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Top 10 Apocalypse Survival Tips I Learned from YA

Post apocalyptic fiction is very popular these days in YA lit.  It can include zombies, or not.  There is often some vast government control – I’m talking to you Hunger Games, Delirium and Matched. Or simply a society that has devolved into utter chaos where it is every person out for themselves.  So here are my Top 10 Apocalypse Survival Tips I learned from reading YA lit.

Small groups are better than big groups.
Small groups are easier to protect, can fly by the radar undetected, and have less power struggles.
If you are going to be trapped, go to a big mega store or school.
There they tend to have some food stored up. And other things you may need, or even just want for comfort.
If someone is banging on the door outside, never ever let them in because they are always a crazy, psychotic, murderous, rapist dirt bag.
Do not ever have unprotected sex.
Would you really want to bring a baby into this world? Also, pregnant women have a harder time running away from crazy, murderous rapy dirt bags and brain eating zombies. Do. Not. Get. Pregnant.
Make sure you set up a place for everyone to go potty far away from where you are living. Have we learned nothing from the plague years?
Have short hair, otherwise you’ll get head lice. Also, long hair is easy to grab.
It’s not just pirates that get scurvy, so make sure you eat healthy food.
If you find a camp or town that looks safe, it probably isn’t so keep on walking. You know that saying “some deals are too good to be true”, there’s a reason people say it – there is a lot of truth to it.  Also, see rule 1: small groups.
The government has no idea what to do in the event of an apocalypse either, so good luck.  Also, some people in positions of power are evil and will take advantage of the situation in ways that are not good for human kind.
You too can be a cannibal, though probably not a fine young one (although the apocalypse will probably drive you crazy).
And the final thing I have learned from all the post apocalyptic ya I have been reading: there is a darkness in many, many people. Which leads me back to small groups.
Now it’s your turn: what are your survival tips from reading YA? And what book did you learn them from?


  1. haha love this. Great advice, hope I never need to use it! I still have to read half the books on this list. Especially this is not a test!

  2. Ashes, Ashes taught me to sleep on high ground. the Girl Who Owned a City taught me to take control of your own survival, and Z for Zachariah taught me to never trust a man. Oh, already knew that one :) Fun list!

  3. I really liked them all, including THIS IS NOT A TEST. Let me know what you think when you read it.

  4. High ground, good one! And bonus points for the Z for Zechariah reference. That book is so unnerving. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Totally love this!! I just finished Monument 14, which slightly freaked me out. It definitely made me give a big ol' hug to my mom in the morning after I finished it, though. Anyways, these are all such important tips!! I need to pick up some of the books you listed here, though. Like Ashes, Ashes. And Masque of the Red Death.

    Unfortunately, I don't have anything to add this list!! If the apocalypse ever happens, I'm coming to you Karen. You seem like you're well prepared!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  6. I loved this list! Between Life as we Knew It and Ashfall, I really feel like I should learn how to cross country ski…

  7. I thought the same thing :)

  8. You and I can hang out in a bank vault and read. See The Twilight Zone.

  9. I do not like to read Apocalyptic YA, because it scares the absolute snot out of me.
    Dystopian YA also gives me the creeps in a way I don't enjoy.

    I have learned an important lesson: someone who's squeamish about gore, and doesn't even like camping, like myself, is probably not Fight The Zombies material. So here's hoping zombies attack faaaar in the future or far, far away from me, so that the adventurous and awesome courageous folks can deal with 'em first!

  10. Do not under any circumstances read my novel ASHFALL. It's basically a syringe packed with highly refined everything-you-don't-like-in-a-novel. Apocalypse, check. Dystopian elements, check. Gore, check. Camping, check. No zombies, though. :)

  11. I really like both ASHFALL and ASHEN WINTER. I am sure you see where a lot if these tips come from. Some times I am willing to overlook the absence of zombies LOL. Human evil is far more terrifying than zombies. You have some very terrifying scenes in your books.

  12. I've learned–enjoy fresh fruit now. You may never see it again.

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