Pulse / by L. R. Burkard. (Pulse Effex series, 1) 9.19.2016

Lilliput Press ISBN 9780979215483

HS Grade 10 and up Rating: 4

L. R. Burkard, a new voice to young adult fiction, wrote a number of adult historical romances under the name Linore Rose Burkard. Her first venture into YA fiction is Pulse, a suspenseful contemporary novel about a major disaster, told from the viewpoint of three teenage girls.

In Pulse, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) hits the earth and life comes to a grinding halt. Andrea Patterson, Lexie Martin, and Sarah Weaver are friends with very different family situations: Andrea comes from a wealthy family, Lexie lives on a farm, and Sarah lives on the top floor of an apartment building. When the EMP hits, they must face their worst nightmare–the failure of the electric grid. Sarah’s family has been preparing for disaster, but not the others. What happens to family relationships, neighbors, and life in general when technology comes to a stop? Who will survive beyond a few days when food starts running out?

Burkard uses first-person narration by the three 16-year-old girls, similar to a journal format. The EMP disaster is a chilling possibility in our future. By using each girl’s experience, the author depicts realistically what could happen. Pulse is more than a young adult book–adults will find it a clean (no drugs, alcohol, or sex) book with minimal violence, a book that may cause them to think about how they would face the situation of the electric power grid failing. Ms. Burkard tackles an EMP from a young adult point of view in this book. Readers who read this book might consider the real possibility of an EMP and how to plan for that.

Recommended for school and public libraries. Resilience, the second book in this series, was published in May 2016.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com