Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

Title: Vivian Apple at the End of the World
Author: Katie Coyle
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January, 6 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.


Vivian Apple at the End of the World was an engaging read, but sadly, not a standout for me.

What I enjoyed most about Vivian Apple at the End of the World was its religious themes and that this book explored the extremes of faith. When the Church of America declares the "Rapture" forthcoming, the world divides into  believers and non-believers and there is a lot of hostility between the two groups.  But when the predicted Rapture actually comes, utter chaos breaks outs, especially since not all believers were saved, and that hostility turns violent. The way some believers acted in the name of faith both before and after the Rapture scared, saddened, disgusted, and intrigued me all at the same time. It was this mix of emotions that kept me turning pages.

It's hard to get specific about what didn't work for me. I wanted to know the truth as much as Vivian Apple did even though I knew what truth was coming. I also wouldn't exactly call the characters boring, even if they weren't my favorite. Perhaps it was the plausibility and ease of some of what happened? But really I think it was just my overall impression of the story after I finished reading it, which was honestly somewhere between "That was OK" and "I liked it."

If you think religious extremes and cult mentality make for interesting reads, then you might consider reading this book. It's not perfect, it's not excellent, but it has its merits and I definitely found myself pulled into the story even if it wasn't "my kind of story". Verdict is still out on the sequel...

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