Monday, 15 September 2014

Vivian Versus America by Katie Coyle

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple has just travelled across the country, fended off roving bands of indoctrinated teenagers, re-evaluated everything she ever thought was true, and uncovered the dark secrets about the recent so-called 'Rapture' and the Church of America. And now, she must rescue her maybe-boyfriend Peter from the Church before the world is (supposedly) due to end, which is in less than three months. It's been a busy apocalypse so far.

Stranded in a city on the verge of complete panic, and faced with a society in an ever-increasing state of breakdown, Vivian and her friend Harp don't even know where to begin looking for Pete. But then a tip leads them to Los Angeles, and the somewhat unlikely location of the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Vivian must save the day - or she'll lose everything worth living for a second time...

This is the highly anticipated sequel to Vivian Versus the Apocalypse and we finally get some answers to the Big Questions. I read the first book last year and couldn't recall many details but Coyle did a very subtle summary that filled in the gaps nicely. So once I was all caught up, I dove right in to Vivian's next step, which was apparently to get named as terrorists and be forced into hiding. Yeah, things always go this well for them!

I loved the story arc for this book, it all spun around a militia group that Viv and Harp is caught up in, and the powerful information they share with the group; namely the truth about the Church and discovering the identities of the Angels. Now that we knew that the Church was just a capitalist extremist's dream gone mad, seeing the things that people did in the name of "religion" was just insane. And how many innocent people had been hurt or stuck in it, especially seeing Dylan pretending to be the poster boy for Jesus-approved denim and Peter the new spokesman, the lengths they had to go to just to survive in this ridiculous hostile environment was mind-blowing. 

The development of Vivian and Harper on their quest to bring down the Church was excellently done and corresponded with the developing relationship with secondary characters, especially Winnie and Peter. I loved getting to know Winnie properly; as Vivian half-sister, there was a lot of jealousy and sibling rivalry, inappropriate but they can't help it. And Peter, although he was in some major trouble, his and Viv's relationship wasn't the focus, nor a distraction; it was just hope in the world full of hate and lies. 

Happy with the answers I received, I then supported Viv and Harp as they attempted to spread the truth about the Church. But of course it wasn't going to be easy; a couple of truly awful things happen that I won't spoil for you but just know I was gasping aloud and my heart was hammering. I loved every page of this, especially the big finale, which was just the icing on the cake in many ways but incredibly sad in others. I will cherish this little series for the spin Coyle put on truth and the importance of family over the sometimes-foolish need to belong to something bigger.

Published 4th September 2014 by Hot Key Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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