The End of the World
by Amy Matayo
I couldn't believe what a fast read this was considering the deep, dark issues it tackled. I will admit that at first it took me a little while to completely get into the characters of Shaye and Cameron. Now that I've finished the book I think it was because my connection with them happened slowly, but by the end of the book I was so completely attached to them that I cried both when they suffered and when I read their epilogue. Matayo drew me so deeply into their feelings that I truly hurt when they did. I didn't even mind the alternating points of view between them and that usually drives me crazy because I want to stay in one character's mind. But this time I really enjoyed seeing both of their thoughts.
I found this book especially riveting because of my interest in possibly one day becoming a foster parent or at least doing respite foster care. Both main characters in this book are in the foster care system and while I would never say that Matayo's book portrays all foster homes I am deeply saddened to know that it does portray some :( but I pray that through books that open people's eyes to what can happen in the system that more good people with good hearts and lots of love will step up to help foster kids! The conflict and tension throughout this book dealing with the treatment of these foster kids truly broke my heart.
This book truly crosses both Young Adult fiction and New Adult fiction. Basically meaning an older teenager will enjoy this just as much as a young 30 something. That doesn't necessarily mean I would hand this to a 16 year old...because this book does cover some truly disturbing and difficult topics BUT if I read it before she did and approached reading the book as an opportunity to talk about some real life issues it would be an excellent book to hand a teenage daughter. I think even teenage boys would enjoy this book since half of it is told from a male point of view.
This book does have some romantic elements in it and I know that it is marketed toward that genre but in all honesty I didn't find the theme of romance in the book enough for me to classify it that way. I felt the coming of age theme was much stronger and the romance was a very small part. Likewise even though I did see this book on some inspirational lists I really didn't see any spiritual or even inspirational aspects to the story. I feel anyone looking for a mainstream book to read about teenagers in the foster care system would find this book fitting for their interests. Likewise, someone looking for a book with a lot of scripture and Christianity might find themselves disappointed.
I stayed up most of the night reading this book because I couldn't put it down. And then I spent the whole next day pondering the story. This was not a fun or easy read but it was very thought provoking. It covers some of the darkest topics of abuse and neglect. This book is not meant to be "enjoyed" but in my opinion is meant to talk about real life.
If you like books that aren't all flowers, candy, easy and fun then this is the book for you.
I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from the author as a part of her launch team.