Saturday, January 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Vivian Apple At The End Of The World By Katie Coyle

This is a book review for Vivian Apple At The End Of The World By Katie Coyle. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country road trip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivian Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.

Oh man, I really, really, really loved this book. This is such an interesting twist on the usual apocalypse story. This is a book about people who legitimately think the world is coming to an end, mainly due to a religion that spreads like wildfire. I understand that some people think it's a bit unrealistic for so many people to fall for one man's religious beliefs. I disagree. I think the basic theme of this book is that people are looking for something to believe in, something that gives their life purpose. I am not a religious person at all, but I do think this is a reason people believe. It is fascinating that one cult would be able to spread so rapidly and to so many people. 

I thought Vivian Apple was just the most amazing character. I loved her. She is the type of person who never really did anything or made any waves until the impending apocalypse. But then she takes charge and she wants to actually do something. This involves driving cross-country with her best friend and a new ally, Peter, to California to solve the mystery of the missing people and even try to take down the church. Even with the supposed "rapture," Vivian is still very much the atheist. Maybe that's why I liked her so much: I could relate to her. She remained logical in the face of everything and remained determined to find out why her parents disappeared and why so many others went missing. I think somehow she makes the same mistake some atheists make (or even what some religious people think about other religions): she assumed that every single person who believed in God was someone not to be trusted or loved. That was really the main issue I had with her. I would like to think she learned something different, but it was hard to tell. And honestly, with all the stuff the Believers were doing, it was kind of hard to fault her for that opinion. 

The plot was wonderfully developed and thought out. The pacing was on point and there were so many twists and turns in the book. I was just as interested in finding out what happened to Vivian's parents as Vivian. There was a little romance in the book, but not that much and I appreciated that. Vivian had so much going on with her missing parents and just trying to survive so I am glad the romance didn't overshadow everything else. And there was a lot going on. I will say that one issue I had with the book was that it seemed as if the whole world went crazy after the disappearances and it felt a bit unrealistic. I mean, there are millions of people in the world but everyone goes crazy because a couple thousand disappear? To me, that would almost be proof that the Rapture was never going to happen, especially because so many of the so-called Believers were not gone. But people will believe what they want to believe. And the author does give an explanation for how the rest of the Believers rationalized to themselves that they weren't raptured. The ending was a bit open-ended and I was not sure how I felt about that. But apparently this is the first in a series, so I am okay with it. I can't wait to read the next one and find out more about what happens to these awesome characters. Luckily I don't have to wait very long. The sequel comes out in September!

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy! If you love apocalyptic novels, then you will definitely love this one. 

6 comments :

  1. Cynthia, this sounds fantastic from the characters to the plot. I do love these post apocalyptic type reads and this sounds different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kimba! I really loved this one.

      Delete
  2. Oooh! Great revewi! I love how you've described the novel. I'm not much of an apocalyptic reader, but it sounds good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes I do think even people not into the typical apocalyptic read would love it.

      Delete
  3. I so appreciate this review Cynthia! Especially since I am a Believer :) I do not however, believe in the "rapture" but the premise does sound intriguing!

    But honestly, I love every word you've shared here <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Claudia! I really appreciate it. I really loved this story. :)

      Delete