Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
I admit, I purchased this book because it had Apocalypse in the title and I liked the cover. I didn’t even read the synopsis (which is something I almost NEVER do). When I started reading it, I realized it was not something I would normally chose for myself, but the beginning was good so I kept going.
Phillip is a bit of a weird, but otherwise pretty average teenage boy. Living with his father and brother, he has two best friends and is in training for the school cross country team when he meets the “unconventionally hot” Rebekah whilst hiding behind her mailbox. When she invites him to an unspecified meeting, Phillip instantly accepts – without realizing it is a church youth group to which he has been invited.
With an extreme atheist father and his mother having died a few years earlier, Phillip isn’t really sure that church is for him, but with the promise of spending more time with Rebekah, he gradually becomes more and more involved with youth group.
Now I have to say, religion is not my thing. As a theme through a book I don’t have a problem with it, as long as the book doesn’t become too “preachy”. In Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse this is how religion is used – as a theme to tie in the story of Phillip’s coming-of-age.
Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse is well written, and gives (what I can imagine) is a good insight into the mind of a 15 year old boy who has just met his first real girlfriend, is dealing with inevitable friend dramas, doesn’t understand his father and is trying to understand more about the world around him and the people in it. As a character, Phillip was likeable in that geeky-boy kind of way and his gradual realization that no one can know or understand everything was interesting to read.
I almost gave this book five stars for originality and excellent writing, but about ¾ of the way through it did feel a little like treading water and the religious themes became a bit too heavy for my liking. As a young adult book it is spot-on in terms of tone, theme and there is only a smattering of swearing, with some light alcohol use (such as taking shots of brown tequila stolen from someone’s parents liquor cupboard, ick!).