious cult. I think that's a super-smart and intriguing choice that van Dam made there.
But aside from the unusual cult, the rest of this book was not as intriguing. I wasn't wrapped up in Rooney's day to day life and romance, which quickly faded into the background once they found each other. In many ways things could've been covered more quickly to keep the pace up, but then the end of the book suddenly jumped ahead at light speed to give us a synopsis of what had been left out. More consistent pacing would've benefited the overall story.