Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?
Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.
High school student Erin’s life is in shambles after a run of bad luck. She is worried that she will not have what it takes to get into a top college. She decides to opt for a work-study program in New Zealand to add to her résumé.
It’s evident from the beginning that Erin leads a privileged life in America. When she arrives in New Zealand she is taken aback by her host family’s small, cold, house. Erin often comes across as spoiled and bratty.
This was one of three recent books I read that take place in New Zealand. The scenery seems amazing and New Zealand definitely a place I’d love to visit one day.
‘Antipodes’ did a great job of illustrating how New Zealand suffered during the recent earthquakes. I loved how New Zealand has turned shipping containers into shops and restaurants. I also thought it was interesting that there is no security on the flights between the islands. I had no idea that there were places in the world that were so untouched by current security issues.
The references to space and Erin’s love of astronomy was covered extensively in the book. This is a great premise. A teenager obsessed with astronomy isn’t something that I’ve read a lot of in YA.
Erin’s New Zealand friends were down to earth and very friendly and not as competitive as Americans tend to be. I thought this was an interesting view of the differences in the cultures.
Erin left NZ a totally different person then when she arrived. I loved the analogy that she became an opposite (antipode) of who she used to be.