It’s the end of the world as she knows it, but Vivian Apple does not feel fine.
In a modern America that seems to have forgotten God, Beaton Frick has been selected by the Almighty to be His prophet. Capitalizing (in every sense of the word) on such visions as “the parable of the Starbucks,” Frick has created the Church of America and set a date for the Rapture. Seventeen-year-old Vivian is certain the paranoia will dissipate, but when her Believer parents (along with thousands of other followers) disappear and natural disasters ensue, she finds herself wondering if Frick’s prophecies might be true. The teen’s present-tense narration teems with irreverent humor as she follows her decision to solve the mystery of her missing parents. This is a book about America, after all, so a road trip from Vivian’s Pittsburgh neighborhood to California is practically requisite. Accompanying her along the way are Indian-American and BFF Harpreet (another Rapture victim) and Peter, whom she met at a Rapture’s Eve party and who also has family secrets. As on any worthy road trip, Vivian meets a host of unusual characters and begins to form her own beliefs. Although the story loses speed toward the end, readers will already be charmed by Vivian’s transformations. An open ending paves the way for the trip to continue.
For readers who like their realistic fiction with a whopping side of satire. (Fiction. 14 & up)