Vivian versus the Apocalypse | Katie Coyle | Review

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

*image via GoodReads

The rapture has come and gone, and all that's left of Vivian Apple's parents are two holes in the roof.

Vivian never thought the evangelical Church of America were serious when they said the 'divine and good' will get taken up to heaven. She also never thought she'd be left and abandoned by her converted 'Believer' parents either. But here she is embarking on a road trip across America with her best friend Harp and Peter, a boy who claims to know where the Church may be keeping Believers.
But the world outside is different now. In the wake of Rapture left behind Church goers are more violently evangelical than before and strange new groups of 'orphans' are forming on the foundations of creating a better world.

The Rapture was thought to signal end for many, but the impending Apocolypse is just the beginning for Vivian Apple.

What’s my verdict?
In the myriad of dystopian novels 'Vivian versus...' offers an uncomfortably close depiction of what could happen should the Rapture happen in our current society. Unlike other utopian or dystopian novels there's no futuristic tech or zombie outbreak. The danger is a human race which feels as if they have been abandoned by what they believed would save them, and there's nothing more vulnerable or unpredictable than a human race that feels betrayed.

The scariest thing is that the type of cult-ish behaviour that is typified by the Church of America in the book has happened before and there's some interesting social commentary about organised religion and more specifically Christianity (which is rarely explored in such an open and non-derogatory way).

In regards to our protagonist nothing feels particularly special about Vivian, in a way it's as thought her generic descriptors in the book are there to allow the reader to fill ourselves into her shoes. What would we do if were essentially orphaned at the end of the world? That being said though Vivian's bravery and increasingly hard exterior does come from her situation, it's her drive and personality to find the rational truth that spurs her.

One thing I loved about the book was the contrast between Vivian and Harp, and it was their relationship that soon became my favourite thing in the story. Both girls go through the wringer and they have their share of arguments, but through it all it's their friendship that stands firm.
In contrast Viv and Peter's journey did feel fairly predictable but I did appreciate that their relationship wasn't too forcibly shoved down our throats, as it seems to happen in many YA novels like this. 

If there's one more thing I could've asked from the book it would've been to delve more into the range of belief systems around America post-rapture. We get glimpses in the form of the 'New Orphan', Vivian's grandparents and her old History teacher, but it would've been nice to see more. Overall, I thought Vivian versus the Apocalypse was a great take on the apocalypse genre and I can't wait to read more from Coyle.

Reading soundtrack:
It's The End Of The World As We Know It: R.E.M; Born To Run: Bruce Springsteen; New Americana: Halsey; Are We The Waiting: Green Day; Falling: Haim; Open Arms: Elbow; Seven Wonders: Stevie Nicks; Tyrant: One Republic

For lovers of...How I Live Now, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and the Delirium series.
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Post author: Ria

Ria is a coffee addicted, part time blogger at Thoroughly Modern Millennial and professional fangirl (it's a thing, believe me). She co-founded Blogger's Bookshelf with Erin back in 2012 and the rest, as they say, is history...

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