Lest you think I'm selling this short, this is precisely how confusing this book is. It started interestingly enough with the main character's father being arrested, but unfortunately it didn't manage to hold this momentum. The world building is at fault. Now I can get behind dysotopia, I can understand how certain situations can come about, but this situation I cannot see happening. Particularly as soon as next year. The writer has not thought about how the US operates within the world at large. For me to buy a US burdened with food shortages (when it produces enough for 10 billion people alone) something really massive must have happened to make it so. A nuclear war, a massive tidal wave taking out the Eastern Seaboard, meteor strike or aliens etc. This world is believable but not with the background or timeframe that's been given. That's the major stumbling block to me enjoying this story. It's like watching Space 1999 and realising that we've passed that date and we don't live on the moon.
Another issue lies with the characters. Matt could be a good character, he really could, but he's crippled by a lousy romance, a tragic backstory and no actual sense of place. I don't care about his family, because I know nothing about it. The other characters are not memorable and I rapidly became bored with the 'look ma - a critter' stereotypes.
All of this is unfortunate because the writing is rather good and it's for the potential alone that I give this two stars.