The Great Big One (Hardcover)
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With natural disasters and nuclear war threatening their small town, two twin brothers find themselves enraptured by mysterious music that could change the course of their lives.
Everyone in Clade City knows their days are numbered. The Great Cascadia Earthquake will destroy their hometown and reshape the entire West Coast—if they survive long enough to see it. Nuclear war is increasingly likely. Wildfires. Or another pandemic. To Griff, the daily forecast feels partly cloudy with a chance of apocalyptic horsemen.
Griff’s brother, Leo, and the Lost Coast Preppers claim to be ready. They’ve got a radio station. Luminous underwater monitors. A sweet bunker, and an unsettling plan for “disaster-ready rodents.” But Griff’s more concerned about what he can do before the end times. He’d like to play in a band, for one. Hopefully with Charity Simms. Her singing could make the whole world stop.
When Griff, Leo, and Charity stumble upon a mysterious late-night broadcast, one song changes everything. It’s the best band they’ve ever heard—on a radio signal even the Preppers can’t trace. They vow to find the music, but aren’t prepared for where their search will take them. Or for what they’ll risk, when survival means finding the one thing you cannot live without.
About the Author
J.C. Geiger (jcgeiger.com) survived an earthquake on the Mouth of Hell volcano in Nicaragua, learned to drive stick shift on a bookmobile, and once fell asleep while running. He also writes fiction. He is a GrandSLAM Storytelling Champion at The Moth, and his work has appeared on stage at The Second City and No Shame Theatre. His debut novel, Wildman, was named by Bank Street as a Best YA Book of the Year. J.C. lives about sixty miles from the Oregon coast, and makes the trip as often as he can.
"J.C. Geiger’s The Great Big One is a love song to the people and places that define us, a punk rock anthem of adolescence—a sweeping symphony that picks the reader up like a powerful wave and carries them away in its pages. It is beautiful, dangerous (as all good literature should be), and perhaps most importantly, a challenge to embrace the mysterious."—Bryan Bliss, author of the National Book Award longlist title We'll Fly Away
"Compelling character development . . . will find an audience in teens with a sense of wanderlust and an itch for adventure."—School Library Journal
"Think Cain and Able looking for Woodstock and hippies while on a remarkable quest for the meaning of life. J.C Geiger has built a unique, gritty, and challenging world decorated with similes, music, myth, love, and death."
—School LIbrary Connection
Praise for The Great Big One:
"Geiger’s staccato, enigmatic sentence fragments are stylistically interesting and poetic... this sophomore novel is a moving, bittersweet examination of the search for a meaningful signal in the noise after a death."
"Geiger plays fast and loose with realism, sprinkling in a hint of magic, unlikely luck, and unreliable narration to blur the genres a bit between realistic fiction and fantasy."—BCCB
"Lyrically told in the third person over three parts, this tale of first love, music, grief, and identity takes unexpected turns."—Kirkus
"With an ambitious plotline and nuanced characters, Geiger’s (Wildman) novel begins as a tense love triangle before veering into a . . . richly detailed mystery about the terrible catastrophes that even the most ardent prepper cannot anticipate."—Publisher's Weekly
Praise for Wildman:
"I LOVE THIS BOOK. It's hilarious, sad, and unputdownable."—Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist
"Wildman is that good song that gets under your skin and respins your DNA."—Martha Brockenbrough, award-winning author of The Game of Love and Death
*"A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The book shines the brightest when it toes the line between real and surreal, highlighting the existential question that high-school graduates face: How do I live the rest of my life?"—Booklist