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The End of Everything [Paperback]

Megan Abbott
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Aug 2011

A close-knit street, the clink of glass on glass, summer heat. Two girls on the brink of adolescence, throwing cartwheels on the grass. Two girls who tell each other everything. Until one shimmering afternoon, one of them disappears.

Lizzie is left with her dread and her loss, and with a fear that won't let her be. Had Evie tried to give her a hint of what was coming, a clue that she failed to follow?

Caught between her imaginary guilt, her sense of betrayal, her own powerful need, and the needs of the adults around her, Lizzie's voice is as unforgettable as her story is arresting. This is no ordinary tale of innocence lost . . .

'A gripping and disturbing novel, a fever dream of adolescent desire and adult complicity' Tom Perrotta

'Deft, enthralling and intelligent' Kate Atkinson


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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (19 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330518313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330518314
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Abbott has already been responsible for a handful of excellent novels- influenced by Hollywood film noir and set mostly during the mid-20th century- but I think this could be her best. At any rate, it's her most daring. . . Fortunately, Abbott's prose is as seamless as it is fevered, resulting in something that reads like a nightmare in which reality is flimsy yet hyper-real. . . Abbott's book might be set in suburbia and about childhood, but, by investigating obsession, sex and everything else associated with the unexamined life, it goes straight to the heart of what noir fiction is about, while, at the same time, helping to reset its parameters.'
--CrimeTime

`The story of a child's disappearance, but with a twist that'll leave you intrigued.'
--Essentials Magazine

'A fine example of the classic coming-of-age trope...an accomplished psychological thriller, familiar and twisting in just the right measures... This is a highly skilled novel, taut, addictive, full of stuff to keep you hungrily reading.' --Sunday Times Sunday Times

'Every so often a novel comes along that gets pretty much everyone reading and pretty much everyone else talking...anyone looking for this year's equivalent, a word-of-mouth phenomenon that does not shy away from dark subject matter, should pick up The End of Everything by Megan Abbott... the book is being hailed as one of the best reads of the summer by broadsheets and women's magazines alike...arguably the greatest achievement of The End of Everything is the way it captures the essence of being a young girl teetering somewhere between childhood and adulthood; tantalised by glimpses of freedom in a mysterious adult world' --Sunday Express

'This is one of those gripping books you'll postpone a night out for, just to be able to finish it. It's an astonishingly insightful tale of two girls learning to deal with their sexuality and very adult relationships at a young age... A fascinating read.' --Heat Magazine

'On the back of the success of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and in a similar vein to Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides comes this haunting and gripping tale about two girls on the cusp of adolescence...as the unexpected truth behind Evie's disappearance is tauntingly revealed, the reader uncovers even more dark secrets hidden behind the closed doors of Cloverly Way. An utterly addictive read.'
--Laura Temple

`A shimmering, disturbing tale of a missing teenage girl and her best friend's quest to find her . . . Abbott unflinchingly captures the way in which the hazy, dreamy world of childhood crushes is replaced by the brutal reality of predatory adult sexuality. Brilliantly menacing.' --Marie Claire

`Echoing The Lovely Bones and The Virgin Suicides, The End of Everything explores the torment and frustration of being a 13-year-old girl sat on the white picket fence between innocence and knowing everything. An addictive read, the story unfolds like a dream: hazy and disturbing, you can't quite shake it off.' --welovethisbook

`Dark and unsettling . . . Abbott's ability to reconnect with the secrecy, feverish intensity and unearned worldliness of adolescence is uncanny. Not a whodunit, but a sensitive, unconventional tale about the infinitely complex mystery of sexual awakening that lingers in the mind long after the book is finished.' --Guardian

`This is one of those gripping books you'll postpone a night out for, just to be able to finish it. It's an astoundingly insightful tale of two girls learning to deal with their sexuality and very adult relationships at a young age.' --Heat

`Abbott sensitively captures the nuances of that complicated age and its intense friendships. She has been compared to Kate Atkinson; this book to The Lovely Bones. It is certainly one of those novels that stays with you. Read it. You might even be tempted to type its name on a bit of paper, and hand it to people you meet.' --bookslive

'Megan Abbott's sixth novel concerns the disappearance of a thirteen-year-old girl, Evie Verver, told through the eyes of her inseparable best friend, Lizzie. Think of a darker, less innocent American version of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, set in the creepy suburbia of the early scenes of John Carpenter's Halloween, and you're just about there. Abbott's style makes the book feel slightly twinkling and dreamlike, but it's also jittery and sly, delivering its shocks stealthily and leaving you unsure right until the last moment exactly what surround the Verver family and their extended social circle. Like Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, it's ultimately most memorable for its narrator's wide-eyed encapsulation of the gap between the child and adult world than it is for its central dark mystery. "Is being young so magical that they must conjure it up again, can't help themselves?" she asks of her grown-up acquaintances. "I don't see any magic in it at all." Yet magic is often exactly what she presents us with.'
--Daily Mail

'Abbott's prose style, with its long slippery sentences and sharp observations, is perfect for evoking this life stage. . . One feels that Abbott has not told all. I reread the ending several times to feel sure that I understood. Even then, there were things not quite said, not quite spelled out. It's this oblique quality, this sense of half exposure, that makes The End of Everything so intriguing.'
--The Tablet

`The compulsive, dream-like tale of a missing teenage girl, an emotionally complex examination of burgeoning female sexuality that lives long in the memory.'
--Doug Johnstone, Sunday Herald

Book Description

'Deft, enthralling and intelligent' Kate Atkinson Lizzie and Evie are inseparable. They walk home from school together, sleep over at each other's houses, even flirt with boys together. And they tell each other everything. Or at least, that's what Lizzie thinks -- until Evie goes missing, and Lizzie suddenly realises their friendship wasn't quite what she thought. A novel about two young girls discovering their sexuality; about fathers and daughters; about family and friendship; about jealousy, secrets and lies, The End of Everything is a powerful reminder that things aren't always what they seem. 'A gripping and disturbing novel, a fever dream of adolescent desire and adult complicity' Tom Perrotta --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Secret.... I liked this... 26 Jun 2011
By J. Bond VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm quite surprised to say that... I really enjoyed this story. When I selected it, it was really so I could read something that my wife might enjoy as well as myself... however, I could not put it down, I had to read it right until the conclusion.

The story begins rather slowly, it builds layers and fully flushes out each character. It loads the story with weight and suspense, which if you don't have a little patience you'll not enjoy, but then in the resolution of the story the flood gates open, the plot unfolds at a real explosive pace.

Some of the language employed is strong, some of the language may, for the moderate middle England reader maybe too strong. But on the whole the story is told, and is about a delicate subject (child abuse at its core).

I read the story in the evening, in bed and it left me unable to stop turning pages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed! 27 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
"The End of Everything" has a fairly straightforward plot - the probable abduction of thirteen year old Evie Verver and the effects this has upon her family and especially, her best friend, Lizzie. However, this simple plot-line is the vehicle for the exploration of some complex ideas: the awakening sexuality of young girls and their attraction for older men; sibling rivalry; father/daughter relationships; obsession.
Although the ingredients for an absorbing read were all there, I found this novel to be irritating. I caught myself wishing that the author would "get on with it", as she described Lizzie's thoughts yet again. I also felt that Lizzie's inner voice was not that of a thirteen year old, but an older person describing these thoughts - a minor detail, maybe, but one that grated.
On the whole, for me, this was a disappointing read.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable but engrossing 22 Jun 2011
By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Written in the first person, we see the story unfold through the eyes of 13-year-old Lizzie. Evie and Lizzie have been friends for ever in that close, intimate way that only happens in childhood where every secret and emotion is shared. Now, however, Evie has disappeared and Lizzie is trying to make sense of her feelings of loss, her suspicions that Evie may have been hiding something and her relationships with Evie's family who have been her second family for so long.

This book is an examination of that difficult time when childhood and adolescence meet. Lizzie is experiencing her first feelings of sexual desire and is trying to understand and deal with this. Being 13 is a long time ago for me now, but Lizzie took me back to that turmoil of emotions, that clash of innocence and knowingness, that combined sense of anticipation and apprehension of a new phase of life, and it seemed to me that the author had caught this incredibly accurately. Through Lizzie, she talks about the physical changes, the private fantasies, the struggle to understand the motivations of adults and to be accepted by them in a new way, the secrets and stresses within families.

The book is tautly written and relatively short at around 250 pages. I found it an uncomfortable but engrossing read, covering aspects of pubescent sexuality that we sometimes like to pretend don't exist. Suspenseful to the end and with a pervading atmosphere of dread, I shared with Lizzie a need not just to know what had happened to Evie, but to understand. This is not a book I will soon forget - I highly recommend it to anyone who was once a 13-year-old girl, though I'd love to see some male reviews too.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously impressed 29 Jun 2011
By S. Zigmond VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lizzie and Evie are best friends. Both are on the cusp of adulthood. They are always together. They share everything: their hopes, fears, bodily changes, school work and even their clothes. Closeness doesn't come into it.

But when one hot summer's day, Evie goes missing everything Lizzie thought she knew is destroyed. She thinks she knows what has happened and in some ways she is right but her idea of truth is neither what others see nor is it the real truth. Truth is a complex commodity. In fact, Lizzie sees everything in every detail but she is nave and confused in her own feelings to understand what it is she sees.

I have read many stories about the dark undercurrents of Middle America and of young girls coming of age but never one that is so subtly clever without calling attention to its cleverness. I do think, however, it's a mistake to liken it to The Lovely Bones because this is a far, far better novel. It lacks its gaucheness, its sensationalism or gruesomeness. Yes, gruesome things happen but what is most frightening are the small things such as Mr Verver's hand hovering above Dusty's stomach in the moonlight. Now that's scary.

This is an impressive novel, so light in its touch, so sure of its effects. This is the first novel I have read by Megan Abbott but it certainly won't be the last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Disturbing ! 17 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
To be honest, I picked this up as it was a previous Richard and Judy Book club choice. I've not been disappointed with their selections in the past , but I was with this one. Thankfully, the book is only 246 pages long so a relatively quick read but to be honest I did have to make myself pick it up and finish it. I was intrigued about what had happened to Evie , not a pleasant outcome but on the whole,there are some very strange relationships going on in this book ! Not a particularly comfortable read !!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read
I couldn't put the book down! The ending wasn't as good as the potential of the rest of the book however.
Published 3 months ago by EFVS
1.0 out of 5 stars not the best book
It was hard to be gripped by the book. I still think there is more to know. Not my cup of tea
Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth Bogunovic
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of everything
Very good read! Get lost in the book! Would highly recommend to anyone! Can get confusing at the end but overall a must read!
Published 7 months ago by Georgina Randall
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-written and depressing
Initially, the plot seems intriguing- a 13 year old goes missing, and her best friend attempts to discover the truth, alongside her own sexual maturity. Read more
Published 7 months ago by minimabel
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It really just didn't come together for me. There was no connection to the characters and the story line was thin and amounts to little.
Published 8 months ago by DeJayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, poignant story
Heart breakingly beautiful story of teenage girls growing up together, in the glow of one man's adoration.
So beautifully written, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Published 8 months ago by shewalla
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of everything
The writing style if this book is somewhat different from books I have read before, the style is quite unique and needs a lot of attention. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rachel Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Did my head in
Didn't like this book at all the way it was written was creepy and disconcerting and confusing, if that's the idea it worked but I got no pleasure from reading it and would not... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nimma
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Well written story of teenage emotion woven into a tale of drama and suspense. A tale of a forbidden relationship twisting and turning with suspense.
Published 10 months ago by Jean Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good book
This story is interesting from start to finish ..I wanted to know what the outcome was and it kept me enthralled..it's quite dark
Published 10 months ago by Mrs jones
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