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Vivian Versus the Apocalypse Paperback – 5 Sep 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471402177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471402173
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Katie Coyle tackles the world of cults in a mature and light way, and Vivian Versus the Apocalypse is a witty and original take on contemporary America. Stylist Have you ever read a book that made you want to be a braver person, one that is beautiful and scary and funny and heartbreaking and genuinely weird all at once? Vivian Versus the Apocalypse is that kind of book ... I promise that as soon as you pick up the book you won't be able to stop reading it. Rookie Katie Coyle's writing is a breath of fresh air: sharp, funny and distinctive ... Conjouring up a chilling vision of a contemporary USA dominated by evangelical religion, this is an impressive and original debut, which will grip readers right up until its perfectly-pitched ending. Booktrust There's friendship, betrayal, romance and an increasingly empowered youth, all in one fantastically original read. We Love This Book Both premise and prose are fresh and exciting ... A compelling, thought-provoking read that balances the very largest of concerns ... with one girl's personal choices and relationships. Teen readers (and indeed adults) will appreciate this enormously, and eagerly anticipate Katie Coyle's next book. Inis magazine

About the Author

Katie Coyle grew up in a small suburban town in New Jersey. The first story she ever wrote was about a girl with a pet dolphin - eventually the dolphin turned into a dog, and the third-person narration unceremoniously switched over to first-person. The story was never finished. However, since then, she has spent countless hours dreaming up tales about the weird and wonderful things that happen to teenage girls. She has an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, and spends her free time buying books she doesn't need and crying at science-fiction television shows. Follow Katie at: or on Twitter: @krcoyle

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A book about the apocalypse that isn't of the "proselytising 'REPENT or else!' " genre? Yep. This is it.

Vivian's parents, along with a large proportion of the American population, have converted to the Church of America, a cult group that has, through huge marketing efforts and some well-timed fortuitous forecasts of natural disasters picked up large numbers of terrified new members. Today is the day they have forecast for the end of the world and the Rapture of all true believers. Vivian returns home from an ironic end-of-the-world party to discover her parents are missing and round holes in the roof of their bedroom.

Is this the beginning of the End?

This is a road movie, a story of friendship, a tale of love, a rite of passage novel. We see Vivian grow as she goes through abandonment, threat, discovery, loss. The people she meets on the way all play roles in her story - best friend Harp (so strong on the outside), Edie (pregnant Believer who isn't Raptured), quiet Peter.

This is Young Adult writing at its best - intense, controversial, intelligent. The ending leaves the story very open for further chapters, and I for one want to know what's going to happen in this strange new world of Vivian's. I loved what Coyle did with the situation and the characters. I'll be recommending this as much as I can.
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Format: Paperback
Vivian Versus The Apocalypse is not your average read. I really didn’t know what to expect when I started it, but I was blown away by the incredible story, and compelling characters. It’s quirky, different, and unpredictable. A fantastic coming of age story with a mysterious side to it. I know that it will be a success in book stores, and I’m so glad to have read it.

Vivian’s story is one of the most chilling and heart-breaking I’ve ever read. The whole idea of The Church of America makes my bones rattle. It was a very creepy novel of sorts. I felt sympathy for Vivian throughout the novel. To have parents you love and then be rejected by them because of a church, it was a very side to the story. And then it had to get worse, that ending. I mean, I was not expecting that. When I finished Vivian Versus The Apocalypse, I was disappointed that I was finished with these characters. I’m really hoping for a sequel because I would really like to go on another journey with these brilliant characters. The story was a weird mix of contemporary, coming of age, mystery, and slightly dystopian. There were so many twists throughout the novel, and I could never figure out what would happen next. It was such an fun read.

“Viv, old bean.”

Vivian is a very compelling character, and I loved seeing her grow throughout the novel. She was always the passive one, and now she had to step up and make important decisions for herself and her friends. She grew into a more confident character, and wouldn’t settle for anything less than the truth. Harp was my favourite character, she was spunky, outgoing, and brought out the real Vivian. Vivian would not have blossomed like she did in this novel if it wasn’t for Harp. They supported each other as characters.
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Format: Paperback

So your parents have been Raptured, and you're Left Behind. Do you stay in town with your best friend, or go to live with your new legal guardians? To Vivian Apple's credit, she at least gives living with her grandparents a try and lasts a few weeks with them. This is a YA book wherein adults are not automatically disregarded, or conveniently absent. Indeed, Vivian's mother has an interesting story, too.

Ultimately, though, the most nuanced character is Vivian's best friend. It's bad enough that Harpreet Janda's parents are gone, but an even more traumatising event leaves her with no reason to stay in Pittsburgh. And when Viv's love interest joins the road trip to California, Harp is the third wheel, which is awkward, but she still has more wit than Viv and Peter combined.

Edie doesn't add to the plot, but maybe she's there to represent someone who's okay with being Left Behind - for now, anyway. Rumours of a second Rapture (before the Apocalypse) are said to be limited in the number of people who'll be saved, so some treat their Left Behind life as a competition.

Wambaugh doesn't add to the plot, either, but it's great to have such a positive adult role model in a YA book, and Wambaugh's an awesome teacher. I suppose she's also included for the scene that proves that having faith, being a Believer, doesn't automatically mean the person does the awful things that their religion may unfortunately be stereotyped for. Indeed, the novel's ending really goes to show that there's something more powerfully deadly than the Church.

Katie Coyle's witty Left Behind characters struggle to find something worth believing in, as hope fuels their drove across the USA. Vivian Apple develops from a meek girl into a headstrong young woman, in a story that shows different aspects of faith, and the sometimes devastating effect the possibility of salvation can have.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This has been on my list for quite a while, I've seen it recommended by so many bloggers and booktubers, and happily I was not disappointed. Vivian Apple's parents are members of the Church of America, which seems to have brainwashed a large section of the American population into believing that the rapture is coming and in order to ascend to heaven, there is a wide range of Church of America branded products that can help you live a pure life. Sixteen-year-old Vivian and her friend Harp are non-believers and spend Rapture's Eve enjoying a house party, the following day Vivian returns home to find her parents missing with two holes in the ceiling above their bed. A brilliant apocalypse road trip ensues, with Viv and Harp accompanied by Peter, who might know the whereabouts of the Church's headquarters, as they try to unravel what exactly has happened and discover whether Viv's parents are still alive. There is mystery, strange unpredictable changing weather, thick fogs, unseasonal heat, budding romance, cults, conspiracy and quite possible the end of the world. I'm very much looking forward to reading the sequel, Vivian Versus America, to unravel the mysteries further, especially the weather, I am so intrigued about what's going on with the weather...
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