Even Charlie's cross country trip through the snow to get medicine for his mother is planned as well as a teenager can plan such things. The fact that he does meet nice people when he runs into trouble injects a much needed ray of hope into the book. Charlie takes the chance to help Mr. Boncoeur, and is rewarded for his efforts. Mr. Rogers said that in any bad situation you should "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” It's nice to see this evidenced in a book where so many bad things are happening.
The Big Dark will appeal to readers who enjoy Gary Paulsen and Will Hobbs' outdoor adventure, but will also be popular with those who like Dystopian books like Walters' The Rule of Three, Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It, and Dashner's The Maze Runner series.
While I'm not generally a fan of Dystopian books or survival books, I thought that this book took a very realistic view of what might happen in the event of an unexpected power outage. Any book that makes me think seriously about stockpiling peanut butter, and reminds me that I should have a good selection of basic medicines on hand as well, is a book that I know is well written and gripping!