Friday, January 6, 2012

Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse ~ Lucas Klauss (eARC) review

Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse
Simon Pulse
January 3, 2012
402 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon

Philip's sophomore year isn't exactly off to a great start: Track is already horrible - running hills in the heat - and now his coach has decided to single him out. One of his best friends has decided to ditch him (and their other best friend) for a group of complete jerks. His dad is selling the emergency supplies that fill their basement - even though the world could end any day now.

Philip, who usually enjoys his apocalypse, the-world-is-doomed books finds his attention captured by Rebekah a girl he's never met before who saves him from the wrath of his track coach. And invites him to her church's youth group.

Living with an atheist father, Philip knows the youth group won't exactly be an okay activity, nevertheless he finds himself intrigued . .. more so by the chance to see Rebekah again so he goes.

Will what he finds there be what he's looking for or will it lead to even more questions.

With Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse, I liked the beginning better than the end which I liked better than the middle. The introduction to Phillip Flowers, the main character, his father, his brother, his two best friends - Asher and Mark - and the girl he can't get out of his head, Rebekah draws readers in.

Philip's personal relationships - the one he has with his atheist father, the one with his two best friends and the one he develops with Rebekah - are anything but simple. They are real and feel true to life, with their ups and downs and the drama that everyone encounters (just, maybe, ratcheted up a little for sake of the story).

As Philip starts attending church with Rebekah and thinks he's found a new purpose or calling for his life, each and every one of the other relationships in his life changes drastically. Either due to his new(found) beliefs or the characters changing with age - or both. It's nice that the stories of the relationship continue parallel to Philip's religious discovery.

Philip's decision that Rebekah's church - and really, religion in general - was so definitely for him, didn't quite click with me. I am all for more religion in YA books (maybe not always evangelical religion, though), I just didn't see where he found this great connection.

Things in that section of the story seemed to develop either too quickly or without enough development for me to really feel them. I understood Philip wanting to explore religion - especially as we got to see more of his past - but it seemed that he was just suddenly very gung-ho for it.

There were also too many anti-gay remarks for me to be okay with. I can understand that the novel was dealing with a) teenage boys and b) evangelical Christians but . . . I don't think it was necessary.

I loved the first part of this book, probably until about fifty percent of the way through. After that, I wasn't as able to connect with the character or understand his reasoning/motivation.

Rating: 6/10

Read thanks to S&S's Galley Grab

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