Publication date: Sept 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult / Contemporary-ish
Summary: The predicted Rapture by Pastor Frick’s Church of America has come and gone, and three thousand Believers are now missing or dead. Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple and her best friend, Harpreet, are revolutionaries, determined to expose the Church’s diabolical power grab . . . and to locate Viv’s missing heartthrob, Peter Ivey. This fast-paced, entertaining sequel to Vivian Apple at the End of the World challenges readers to consider how to live with integrity in a disintegrating world. (greads.com)
The GoodWe pick up with Vivian Apple and her best friend (and hilarious partner-in-crime) Harpreet Janda exactly where we saw them last — in the aftermath of discovering the truth of Pastor Frick’s Church of America Rapture hoax and reuniting with her mother and half-sister. Not to mention they left Patrick behind to who knows what kind of trouble and it won’t be long before the Church will be after them. Needless to say the book is all about staying alive, finding Peter and exposing the Church to the world for who they really are. From start to finish, the book is fast-paced and filled with the same smart writing and witty dialogue that had me constantly cracking up. The author says so much satirically, if you’re able to read between the lines (and I definitely was!). It really does remind me of a less depressing, YA version of the show The Leftovers (which I am a big fan of).
The stars of the story continue to be Vivian and Harpreet. I love how they approach their friendship with honesty and support. They’re so different personality-wise but together they make one hell of a team. I bet the Church of America didn’t expect two teenage girls to try and take them down! But they are determined in their efforts, although they do get some help from new friends. I can’t say much about the new friends, for obvious spoiler-y reasons, but they were a welcome addition to the story. It just added another layer of people reacting to the fanaticism in the country and how different people take different actions. And in the end, who’s right or wrong? Is it even that simple to break it down in such a black and white view? (To me the answer is no.) And if you were a fan of Peter’s (like I was!), don’t worry he continues to play an important role here. His and Vivian’s story is far from over.
As with the first book, Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle continues to push readers to think about faith, society and what you choose to believe in and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
(No) reservationsI think my one super minor reservation is Vivian’s mother. Even though we do get to know her better this time around, I still don’t understand her or why she is the way she is. But maybe we’re just not supposed to and at the end of the day, I’m okay with that.
Do I recommend?I do! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this book less (luckily it was less than a year!) and it did not disappoint. If you haven’t read this duology yet, I highly encourage you to check it out.