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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 5/100: Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

Vivian Apple at the End of the World - Katie Coyle

This was a somewhat strange book. Was it a cautionary tale? A satire? There were moments when I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be frightened or amused.

The "post-apocalyptic" fundamentalist rapture trope gets a somewhat new angle in this book, which comes just shy of straining believability. Its messages about the evils of capitalism and being a "follower" are a little heavy-handed at times, and its character development mostly sketchy. Still, I liked that it was sort of a combination between a post-apocalyptic story with a somewhat realist bent and a typical road trip teen novel, complete with burgeoning love story. The love story was not as compelling as the relationship between Vivian and her best friend, Harp, though. This book left me just curious enough to want to read the next one(s) in the series, despite some lingering incredulity.

So, why so many stars for a book that left me somewhat perplexed about how I was supposed to feel about it all? Despite that, this book moves along at a nice clip and held my interest to the last page, even as I was analyzing its shortcomings. The road trip aspect especially gives it a sense of momentum. And in a very crowded genre, this one was just different enough to be noticeable. The fact that the spent the mid-section of the book in South Dakota didn't hurt, either. :)