4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
This edition was translated from the original French by Lazer Lederhendler.
An adorable, quirky tale of boy meets girl, Apocalypse for Beginners is reminiscent of 500 Days of Summer or Juno type stories. Hope Randall is a very unique young woman, incredibly intelligent but also fixated on the possibility of the end of the world.
This was such an easy read – I borrowed it from the library at midday today, and I finished it about thirty minutes ago. It was a nice diversion from the heavy sci-fi. But part of the reason for it being such an easy read was that it was simply so enjoyable. Mickey and Hope’s relationship is so sweet, and it was exciting to watch it grow. The book was also quite different to others I have read in that sort of genre, in the fact that we get so much of Hope’s back story and very little of Mickey’s. In fact, I didn’t even know Mickey’s name until about halfway through.
From the get go, Hope is an intriguing character – I was just as interested as Mickey to find out more about her. She comes from a troubled family – troubled by visions of the end of the world, and as a result has never had a stable family life. She escaped into learning – languages, politics, sciences – and is very smart. The way she talks is above and beyond her age. Mickey, on the other hand, is a fairly ordinary teenage boy, whom we barely know or learn anything about. There is no mention of other friends which was one frustrating bit about the book – it feels like he exists only to be point of view outside of Hope herself.
If you’re not one for the Summers or the Junos, Hope may get on your nerves. She’s not that typical ‘manic pixie dream girl’ (I forget who coined that term!), but she is halfway there. The ending of the story is also frustrating in a way – far too open – but it’s also nice for the reader to decide what happens.
All in all, a rather short, cute ‘boy meets girl’ story, with a bit of a twist to it.