Darla’s Story is novella that provides a bit of backstory for a character in Mike Mullin’s Ashfall trilogy. I haven’t read the trilogy, but the novella is meant to stand alone as a complete work, so I read it with that in mind.
I instantly liked the fact that this story features an Iowan farm girl as its main character. I also liked that it doesn’t take place in a far-flung dystopian future. Instead, it takes place immediately after an apocalyptic volcano eruption covers the entire US in falling ash. Midwesterners and the mid-apocalypse aren’t common tropes in YA (at least not the books I’ve read), so I was intrigued by the novelty.