by Bryan Bliss
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 24, 2015)
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Abigail's parents believed the world was going to end. And—of course—it didn't. But they've lost everything anyway. And she must decide: does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.Abigail is in a difficult position. Her parents have sold their home and everything they own, packed up her and her brother and are driving to San Francisco with very little money so that they could all join a church. The man leading this church is Brother John, and he said the world was going to end, but it didn’t and now Abigail and her family are stuck with no money, living in their van with no idea what to do next.
Abigail's parents never should have made that first donation to that end-of-times preacher. Or the next, or the next. They shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there for the "end of the world." Because now they're living in their van. And Aaron is full of anger, disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right.
But maybe it's too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss's thoughtful debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.
This wasn’t really the book for me. I can understand why a lot of others would like it, but it’s pretty straightforward. All you need to know about the book is in the summary. There are no big surprises or mysteries. I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing really does until the very end. The story just ended so abruptly that I’m not sure anything changed.
Abigail’s parents drove me crazy. I did not understand her father at all; the man was so gullible and easily deceived. I just couldn’t believe how he was willing to let his family suffer. Abigail’s mother was even worse in my eyes because she just went along with whatever her husband wanted. She was not a huge believer like him, but just seemed so unwilling to go against him even though she seemed to know that what they were doing was ridiculous. She saw how much her children were suffering but she was just unwilling to do anything about it.
I felt bad for Abigail, her parents were unreliable and her brother starts to pull away from her and keep secrets. She really had no one to depend on, and she was always trying to keep it together. I don’t really have any strong feelings about Abigail’s brother Aaron. I did understand his frustration, his whole world was torn apart because his parents got wrapped up in this big lie and they refuse to see the truth. I wish he would have been easier on his sister. They are both in the same situation and supporting each other would have made things a little easier both of them.
Brother John was absolutely despicable. He’s was obviously a fraud and had no problem taking money from Abigail’s father even though he knew they had nothing and nowhere to go. It was hard to believe that Abigail’s father couldn’t see through this man.
I just couldn’t really get into this book as much as I tried. I felt no real connection with any of the characters and had a hard time caring about what happened to them. It was a really interesting concept, but in the end I wasn’t sold on it.