But before any sort of romance can develop, the two boys are forced to flee when more hostile invaders arrive on the scene. The two of them set out roughly following Andrew's original plan, heading south to the remains of Washington DC. And when things don't work out, they then go down to Florida, encountering both friend and foe. Along the way, they find vivid examples of how different choices have fared for the varied survivors.
While the writing is decent and the characters well-developed, the author really struggled to come up with a story. The bulk of the novel is just a series of encounters with strangers stringed together. Some go well and some go poorly, but they don't add up to a story and do get very repetitive. The overall goal of the trip, which might have formed a true plot, keeps shifting. It feels like Brown just fell in love with the idea of a post-apocalyptic survival story between two (maybe) gay boys. However, even the romance is not really consummated and notably lacking in any heat.
In the author's notes at the end, Brown attests that the story's similarities to recent events is largely coincidental. It was originally drafted in 2015 (and thus predates COVID) but it's hard not to draw parallels.