Vivian Versus the Apocalypse By Katie Coyle
Vivian Apple #1
Published Sept 5th 2013 by Hot Key Books
Summary: A chilling vision of a contemporary USA where the sinister Church of America is destroying lives. Our cynical protagonist, seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple, is awaiting the fated ‘Rapture’ - or rather the lack of it. Her evangelical parents have been in the Church’s thrall for too long, and she’s looking forward to getting them back. Except that when Vivian arrives home the day after the supposed ‘Rapture’, her parents are gone. All that is left are two holes in the ceiling…
Viv is determined to carry on as normal, but when she starts to suspect that her parents might still be alive, she realises she must uncover the truth. Joined by Peter, a boy claiming to know the real whereabouts of the Church, and Edie, a heavily pregnant Believer who has been ‘left behind’, they embark on a road trip across America. Encountering freak weather, roving ‘Believer’ gangs and a strange teenage group calling themselves the ‘New Orphans’, Viv soon begins to realise that the Rapture was just the beginning.
I loved Vivian Versus the Apocalypse.
I’ve never read anything quite like it before and I really enjoyed how different it was from the normal contemporary or dystopians I’ve read before. Interestingly, Vivian Versus the Apocalypse is a mix of contemporary and dystopia — but it’s not just any contemporary, it’s a road trip contemporary.
Vivian Versus the Apocalypse is about a girl whose parents are Believers, which essentially is a new type of religion, and they believe that the Rapture is upon them. Vivian on the other hand isn’t a Believer and doesn’t think the apocalypse is coming as they’ve predicted. But on the day of the supposed rapture, Vivian’s parents disappeared as did many others. In comes Vivian’s best friend Harp and cute guy Peter who come along with Vivian on this journey to find her parents.
I really enjoyed how this apocalypse and this new religion was built. It was very interesting to see how Believers behaved and the texts that they lived by. In some ways it is quite realistic and relatable and the book really talked about faith and in society.
Personally this book was very enjoyable for me, especially towards the end when things kinda took a wild turn and was just so exciting to read about. Because of the main plot of this book, it might not be for everyone but it is really interesting if you’re okay with the subject matter.
The book ended with a cliffhanger (kind of) and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Overall it was really interesting and different from your usual dystopia or road trip contemporaries which makes it memorable for me. It was a little bit slow and difficult to get into but once everything begins to unfold, it gets a lot better. Would recommend it, but again because of the subject matter I’d say go for it if you’re comfortable!