What I liked most about Cole's novel is that the character spoke to me. I've always wondered if I would still worry about certain things if I lived in a dystopian world - Would I care if my armpits stunk? Would I wonder what my appearance was like? Would I risk death to get a hold of some deodorant and toothpaste? I'm not saying that every person would or should think about those things if the world was ending as we knew it, but I also think it's important to show that thinking about them is a possibility. Too often, I think that in trying to show that girls don't have to be princesses, writers create characters that are extremely anti-stereotypically feminine. Why can't a girl like lipstick and kick butt? Why can't she miss her flat iron as she sweats from running away from killers? Seeing female characters living unapologetically, whatever that may be for them in the context of the novel, is refreshing. I feel like if there were ever a zombie apocalypse, I would be like Tasha, with my Wusthof in hand.
- The main character is an African-American woman;
- Secondary characters are mostly people of color - women and men;
- Nuanced identities for diverse characters
- This book is full of women of color literally fighting a system that has marginalized them. Even when a character is present only for a short time, their story is still told. They have names, they have stories, they have dynamic identities.