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Written by Polly Barbour
Sixteen year old Miranda is the protagonist of the novel. She is also the narrator, of sorts, because her journal forms the narrative. She is a normal, well-adjusted and happy teen whose life was more about friends and activities prior to the disaster than it was about impending doom and survival technique. She is a passionate swimmer, but only took up swimming after an ankle injury ended her ice skating career. She is a family-oriented girl and when her family contracts a life-threatening flu virus she nurses them through it with no fear for her own health or safety. Miranda is capable of and given to moments of introspection and one of the things that plays on her mind the most is why she keeps a journal in the first place.
College student Matt is the hunter-gatherer type. At just nineteen years old he returns home from his student life in order to take care of his family after the event. He is physically strong and not afraid of hard work which makes him indispensable. He is idolized by Miranda and their mother and he is a role model to his younger brother Jonny.
Thirteen year old Jonny idolizes his big brother and tries to be like him. He is selfless and naturally optimistic. He is upset when he realizes that he is being given most of the rations of food because his family think he is the most likely to survive the aftermath of the event; he does not want to live at their expense.
Laura's life revolves around her children and she is willing to sacrifice it if it means sparing them. She is in good health but her health falters because she is malnourished and starving; she gives her children most of the rations that are allocated to her, particularly to Jonny, whom she feels is the most likely to survive in the long term. She looks up to Matt and relies on him a great deal.
Becky is already dead before the book's narrative begins, but she is still a constant presence in Miranda's life. They were very close friends when Becky was alive and Miranda still has dreams in which she features. She was the catalyst that brought their group of friends together and without her the realize they have little in common - Becky was what they all had in common and so without her their friendship starts to fracture.
Sammi fights constantly with Megan, the fourth friend in their circle, because Megan leads a God-fearing life and Sammi leads a boy-obsessed one. Sammi has already slept with a number of different boys which she feels makes the others look down on her.
Megan found God before the event changed everything. She starves herself deliberately now because her pastor has taught her that the event was God's punishment for the earthly sins of man. Since she believes that promisuity definitely fits into that category she has an ever declining relationship with Sammi.
Miranda's parents are divorced, and her father, Hal, has since re-married. Separation from their mother has not separated Hal from his children whom he cares deeply about, even though they are no longer geographically together. He brings his own food rations for them whenever he can despite having another child on the way with Lisa.
Peter is dating Laura. He is a doctor and most of his time during and after the event is taken up with his work at the hospital where he is exposed to most of the pathogens that are a threat to the population. He is a good provider of food but not of his time; he is a chronic over-achiever and a workaholic. Peter contracts the flu and does not recover from it, ultimately dying as a result.
Miranda doesn't like the pastor at their local church because she sees that he is manipulating his devoted congregation, including her friend Megan. It is Reverend Marshall who tells his flock that the event was God's punishment and that it is God's intention that they sanctify themselves by starvation. This, Miranda realizes, is just a ploy to get more food for himself, because the food that his congregants are not eating is brought to him by way of thanks for his devotion to them.
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