This was recommended by YouTuber Hannah Witton, after reading it’s synopsis on Goodreads, I added it to my ever growing “Want to Read” shelf. Intending it to be one of the books I eventually get around to reading, but as I saw it for quite a reasonable price I decided why not.
NOTE: This book has two different titles! It is also know as Vivian Apple at the End of the World.
As a non believer of pretty much any religion, knowing this was going to be a YA novel based around a branch of christianity, belief and a rapture was going to be an odd read.
The Church of America spread all over, amassing hundreds of thousands of devoted followers. It’s founder predicted impending doom causing God to prepare a Rapture. The protagonist, Vivian is the daughter of recently converted parents but hasn’t converted herself. At the beginning of the story you read about all of the natural disasters that lead to more and more people converting to the Church of America. On the eve of the rapture all the young local non believers have a party. Only to find, upon return to their respective homes, their believer families gone. With holes in the roofs as if they were torn up towards the heavens.
The writing quickly flows much better, like with most books as sometimes the beginning is the hardest bit to write. Written in the first person, this is more a diary style telling of the situations that Vivian and her friends have to go through. The author conveys the lack of direction that one can feel after loosing parents really well, even though the protagonist doesn’t accept that her parents are gone and that the rapture actually happened, that it was a hoax. All of this is summed up in the following quote:
“The best I can hope for is the occasional moment of loose happy freedom—found usually with Harp but once or twice on this trip with Peter—that tells me it’s okay. That if I was put on this earth for any particular reason, it was to experience love and joy, just like anybody else.”
As the story goes on the characters go on a journey for answers about what really happened during the rapture. What they found out wasn’t what they were expecting. There were some other twists in this story that were written in a way I slightly anticipated.
Overall, quite a good book with odd events and stranger explanations. And the story continues in Vivian Versus America (Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle), which I may get around to reading as I would like to know the final conclusion.