Summary: In these chapters, Julia and her family travel out to the desert in Circadia in search of her grandfather who had mysteriously disappeared. With no luck finding him there, they went back home and began their 'normal' day. At school, Julia thought Seth had been ignoring her due to his late arrivals at the bus stop and the lack of communications between the two. Later in the day, Seth talks to Julia for the first time in a while and the two of them witness the news about the Orion crashing together. After that tragic day, Julia and Seth began to hang out quite often, and she got the guts to tell the first person ever about what her father had done; they even kissed at one point too. But then it all began going downhill from there. Once the radiation got out of hand (and nobody was supposed go outside), Julia and Seth ignored the warnings and risked their lives. While outside, the two come across Julia's father helping Silvia move out of the house, and based on the wording, it seems as if he's moving away with her. After much protest, her dad leaves and Julia and Seth both head home when they find out that they had gotten severe sunburns. These sun burns eventually (most likely due to the sunburns)lead to Seth getting sick and he moves away at the end of the book, which leaves Julia heartbroken because she knows she will never see him again (and she never does). She also finds out that her grandpa had died in a secret bunker (that he was packing for all of them) on her birthday from falling off a latter, still holding her birthday card.
After the days had reached over 70 hours, after the snow had begun to fall some nights, radiation levels grew, power shutting off every once and a while, and they passed the point of not being able to grow wheat anymore, the plans for the Explorer, a rocket that would carry a disk to a far away planet holding and preserving the history of humans, was announced. The book comes to an end when Julia begins to think, that if one day some alien life form came to earth, much of what is currently here would of been disintegrated due to the constant sun and radiation. Everything will be gone except for the writing on the concrete from Seth and Julia a long time ago. The book suddenly ends, as we find out that that writing had read, "we were here".
1. The theme of the book has to do with growing up, and in those moments as we grow, we're going to experience loss, hurt and happiness. Julia blames the slowing on the actions that occur in her life, but we can learn, that life is pretty unpredictable, and we never really know what tragedies or excitement it will throw at us.
2. In the novel, the central conflict changes Julia's well being in many different ways. I'm not choosing the slowing as the conflict for this answer, but her growing up. As she ages and experiences new things, It changes her perspective in many ways than it did when she was younger. She has grown more fearful; but cautious, brave, and adventurous within it. She's lost passion in many hobbies, but manages to find newer, more interesting ones. However, most importantly, Julia was able to realize who her true friend was and become truly happy.
3. I think that the novel reflects gender roles in our current society. Women are always seen as caring, protective, emotional, fearful, and concerned individuals over the outcome of events. Julia, is constantly worrying about one day, disappearing and never being known again. Her fear of the world ending holds her back from doing many things. Her mother is constantly making sure everyone is happy, that Julia is safe, and worrying; whether that's based on seeing her worry about what the slowing meant in the beginning, how it was odd that it was snowing in an area of the world that never received it, and to the excessive packing of food. Men however, are seen as being strong supporters in families, which Julia's dad begins to play the role perfectly in the beginning, until he takes another that many people typically associate men with, cheating. I would strongly agree that the novel reflects roles that we always see, whether it's through mother, father, daughter, or gender.