The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza Details

TitleThe Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Author
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherSimon Pulse
ISBN-139781481498548
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Lgbt

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    "What is going on?""Maybe nothing," I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out." I'm on the fence about The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. It has many great individual components, but when looking back over the novel as a whole, I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as Hutchinson's We Are the Ants, which was one of my favourite reads of 2016.Having only read two of his books, I cannot say for certain, but I get the impression "What is going on?""Maybe nothing," I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out." I'm on the fence about The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. It has many great individual components, but when looking back over the novel as a whole, I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as Hutchinson's We Are the Ants, which was one of my favourite reads of 2016.Having only read two of his books, I cannot say for certain, but I get the impression that Hutchinson likes to write somewhat bizarre sci-fi/fantasy concepts and set them within a realistic, contemporary world. At times in The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, it's more than a little odd. While I enjoyed the moral and philosophical discussions that grew out of the story, I found some aspects ridiculous.To give a little background first, Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth. The author actually offers a scientific explanation for this - parthenogenesis, or asexual reproduction - which shouldn't be possible in humans, but Elena's mother turns out to be an exception to the rule. That's weird, but things get way weirder when Elena witnesses a shooting at Starbucks, heals the victim (her crush, a girl called Freddie), and makes the shooter disappear. Armed with new supernatural powers, Elena must decide whether to play God or risk the survival of all humanity.As I said, I liked the discussions about free will and personal responsibility, but I found the whole thing a little strange and forcibly quirky when inanimate objects such as a Lego Gandalf and the Starbucks logo start talking to Elena and instructing her on what she must do. I was hitting my limit on the suspension of disbelief.But, really, my main issue was how this long book (for YA at least) has very little story for the most part. I felt like there was a huge slow chunk in the middle taken up with repetitive introspection, the slowly-developing romance between Elena and Freddie, and general everyday life and its dull discussions. Elena moves through a cycle of healing people, hanging out with her best friend Fadil, questioning whether what she is doing is right, chatting with Freddie, healing some more people, blah blah... all for it to reach a fairly obvious conclusion that gives us no answers. Do not expect to have the science/fantasy aspects explained. Many loose ends are left, big and small. (view spoiler)[Like who were those agents who came to see Elena, anyway? (hide spoiler)]I suppose it is mainly a slow, character-driven story, where the supernatural elements are just quirks to liven up the backdrop and offer topics for discussion. And discussion there is indeed a lot of. Great bisexual rep, general diversity among the characters without it ever giving off a "checklist" feel, and allusions to Donald Trump being a dumbass are some other notable strengths.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • softlykaz
    January 1, 1970
    is it gay? cool I'm in
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    talentedbrilliantincredibleamazingshowstoppingspectacular.gifANYWAY this is Shaun David Hutchinson’s best book yet IMLO (in my lesbian opinion) and basically you should preorder it it’s existential and all about choices and wow I... loved this so much. new best book of 2018 and we're not even a month inREVIEW TO COME!!// one of my first official reads of 2018, and it was on my January list and everything wow I’m so productive let’s see if this lasts past today
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    "What is going on?"Maybe nothing" I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out" so I'm finally reviewing this book. And Honestly? I can't remember the last time I felt so indecisive about a book - because I really wanted to love this and yet the more I think about it the more I don't think I do. This review is going to be hard to write. The thing is, this book is by no means bad. Shaun David Hutchinson is such an excellent writer and I constantly value the perfec "What is going on?"Maybe nothing" I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out" so I'm finally reviewing this book. And Honestly? I can't remember the last time I felt so indecisive about a book - because I really wanted to love this and yet the more I think about it the more I don't think I do. This review is going to be hard to write. The thing is, this book is by no means bad. Shaun David Hutchinson is such an excellent writer and I constantly value the perfect mix of quirky, philosophical and sci-fi elements that permeate his books. And yet the whole time reading this I thought well I don't like it as much as his other books. It's an observation I feel bad about - because I kind of think comparing an authors work to their other works constantly is a bit unfair. But at the same time, I KNOW what it feels like to really love one of his books and this wasn't it. About halfway through I thought - "this doesn't feel as authentic and raw and honest as his other book. I feel like something is missing" I don't know if that was because it wasn't ownvoices like his other works, or something else completely, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. So, essentially what this book is about is a girl called Elena Mendoza who one day gets the miraculous power to heal people of ailments. First she heals her crush, Freddie, from a gunshot wound - and then she amps things up from there. But, everytime she heals someone, the cost is that people across the world are raptured at random. This book follows Elena as she tries to decide if healing people is worth the rapturing, and also explored her crush on Freddie, another girl at school. One thing I KNOW I didn't engage with much was the characters. I couldn't find myself falling in love with any character - which is a big problem in a character driven book. I felt like Elena, Freddie and Fadil especially were characters I could have loved, but something wasn't working. I never found myself able to engage with these characters fully and I don't really have any strong feelings about them, which is such a shame. I think this became especially apparent when characters from Hutchinson's other books appeared and my heart LEAPT, and I thought - oh I wish I felt that way about these characters. Fadil was my favourite and he was in it ENTIRELY NOT ENOUGH. Coming into characters, the romance didn't work for me. I understand it was supposed to be about discovering the real person behind the idealised facade that we create of people, but I think Freddie and Elena never really had the right chemistry. They spent so long being mean to eachother and while I didn't dislike the romance I also didn't feel particularly strongly about it, which is a shame. I also think some of the side characters were undeveloped, especially Freddie's friend who was just essentially the 'mean girl' character.On the upside of characters - I think the exploration of sexuality was well done. Starting with Elena, I liked the strong bisexual representation. It was cool to have a bi character who's out to everyone and uses the label bi and doesn't have a huge "the inner struggle" theme. I really liked the bi rep. I also really liked the questioning asexual representation for Fadil. Questioning rep is so important and I liked how labels and things were discussed, but ultimately it was questioning rep which is so important. sometimes we lose our way and can't separate the mystery from the misery, and when that happens, sometimes we make bad choices. Horrible choices that ripple through the lives of everyone involved. But like I said Hutchinson is an excellent author and there is some really good things in this book. Primarily, it is about choices, and decisions, and which are wrong and right. The characters grapple with so many massive questions and the philosophical underpinnings of this book are really interesting. I think Shaun David Hutchinson did a wonderful job at presenting his themes and ideas and exploring them with nuance and care. If you're interested in a YA book that explores the choices teenagers have to make, as well as the choices life forces us to make, I think you'd like this. Hutchinson explores how powerful choices can be, and the consequences of giving and taking those choices and this was INTERESTING, it just wasn't enough to carry the whole book for me. Overall I think this is a good book ! I do ! Some elements just didn't work for me much :( But I love how representative and diverse and interesting this book is, and I love that it forefronts so many issues never really explored in YA. It's definitely a unique, quirky book. And I can appreciate that it took a solid dig at a certain American Presidential Cheeto. I think if I'd liked the characters more I definitely would have loved this book! For me the elements didn't all come together but I still highly recommend this book because it's great? And SO well thought out. It just wasn't a complete OMGLOVE book for me thankyou to the publisher for sending me an arc in exchange for my honest review !SOME INFORepresentation Elena (mc): Bisexual & CubanFadil: Muslim and 'middle eastern' and also possibly on ace spectrum (he discusses if the label fits him but doesn't settle on anything)Freddie: Bisexual Minor characters:Indian side charactermentioned trans character minor f/f relationship & lesbian/bi charactersgay male & m/m relationshipcharacter with cystic fibrosisdrug use tw: There is a small scene which didn't exactly sit well with me - a character gives another pot brownies without the character knowing they're pot brownies, I think this may be potentially triggering so I'm mentioning it. tw: shooting, drug use, homophobia/biphobia
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    I’m falling asleep and I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow, so I’ll come back and write a very intensive review later!Update 1/28/18:The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has all the pieces that should make up a book I would love. It is by Shaun David Hutchinson, the author of one of my favorite books of all time. It's about Elena, a bisexual Cuban girl, dealing with huge philosophical choices. There's a f/f romance, and a Muslim side character who is figuring out whether or not he might fall on the I’m falling asleep and I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow, so I’ll come back and write a very intensive review later!Update 1/28/18:The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has all the pieces that should make up a book I would love. It is by Shaun David Hutchinson, the author of one of my favorite books of all time. It's about Elena, a bisexual Cuban girl, dealing with huge philosophical choices. There's a f/f romance, and a Muslim side character who is figuring out whether or not he might fall on the ace/aro spectrum. And yet, with all of this, I just couldn't fall in love with it. Here's what I will say about how SDH writes: his books are introspective, philosophical, and they don't give you an easy answer. Things are not tied up in a bow, and choices are not made simple. These are the things that made me love We Are the Ants as much as I did. His books value character over plot, and that is absolutely true of this book as well. A lot of the middle is just centered on Elena asking questions about herself, others, and the universe, which is actually a feature I liked a lot. I love internal narratives, and I like introspective characters. But where I think this failed is that I don't feel like I knew any of the characters well enough to be interested in their introspection.This book is over 400 pages long, which is lengthy for a character-centric story, but in all that time I never really felt like I had fallen in love with any character. Not Fadil, the best friend who I think could have used more page time. Not Freddie, the love interest, who spent so much time being mean to Elena that I couldn't really get invested in their romantic relationship. Not Elena's family, who seemed fleeting and forgetful. And, most disappointing of all, not even Elena. Despite the fact that the stakes couldn't possibly have been higher, I never felt the urgency or response from her that I so desperately wanted.I was also really frustrated with a character named Javi, Elena's ex-boyfriend. For the entire book (even after he got some character development) he has this real sense of entitlement to Elena, despite the fact that she repeatedly tells him to leave her alone and that she has no romantic interest in him. This never goes away, and I was somewhat uncomfortable with that. This did still have some stuff I loved. SDH is a good writer. He knows how to write a line that is succinct but so powerful, and even though I wasn't connecting to the characters, I was constantly marking passages that I wanted to remember. Also, the conclusion to the book was supremely satisfying. It was exactly what I was looking for, a perfect combination of character development and exploration of universal issues. I loved how it talked about choice, consequences, and consent.And, of course, I have to talk about how much I appreciated the rep in this book, and I think it was all handled incredibly well. Elena is openly bisexual, out to her friends, her family, and her school. Her sexuality is a part of her, enough that she uses the words "bisexual" and "bi" multiple times throughout. Also, I loved the little bit of conversation we got about Fadil possibly being ace/aro. Seeing those words used in a YA book in a conversation centered on sexuality was so wonderful. I wish I could have cared about the characters in this book. I wanted to be invested in their lives and their decisions, but in over 400 pages worth of story I just never felt like my heart was in it until the very last chapter. I think there's a lot to love in this book, and I think a lot of people are going to love it - and rightfully so, let's get SDH more appreciated please, but for me this book didn't hit the mark.
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    Super interesting concept and story, that I devoured in a few short hours. It gives the reader so much to think about, in terms of life and death, the state of our world, and love. I'll simply say that I underlined a lot of passages in this one that I will hopefully reflect back on. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, was that I found it dragged a bit in the middle, and at times was a little repetitive. But all in all, a solid book that will really make you think and question the wor Super interesting concept and story, that I devoured in a few short hours. It gives the reader so much to think about, in terms of life and death, the state of our world, and love. I'll simply say that I underlined a lot of passages in this one that I will hopefully reflect back on. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, was that I found it dragged a bit in the middle, and at times was a little repetitive. But all in all, a solid book that will really make you think and question the world. Also, if you've read any of Shaun David Hutchinson's other novels, you'll spot some Easter eggs hidden in this one, which were so fun to discover!
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    um...wow.... Since this doesn't come out until February of 2018, I don't want to say too much, but what I will say is that this book is magnificent.I'm going to be honest, I was quite worried going into this. WE ARE THE ANTS is my favourite book of all time, I was frankly, disappointed with his 2017 release, AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, but I also really loved THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY, so there was still hope. As always, ELENA was beautifully written and crafted, the characters were SO um...wow.... Since this doesn't come out until February of 2018, I don't want to say too much, but what I will say is that this book is magnificent.I'm going to be honest, I was quite worried going into this. WE ARE THE ANTS is my favourite book of all time, I was frankly, disappointed with his 2017 release, AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, but I also really loved THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY, so there was still hope. As always, ELENA was beautifully written and crafted, the characters were SO well done, and it has GREAT cuban and bisexual rep. (also, a character might be somewhere on the ace spectrum, which is what I'm hoping.)PLEASE pick up THE APOCALYPSE OF ELENA MENDOZA when it comes out on 2/6/18, you won't regret it. (also, there's TONS of cool easter eggs from Shaun's other works, so I'm going to have to go read the other books of his I haven't read and will most likely reread my arc copy before the end of the year.)
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    The Bible goes science fiction? Bring it.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Readers who love the weird genre-bending fiction of Shaun David Hutchinson won't be disappointed. I'd also hand it to readers who love and are itching for weird in the style of AS King. And then for readers who love this book -- particularly the messages about life, about humanity, about saving the world -- would do well picking up Blake Nelson's DESTROY ALL CARS. My favorite character was definitely Freddie. Perhaps the most complex, challenging, and yet utterly real character who wavers betwee Readers who love the weird genre-bending fiction of Shaun David Hutchinson won't be disappointed. I'd also hand it to readers who love and are itching for weird in the style of AS King. And then for readers who love this book -- particularly the messages about life, about humanity, about saving the world -- would do well picking up Blake Nelson's DESTROY ALL CARS. My favorite character was definitely Freddie. Perhaps the most complex, challenging, and yet utterly real character who wavers between smart and savvy as hell in her sharpness and depressed and utterly frustrated in sharpness, too....sometimes within pages, like someone really suffering with mental illness can be. Especially as a teenager with raging hormones thrown on top of it all.Some of the plot lines felt unnecessary (like with the step father) as they weren't necessarily fleshed out entirely well by the end. But they weren't obtrusive, either. Elena is a bisexual Cuban American born from a virgin with the power to perform miracles. For real. This book is bizarre but delightfully so.
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  • Max Baker
    January 1, 1970
    I received an DRC from Edelweiss. All opinions in this review are my own.I'm going to say a possibly unpopular statement. I think Shaun David Hutchinson should be as popular as Adam Silvera. Sure, Hutchinson's books aren't nearly as tear jerky as Silvera's but they almost always feel more authentic. It's like Silvera is Pixar, a brilliant studio that makes incredible movies but always seem like they're trying to make you cry. Hutchinson is more like a really good director, tailoring each movie w I received an DRC from Edelweiss. All opinions in this review are my own.I'm going to say a possibly unpopular statement. I think Shaun David Hutchinson should be as popular as Adam Silvera. Sure, Hutchinson's books aren't nearly as tear jerky as Silvera's but they almost always feel more authentic. It's like Silvera is Pixar, a brilliant studio that makes incredible movies but always seem like they're trying to make you cry. Hutchinson is more like a really good director, tailoring each movie with a specific care that's almost magical.The idea surrounding The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is pretty different from Hutchinson's previous books. Whereas the last two were very sci-fi/speculative based this one is more supernatural. While the idea of Elena's virgin birth is played as scientific, what she can do is very clearly supernatural. With Hutchinson so much out of his comfort zone, writing a busexual teenage girl and not a homosexual teenage boy, I was slightly worried his usual charm might be absent from this book. Thankfully, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is probably his second strongest behind Andrew Brawley in my opinion.The plot itself is very similar to We Are the Ants which the main character forced to make a choice that impacts all humanity, a fact Hutchinson himself acknowledges with a clever little cameo from Henry himself. But where We Are the Ants is more focused on whether humanity was worth Henry saving, this novel is more focused on the actual act of choosing. Choosing to save the world, choosing to let it burn, choosing something in the middle, and choosing to move forward. And it works to the books benefit that Elena is a somewhat passive character, pushed and pulled by everyone around her until she finally realizes she can't go through life like that, so scared of making a choice that is her own.There are other issues this book tackles: teenage shooters, bullying, enabling toxic behaviors, depression/suicidal idealization, and coming to terms that a crush might not be the person you believe them to be. But the book never feels crowded with these issues and very rarely does it feel out of place or overwhelm the actual story. But I did find that this book lacked that emotional punch his previous books had which left the story feeling, not unfinished, but not as strong as if could be.Despite that, Hutchinson has shown a clear talent for writing unique, LGBT+ stories and has proven that he can go beyond his usual boundaries to create something truly spectacular.
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  • Justina Ireland
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant. Just absolutely amazing.
  • official b99 ambassador™
    January 1, 1970
    this comes out the day after my birthdaywho's buying me a sapphic present
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsThis book is so good it's making me feel like I want to lower my rating for We Are the Ants.Because if you liked We Are the Ants, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza will 100% win you over.It revolves around sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza who is the product of a virgin birth (parthenogenesis) and finds herself with the ability to heal people, the first of being her long-time crush Freddie who was shot at in a Starbucks parking lot. Yet, as Elena heals people, other disappear in blasts of ligh 5 starsThis book is so good it's making me feel like I want to lower my rating for We Are the Ants.Because if you liked We Are the Ants, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza will 100% win you over.It revolves around sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza who is the product of a virgin birth (parthenogenesis) and finds herself with the ability to heal people, the first of being her long-time crush Freddie who was shot at in a Starbucks parking lot. Yet, as Elena heals people, other disappear in blasts of light, and the voices of inanimate objects talk more and more frequently to her, repeating the same message: heal more people or the world will end. More unbelievable things begin to happen and the only explanation is the least logical one--that the voices are right and the world is actually coming to an end with Elena as the only one who can stop it.I though We Are the Ants was really good, but The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza blew it out of the park. It blew it out of the universe, really.I think the biggest difference between the two is the pacing. If you haven't read my review for We Are the Ants, you can find it here & read about what I thought of the novel.Where We Are the Ants had that kind of lagging middle, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza had a much better paced middle with a lot more drama and action going on that kept me engaged.Yet, the two books definitely have their similarities (and that's not including the cameo of Henry in Apocalypse).The "end of the world" idea is very prominent as Elena is (basically) harassed by inanimate objects to heal things, while in We Are the Ants, Henry was harassed by aliens to "press the red button" and save humanity.Quick side note: I really liked the humorous aspects this novel had as inanimate objects-Baby Cthulhu dolls, My Little Pony dolls, girls on tampon boxes, etc. etc. talked to Elena and verbally harassed her. It was a cute sort of mean banter that was guiltily entertaining and definitely helped the pacing from dragging. I mean, what would you do if a pony named Snippity Snap started talking to you?Anyways, it's that moral conflict & decision weighing on the main protagonists shoulders of whether humanity is worth saving that makes this novel similar to Hutchinson's former.That's not to say that they're the same, though. Elena has her own set of problems & the end of the book is very different, even though the moral conflict had similarities.I won't be spoiling anything, but Elena's own journey in figuring her stuff out and figuring things out about the world and people and society had a different result, despite stemming from the same conflict.I think this is a testament of Hutchinson's skill at portraying this dilemma as he's basically able to take the same premise and work it in an entirely different way. Yet, I do realize some people wouldn't want to read something so similar to something they've already read.I personally enjoyed this a lot more than We Are the Ants because Elena, despite all her flaws, was an interesting character who I could definitely relate to. She has a lot of problems and treats some people badly without realizing it sometimes, but her own character growth was a lot more prominent and spread out through the novel where We Are the Ants kind of blasted it all at you in one crucial scene.The plot of Elena's powers definitely worked really well in furthering her character development, which I think was the star of this novel. Her growth as a person and her decisions regarding healing one person and letting a couple dozen blast away into the night or not healing the person were interesting to read about.Elena's also bi, which I thought was super cool and I really liked how it wasn't, like, the main point of the novel. It wasn't really emphasized in the summary, and finding it out in the novel was a pleasant surprise for me because it really helps show how we don't have to make a big deal about including diversity in novels. It should already be just there.The romance in this novel was nice. I do think Elena and Freddie have a whole bunch of problems, but Hutchinson isn't telling us that they're going to live happily ever after--or even have each other in their lives.Overall, I definitely loved reading The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. It's like We Are the Ants--but better. It's a perfect mix of a contemporary character-based novel with science fiction elements that helps hook the reader and keeps them hooked. I would 100% recommend to anyone looking for a meaningful yet interesting read!Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a digital review copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Not my favorite SDH book, but I liked parts of it separately than the whole book collectively.
  • Dany
    January 1, 1970
    YAS SHAUN DAVID HUTCHINSON.... YAAAAAAS
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    The world will eventually end, whether we want to think about it or not. Hutchinson places his characters right against this inevitability, forcing them into corners where they have no choice but to question the consequences of actions . . . or inaction. If this all sounds a little bit We Are the Ants, rest assured that Hutchinson approaches the end of the humanity in a way that feels completely distinct from WAtA and At the Edge of the Universe. Elena Mendoza is taunted for being born of virgin The world will eventually end, whether we want to think about it or not. Hutchinson places his characters right against this inevitability, forcing them into corners where they have no choice but to question the consequences of actions . . . or inaction. If this all sounds a little bit We Are the Ants, rest assured that Hutchinson approaches the end of the humanity in a way that feels completely distinct from WAtA and At the Edge of the Universe. Elena Mendoza is taunted for being born of virgin birth (or parthenogenesis, if you care to be scientific, which she does). She mostly picks her way through life on the sidelines, apart from occasional instructions from voices (because of course). Though past suggestions have been generally benign (e.g., guiding her to meet her future best friend Fadil), Elena finds the mysterious speakers have grown more persistent. These voices – which manifest as different inanimate objects speaking, be it plushie, statuette, or corporate logo – vehemently insist she reach out and heal the gunshot wound of a dying classmate. Initially, little does Elena realize that every time she heals someone, other people mysteriously disappear. When this information is revealed to her, the weight of each decision to heal another person (and the ever-growing number of people who are ‘raptured’ as a result) grows in a very Fibonacci way. But what Elena she takes no action? The voices insist that the end of humanity is at stake, that the people who disappear are saved. Fadil believes these voices are divine, blue-haired infatuation Freddie believes the voices are manipulating Elena, and Elena is stuck somewhere in between, where anxiety meets indecision. Although Elena seems to have an unchecked ability to heal, she grapples with plenty of questions: what is the difference between being healed and being fixed? Are there certain conditions that shouldn’t be healed, even if the person wants them to be? Does motivation affect outcome? What is the importance of choice, and when (if ever) is it okay to make that choice on behalf of others? Hutchinson seamlessly weaves many matters plucked from realistic fiction (slash life) – balancing friendships when new love interests enter the mix, bullying, overworked parents, falling in love with the idea of someone versus reality, etc. – yet the supernatural elements of Elena’s story never feel distracting or out of place. Refreshingly, Elena’s bisexuality is never challenged by other characters or questioned as a “phase” (nor does it seem to be even mildly shocking to anyone, as even her ex-boyfriend – who still carries a bit of a torch for her – seems completely accepting of Elena’s crush on Freddie). The pacing dips off a bit at times (view spoiler)[(“Come meet me at the diner in the middle of the night for news about shooter David Combs – oh, surprise, I have no news, just another circular argument!”) (hide spoiler)] and some of the conversation transitions seemed unnatural and placed as convenient turns, but overall this book carries all the humorous wry narration, unique and well-developed characters, and hooked-from-page-one-ness readers expect from Hutchinson.
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  • Ivy Moore
    January 1, 1970
    “The apocalypse started at Starbucks the moment I healed Winifred Petrine.”Elena Mendoza doesn’t want to save the world. She already has enough going on, what with attempting to escape from her ex-boyfriend Javi, trying to get to know her new crush Freddie, practically raising her two younger siblings while her mom works three jobs because, scientifically, Elena doesn’t have a father. (It’s called parthenogenesis. Look it up. Or don’t. She could care less.)When the voices that Elena has been hea “The apocalypse started at Starbucks the moment I healed Winifred Petrine.”Elena Mendoza doesn’t want to save the world. She already has enough going on, what with attempting to escape from her ex-boyfriend Javi, trying to get to know her new crush Freddie, practically raising her two younger siblings while her mom works three jobs because, scientifically, Elena doesn’t have a father. (It’s called parthenogenesis. Look it up. Or don’t. She could care less.)When the voices that Elena has been hearing since she was a child start to tell her the world is going to end, she wants no part in it. But when an unidentified boy shoots Freddie in the parking lot of a Starbucks, it really does seem like the apocalypse is near. I mean, it’s not every day you discover you have the power to heal gunshot wounds and possibly shoot people into another dimension. She’s not crazy, okay?Elena now has to confront the abnormality she’s been shadowed by her entire life, and while doing so she must attempt to convince 7.6 billion panicked people of the one thing she isn’t totally sure of herself: To save the world, she’d going to need to end it.This suckerpunch of a book was most certainly an experience. It took me a few chapters to get into it, the mashing of realistic fiction and sci-fi so violent, I thought it would never work. But then it did, and it did so, so, well. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has the the snappy dialogue, insightful statements, and the tears-worthy feels of any good YA novel while still supplying the other-worldly ideas and emotional dilemmas of a masterful science fiction book. This is not Shaun David Hutchinson’s first YA rodeo, and you can feel that in his detailed and expressive writing. He knows how to tell a story and how to capture the reader, while at the same time presenting the audience with something fresh, emotional, and exciting. I laughed, I cried, I witnessed the end of the world, then laughed and cried some more. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza was an incredibly moving read that definitely doesn’t deserve the tea stains I gave it. (Sorry pages 25 - 30.)This book was most certainly an experience. It took me a few chapters to get into it, the mashing of realistic fiction and sci-fi so violent, I thought it would never work. But then it did, and it did so, so, well. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has the the snappy dialogue, insightful statements, and tears-worthy feels of any good YA novel while still supplying the other-worldly ideas and emotional dilemmas of a masterful science fiction book. This is not Shaun David Hutchinson’s first YA rodeo, and you can feel that in his writing. He knows how to tell a story and how to capture the reader, while at the same time presenting the audience with something fresh, emotional, and exciting. I laughed, I cried, I witnessed the end of the world, then laughed and cried some more. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza was an incredibly moving read that definitely doesn’t deserve the tea stains I gave it. (Sorry, pages 25 - 30.)
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Rating: Elena Mendoza is the result of a virgin birth. No, she is not a religious icon. Elena is the child of parthenogenesis which has always made her freak. Her reputation is not helped by the fact that she is constantly hounded by voices telling her what to do. Then one day when Elena is working her shift at Starbucks her classmate and crush Freddie is shot. Elena heals Freddie but at the same time people around the world disappear into the sky. The voices tell Elena that she is going to 3.5 Rating: Elena Mendoza is the result of a virgin birth. No, she is not a religious icon. Elena is the child of parthenogenesis which has always made her freak. Her reputation is not helped by the fact that she is constantly hounded by voices telling her what to do. Then one day when Elena is working her shift at Starbucks her classmate and crush Freddie is shot. Elena heals Freddie but at the same time people around the world disappear into the sky. The voices tell Elena that she is going to save the world and stop the apocalypse but can Elena bring herself to save anyone if it means that others may die?This was a very interesting book with ideas that linger with you after you've finished it. Hutchinson raises the questions of morality and ethics in a way that is entertaining and makes you question your beliefs. His descriptions of Elena's healing ability are beautifully crafted as well as is the subtle references to his previous books. However, this book felt lacking in its final act with the ending not quite working for me. I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Elena was born of a virgin birth, it has been scientifically proven. She becomes even more exceptional when she saves her crush Freddie from death after she is shot by a fellow classmate. The weird thing is, the shooter disappeared when Elena healed Freddie. The voices in Elena's head are encouraging her to continue healing others in preparation for the end of the world. Elena doesn't know whether to listen to the voices or not, I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Elena was born of a virgin birth, it has been scientifically proven. She becomes even more exceptional when she saves her crush Freddie from death after she is shot by a fellow classmate. The weird thing is, the shooter disappeared when Elena healed Freddie. The voices in Elena's head are encouraging her to continue healing others in preparation for the end of the world. Elena doesn't know whether to listen to the voices or not, especially since Freddie is mad that she was healed in the first place. I had trouble with the setting, I thought the sci-fi/fantasy setting could have better developed. I thought the writing and characters were strong, though I never really liked Elena. It was a quick compelling read.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Elena is a special teen. She was conceived through parthenogenesis (virgin birth), hears inanimate objects speak to her, and when the logo on a Starbucks cup tells her to heal a girl who has just been shot, finds she can do that too, but with the catch that every time she heals someone, others are raptured. Hutchinson has, yet again, created a story that is weird and wonderful, that lets us think about both big questions and small ones. If you're a fan, you'll be delighted by some cameos from ch Elena is a special teen. She was conceived through parthenogenesis (virgin birth), hears inanimate objects speak to her, and when the logo on a Starbucks cup tells her to heal a girl who has just been shot, finds she can do that too, but with the catch that every time she heals someone, others are raptured. Hutchinson has, yet again, created a story that is weird and wonderful, that lets us think about both big questions and small ones. If you're a fan, you'll be delighted by some cameos from characters in his other books. He's a really gifted writer, and if his publisher would release his books a little later in the year, he might not get overlooked come Printz time. Loved it. Review from e-galley.
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  • Stephanie Moore
    January 1, 1970
    ***3.5 Stars***I got this ARC from Yallfest in exchange for a review.I had zero interest in this book at first, but still decided to pick it up.Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it had a very strong preachy tone throughout. The writing was good, and the story overall held my interest, but the preachiness got a little annoying. I also got a bit annoyed at Elena's indecisiveness concerning whether or not she should heal people.All that being said, I found myself flying through this book needing to ***3.5 Stars***I got this ARC from Yallfest in exchange for a review.I had zero interest in this book at first, but still decided to pick it up.Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it had a very strong preachy tone throughout. The writing was good, and the story overall held my interest, but the preachiness got a little annoying. I also got a bit annoyed at Elena's indecisiveness concerning whether or not she should heal people.All that being said, I found myself flying through this book needing to find out what came next. I was ultimately satisfied with the way things ended, despite the last burst of preachiness.
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  • Tori Frost
    January 1, 1970
    This is my favorite book of 2018 and it isn't even 2018 yet. If there's a platonic ideal of the kinds of books I like, this is it. This is a book about BEING HONEST and MAKING CHOICES and being REALLY HECKIN' GAY. The heroine is a bisexual Latina barista -- a child of a virgin birth -- who's trying to save the world and/or her crush, guided (or misguided?) by the divine voices of My Little Pony dolls and a stuffed baby Cthulhu. Every sentence of this wacky yet gut-wrenching novel was a delight. This is my favorite book of 2018 and it isn't even 2018 yet. If there's a platonic ideal of the kinds of books I like, this is it. This is a book about BEING HONEST and MAKING CHOICES and being REALLY HECKIN' GAY. The heroine is a bisexual Latina barista -- a child of a virgin birth -- who's trying to save the world and/or her crush, guided (or misguided?) by the divine voices of My Little Pony dolls and a stuffed baby Cthulhu. Every sentence of this wacky yet gut-wrenching novel was a delight. Clear your schedule for the release date and go pre-order this immediately.
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  • Brittani
    January 1, 1970
    I described Shaun David Hutchinson's books as profoundly weird and beautiful before and that's 100% still the case. I just love the way he writes. His books deal with difficult topics and they get a little (or a lot) dark, but there's still such humor present in the narration of his characters that you never get overwhelmed with sadness. There's also, as always, a lot to think about as you read the book and you turn the last page. This is a book about choices and as someone who is the absolute w I described Shaun David Hutchinson's books as profoundly weird and beautiful before and that's 100% still the case. I just love the way he writes. His books deal with difficult topics and they get a little (or a lot) dark, but there's still such humor present in the narration of his characters that you never get overwhelmed with sadness. There's also, as always, a lot to think about as you read the book and you turn the last page. This is a book about choices and as someone who is the absolute worst at making decisions, I can relate to Elena's struggles so much. I struggle with which book to read next, she struggles with whether or not to bring on the apocalypse. Totally on the same level. I liked how the characters absolutely aren't perfect and they're called out for mistakes, even Elena, which doesn't always happen with main characters. This book was just so very real and grounded, for all that it deals with talking My Little Pony dolls and potential rapture. I, as always, highly recommend this book. Also, as a bonus, if you've read other books by Shaun David Hutchinson there were nice little Easter eggs spread throughout the book and it felt a bit like coming home. I was provided a free copy of this book on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mckinlay
    January 1, 1970
    [4.5 stars] i kinda feel like Shaun just likes to mess with my brain.
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Elena Mendoza is the first human scientifically confirmed to have been born by parthenogenesis; in other words, she is the product of a virgin birth. After she miraculously saves her longtime crush from a fatal bullet wound, Elena discovers she has the power to heal and she must use her power, or else the world will end. But as Elena reluctantly begins healing those afflicted, people begin around the world begin getting raptured in a bright light. I loved this book so much. It was funny, poignan Elena Mendoza is the first human scientifically confirmed to have been born by parthenogenesis; in other words, she is the product of a virgin birth. After she miraculously saves her longtime crush from a fatal bullet wound, Elena discovers she has the power to heal and she must use her power, or else the world will end. But as Elena reluctantly begins healing those afflicted, people begin around the world begin getting raptured in a bright light. I loved this book so much. It was funny, poignant, and had so much representation. (view spoiler)[Also...*prays D. Trump actually does gets raptured 🙏🏼* (hide spoiler)]
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    Man. This might be more of 3.5 for me, but I'm really not sure. As a massive fan of Hutchinson's other books, I found myself just not connecting with this one the same way I did with 'We Are the Ants' and 'At the Edge of the Universe'. The middle of the book felt like it was meandering around and around in circles for a while before it started to pick up again at the end. I did like how it loosely tied together with the other books and the cameos made me smile. I also liked Elena and Fadil's fri Man. This might be more of 3.5 for me, but I'm really not sure. As a massive fan of Hutchinson's other books, I found myself just not connecting with this one the same way I did with 'We Are the Ants' and 'At the Edge of the Universe'. The middle of the book felt like it was meandering around and around in circles for a while before it started to pick up again at the end. I did like how it loosely tied together with the other books and the cameos made me smile. I also liked Elena and Fadil's friendship a lot.
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  • Nina Rapsodia
    January 1, 1970
    ANOTHER BOOK OF MY FAVORITE WRITER MAN OF FLORIDA?ITS TITLE HAS MY SECOND LASTNAME (MENDOZA) ON IT?COUNTMEIN
  • bianca
    January 1, 1970
    just. why the fuck not.
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