Vivian Versus The Apocalypse by Katie Coyle
Genre: Alternate Universe, Contemporary (sort of?), Apocalyptic
Published by: Hot Key Books
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
I’ve had ‘Vivian…’ on my Kindle for a while, but only when my library got the sequel did I have the motivation to read it. It seemed like a really interesting read, with a completely unusual premise, and it didn’t disappoint in that respect!
In the book, America has been overridden by a new religious belief that’s radical and somewhat dangerous. Vivian does not belief, but her parent do, and when the ‘Reckoning’ occurs and her parents disappear, Viv and her best friend Harp set out on a road trip across country to find some answers.
The premise of a coming apocalypse, and the end of the world as we know it was kind similar to ‘We All Looked Up‘, so it was good to have that in the back of my mind to help my footing with this story. Throughout the story, there are quotes and passages from the new ‘bible’ by the religious leader that really outlines how horrible the new belief is. What I really liked about this book was how believable of a situation it was. For so many people to be brainwashed into believing that some people are sinners and some people are not was really realistic, and sort of made me question the society we live in, if that kind of manipulative domination can occur!
I really enjoyed the relationship between the best friends and how reasonable Vivian was throughout the whole story. Whether she was on her own, or with others, she stuck to her guns (or sledgehammer, as it may be) and made her own decisions. To read about someone with such a strong will, even if it means leaving others behind, was refreshing.
The villains of the story were excellent because they were so normal (and slightly crazy, but, you know…) Even though the girls, and Peter, the love interest, really had no idea what they were going to do, apart from travel from place to place, they managed to achieve something, though that something will have to be developed in the next book.
For once, an insta-love romance that didn’t annoy me. I loved that Viv and Peter interacted a while before they rediscovered each other. It made up for the speed at which their relationship developed. Not much else to say on the matter, apart from who doesn’t love a good road-trip romance?
So, I did feel throughout the book that Viv and friends didn’t have much of a plan, and that made me question the purpose of the road-trip and their various stopping points. It was a little disjointed and random, but in the end, the story figured out where it was meant to be going.
The little reveals about the religion and the believers were intriguing, along with the few life-changing discoveries made at the end of the novel that set up the next book. Now that Viv has found the root of the problem, all she has to do is shut it down…somehow.
Overall, I’d give ‘Vivian Versus The Apocalypse’ 3 stars. I didn’t really understand the relevance of some sections and what the group was hoping to achieve, but I very much look forward to the sequel. Any book that deals with religion as a theme I find interesting. I especially loved a speech Viv’s teacher made about judging believers and non-believers. There’s definitely some powerful things hidden in this story that are very much worth discovering.