Excerpt from Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Let's Call It a Doomsday

by Katie Henry

Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie  Henry X
Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie  Henry
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Aug 2019, 400 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Mom raises her eyebrows. "I thought you wanted to be a nurse."

"Yeah, but I don't know, you have to be inside all day."

"Didn't you want to be a garbage truck driver?" Dad says, and Em groans.

"Ugh, Dad, when I was, like, six."

"Why a wildlife biologist?" I ask her. "I mean, it's cool, but why?"

"I watched this thing on YouTube about this lady wildlife biologist who lived out in the Canadian wilderness for years tracking this wolf pack," Em says, "and she eventually made friends with them and became, like, a member of the pack and—it was so cool. She wasn't studying them, she was part of them, you know?"

"I bet she didn't have any children," Mom says. Dad clears his throat.

"Maybe," Em says. "She didn't say. What's it matter?"

"I think it would be very hard to do something like that and raise children, too."

Emmy's knife squeaks against her plate. "Maybe I won't have kids."

Dad looks at Mom. Mom looks at Em. "Don't be silly, you love babies."

"Well, you just said I can't do both."

"That's not what I said. You weren't listening closely."

"Lisa," Dad says.

"I said it would be very hard," Mom says. "You'd have to think carefully about what was important to you. Or most important to you. And I don't really think that's following wolves around, but I could be wrong."

Em's mouth twists. "It was just an idea."

"It's a great idea," I jump in. Mom's always on me to hold people's tiny, extremely breakable babies, but that's because she knows I don't want to. Em's always wanted to cuddle newborns and wipe snot off toddlers' faces. Why does Mom push like this when she doesn't even have to?

"Emmy," Dad says. "It's okay. You're thirteen. Don't worry about this right now."

Em stabs at her lasagna with a fork. Mom touches her shoulder.

"I didn't mean anything by it," Mom says, and Em smiles. But she smiles like she thinks she's supposed to. Not because what Mom said didn't hurt.

"You know what we should really be worrying about," I say. "Emergency food storage."

Em frowns. Mom closes her eyes.

"You don't need to worry about that, either," Dad assures Em, who's closely watching Mom's reaction.

"No one's going to get to live with wolves or have babies if we can't get through an earthquake," I say.

"Okay," Dad says. "Let's not do this tonight."

"We only have three months' worth of food."

"That's enough," Mom says, and I don't know whether she means that's enough out of me, or that we have enough food.

"Bad things can happen," I say. "They do. And when people aren't prepared, they suffer. I don't want to us to suffer, what's so terrible about that?"

Em looks to Dad. He sighs. "No one is saying it's bad to be prepared, but we are, and the more you obsess over this, the worse it gets for you—"

"The worse it gets for all of us," Mom cuts in. "It's not only about her."

You'd think I was holding them at gunpoint or forcing them to eat dirt. All I want is to make sure we survive. All of us, together.

"What do you think's going to happen?" Em says with a tilt of her head.

Biological weapons released into the air. Superviruses that can't be cured. Terror attacks at the university, at my school, on the Golden Gate Bridge. I open my mouth to answer.

She's a kid. She's your little sister. You want her to have nightmares? You want her to start checking for fire exits whenever she walks in a room? You want her to be like you?

I shrug. "Earthquakes."

Mom and Dad share a look. They know it's more than that, but I doubt they want Em to know about it, either.

"We're perfectly prepared for an earthquake," Mom says. "A power outage, a fire—this is California. We don't have hurricanes, we don't have tornadoes or snowstorms. We. Are. Prepared."

Excerpted from Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry. Copyright © 2019 by Katie Henry. Excerpted by permission of Katherine Tegan Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Emergency Preparedness Needs

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Price We Pay
    The Price We Pay
    by Marty Makary
    The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest affidavits in history, originating in ancient Greece. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Fountains of Silence
    The Fountains of Silence
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a complicated period in history. The issues each side ...
  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


© BookBrowse LLC 1997-2019. All rights reserved. Information at BookBrowse.com is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent.
It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder.