Tuesday 16 December 2014

stasialikesbooks | Book review: Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle.

Vivian Apple never believed in the Church of America - unlike her fanatical parents. And as for the so-called impending 'Rapture', she knew she'd believe that when she saw it. But then Vivian wakes one day to a New World, and all that's left of her parents are two empty spaces. The Believers have been taken, it seems. And for those left behind, the world is a desolate and eerie place. All Vivian has now are her memories and her volatile friend Harp.

Faced with society on the brink of collapse, Vivian and Harp embark on a journey across America, in search of any family they have left, and determined to expose the truth about the Rapture. Three thousand miles through floods, fog and heat waves, Harp and Vivian and a boy with the bluest eyes and the kindest heart are driving on to their future.

But will this be a coming-of-age road trip with no return?

The premise of Vivian Versus the Apocalypse had me from the start. How many times over the past few years has the apocalypse been predicted in America? And every time we all take it the same way that Vivian and her friend Harp do at the start of the novel, like it's all a big joke that'll never happen. But in Vivian Versus the Apocalypse it actually does happen. Maybe.

I think this is the first book I've ever read that can be classified as both contemporary and post-apocalyptic and in my opinion the combination worked fantastically. Coyle makes it so easy to imagine this possibly post-apocalyptic America as her descriptions of the country post-rapture mix easily with scenes that are far more familiar to modern-day.

Another great strength of this novel is its main character, Vivian Apple. It's so refreshing to see a teenaged heroine thrown into a situation like this and to react like a real teenager. Vivian does not immediately leap into her role as heroine. She is reluctant and scared, just like most teenagers probably would be in her situation. Watching Vivian gradually discover her own strength and bravery is definitely part of what makes this novel so great. And don't even get me started on how much I love her best friend, Harp.

The sequel to this book, Vivian Versus America, is out already and I can't wait to get my hands on it and find out what happens next (especially after that heart stopping twist at the end of the first book!) If you're into contemporary, post-apocalyptic, or just really interesting YA with badass female heroines, then I highly recommend Vivian Versus the Apocalypse.

4/5 stars.

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