Friday, January 16, 2015

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

Vivian Apple at the End of the World
by Katie Coyle

Genre: Young Adult
Published: 1/6/15 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover

My rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Vivian Apples lives in America, a place where most of the population have become followers of the Church of America, an extreme cult of evangelical Christianity.  The Believers follow a prophet named Beaton Frick and his book of visions called the Book of Frick.  Frick predicts a Rapture for all believers, but Vivian doesn't believe it is real.  Until it actually happens.  When Vivan's parents, along with thousands of other believers, disappear on the predicted date, Vivian and her friends set off on a road trip to discover the truth before the world comes to an end.

This is a young adult, religious dystopian novel which almost feels a bit satirical at times.  The Book of Frick and the entire premise of the Church of America seems almost silly and complete unbelievable, except that it just manages to come close enough to reality that it made me feel a bit uncomfortable at times.  As a Christian, I would disagree strongly with the beliefs and practices set forth by the "Believers" in this book.  I found them to be somewhat humorous, and I'm not sure how much it was the author's intent to be funny with this premise or serious or a little bit of both.  I do think there is a little bit of truth about the American Christian church mixed in with the extreme religious views.   I definitely thought it was thought provoking at times, especially with the ideas of consumerism and the American church receiving special blessings from God.

The characters and the plot of this book were just okay for me.  I liked Vivian and Harp and Peter, but I don't think they are memorable characters that will stick with me for very long.  The plot felt a little lost and meandering at times, perhaps that was because the characters were a little lost on their road trip.  The book ended, and I was left feeling unsure.  Did I like it?  Or not?  I'm still not fully sure.  There are definitely some interesting ideas here and fairly likable characters.  It's an easy read, and something a little different from the other young adult dystopians out there right now.

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