Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
I couldn’t resist the idea of an Armageddon road trip and Vivian at the End of the World (originally published as Vivian Versus the Apocalypse) did not let me down--I read the book straight through because I couldn’t bear to stop. Sixteen-year-old Vivian had been on the meek side--she was the sort no one notices, including boys--but she’s not a blind follower so when natural disasters start piling up, a new religion’s prophecies predict the end of the world, her free-thinking friends are attacked by paranoid wanna-be-saved hordes, and her parents are apparently raptured away to heaven through the ceiling of their bedroom, Vivian makes the choice to chuck her passive persona, get some answers, and DO something.
That DOING something involves a car journey from Pittsburgh to California with her best friend and a good looking guy they’ve just met, battling weird weather extremes, rescuing a pregnant half-believing former classmate, hoping their limited money supply doesn’t run out (gas is over $13 a gallon and rising), dodging desperate converts looking earn paradise points by smiting nonbelievers, and falling in love.
This is the first book of the series and it’s full of wonderful characters I can’t wait to meet again. Though the new religion of the story is a rabidly patriotic End Times doctrine, people on all parts of the belief spectrum are ultimately treated by the author with sympathy and respect. There’s some violence and plenty of action and suspense, but the tone isn’t as grim as in The Hunger Games or Divergent--which are both series that I enjoyed, but even with the seriousness of Vivian’s situation there’s more fun in this book. For instance, Vivian’s blossoming first romance doesn’t diminish the tension, but it does allow for some witty repartee.