Release Date: Sept 5 | Publisher: Hot Key Books|
|Source: Hot Key Books (ARC for review) | Goodreads | Book Depository |
Plot: 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.
[ Follow Katie Coyle on Twitter @krcoyle ]
I was thrilled to receive this novel for review from Hot Key Books, seriously guys check them out, they are super nice, informative and also made of awesome! I had not heard much about this book before reading it and had seen no reviews. I was happy to go blindly into this novel.
The books has such a gorgeous cover, this book is definitely on my "Cover-Love" shelf.
The characters in this book were amazing. They were really enjoyable and unique. The protagonist of the novel, Vivian, was one of the characters I had my ups and downs with. She was a bit of an annoying character as she was a little selfish towards the beginning and very bossy. Although her character does have a lot of development in the book, I did have a bit of a love / hate relationship with her for a lot of the book. Vivian's best friend Harp was one of my favourite characters of the novel. She added a bit of light humor to lighten up some of the more serious situations. I also really liked reading about Edie, the pregnant "left behind Believer". I thought her character showed a more liberal side to the fundamentalists of the Believer cult. I really liked her personality and thought her story was very interesting.
I also really enjoyed the relationship between Peter & Vivian. I enjoyed the way it grew and developed slowly rather than the "insta-love" trend in the YA world. I felt like they both brought out very different sides to each other. Their relationship was a little awkward at first, I think I may have been getting second hand embarrassment from some of their conversations, but as time went on they became more comfortable around each other. I thought their relationship was a little unstable and shaky but I also found this a realistic portrayal of a, possibly their first, relationship between two teenagers.
The plot of this book was really interesting. I liked the way it sort of flipped the idea of religion onto the darker and more shocking & realistic side. The novel really opens the eye of the reader to the possessiveness and the power hungry dictator like ruling a religious leader has. As an atheist and very anti-religious person I found this as something that was interesting to read about. The theme of cults is a topic I've never read very much of, apart from in Dead Lands by Lily Herne, and I really do hope to read more books that fall under this theme. The plot of the book was evenly paced and very eventful but at times I did feel the pace to be a little slow and full of unnecessary moments.
The writing style of the novel was very good. I think you could tell from the onset of the novel that it was aimed at teenagers. There was a lot of use of social media sited, like twitter, mentioned as well as pop culture references. I think that this will engage the teenage reader but I also feel that it ages and dates the material, as if someone read the book in a few years time, they may be turned off by this as Twitter may not be as popular or as "cool" as it is at this moment. Apart from that I felt Katie Coyle's writing was vivid and creative but at times a little frustrating, as some scenes could have been drawn out and others made shorter.
Overall, a very good read. If you're looking for something a little intellectual, eye opening, though provoking but still a good contemporary romance, then pick this book up. I recently bought this book as a gift for my friend and I really hoped she enjoys it as much as I did. If there is a sequel, the ending will shock, I am definitely picking it up.
Four Star Novel
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