In Black River Falls, the gripping new YA novel from bestselling author, Jeff Hirsch, an entire town has been robbed of its memories—and its humanity. But there is one teenage boy who remembers it all. We asked the author for some survival tips and here’s what he sent us:
Hoping to survive your trip into the Black River Quarantine Zone with your memories intact? The key is to be prepared! Here are the top five things you should have on hand if you’re dead set on entering the QZ.
- A biohazard mask and a family-size tub of Purell. The viral illness that’s infected the town of Black River, Lassiter’s Viral Amnesia, spreads just like the flu, so if you want to keep your memories intact, make sure you’re protected. Pro tip: A bio mask also helps if you join an angry mob of infected that the powers-that-be decide to lob tear-gas into—which, full disclosure, happens from time to time in the QZ.
- Black River has been quarantined for a little more than eight months. The food rations are getting stingier, the cable and Internet have been shut off, and the electricity is only turned on a few hours a day. So if you want that 3DS to work, you’d better be carrying around some high-quality lithium ion.
- The Tuna Fish Gourmet by Tracy Seaman. As stingy as those food rations have gotten, there always seems to be an endless supply of canned tuna fish. No one knows why. So if you don’t want to subsist on endless tuna noodle casseroles, you’d better study up!
- Comic books. For fun, may we suggest the collected works of Black River’s own Derrick Cassidy, creator of the classic superhero comic series The Brotherhood of Wings? No one’s heard from Mr. Cassidy since the outbreak, but you can find his son Cardinal and his friends in a camp up on Lucy’s Promise. Pro tip: If you read the entire five-volume series and then contract Lassiter’s, you can read the whole thing again and it’ll be like the very first time!
- A selection of fun new identities. Let’s be real: you’re probably going to get infected. But look on the bright side! An erased memory is the perfect opportunity to craft a new identity. Always wanted to be a devil-may-care architect? Perhaps a brooding secret agent? This is your time to shine!
Thank you so much, Jeff!
Black River Falls is on sale next week! Want more? Click here to start reading!