Author: Katie Coyle
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: January 3, 2015
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 roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.I'll be perfectly honest here - I only bought this book because I had five dollars left on an iTunes giftcard and its iBook was on sale. It wasn't bad, especially for what I paid, but it wasn't particularly good either. It didn't have anything new that I hadn't read in other books, and I don't really have much else to say about it.
I read this book all in one sitting, and there wasn't ever a point where I wanted to slow down and savor it. I haven't read many dystopian novels that aren't science fiction, so that was definitely interesting, but that's probably one of its most notable qualities.
One thing that I was impressed with was that The Mysterious Love Interest wasn't as big a part of the plot as I was afraid he would be. Vivian stayed her own person, separate from whatever boys she was interested in, which was refreshing. It was also nice to see that although Vivian and her friend Harp had very different attitudes towards boys, neither were shamed for the choices that they made. I wish I could say I liked more than that about this book, but I honestly can't think of anything else
I did have a few problems with it, however. For example, there are a few characters that are pretty abruptly introduced into the book and who just as quickly leave. Their purpose doesn't seem to be much more than to move the plot along. They don't entirely have fully formed personalities, and they don't seem to leave a lasting impact on Vivian. It's no secret that characterization is my favorite part of any book, so I was very disappointed in that regard.
While this isn't necessarily another problem, one of the only named characters to die in the book was a man who was gay and non-white. It didn't seem too out of place in the story, but it can be tiring to see your representation killed off time and time again, so I thought that I'd mention it as a bit of a disclaimer.
Will I read the sequel? Maybe, if I'm looking for another light and thoughtless read or it's as cheap as the first one was. It wasn't a book that will stick with me long term or one that made me think particularly hard, but I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it, either.