Let’s Call It a Doomsday

Katherine Tegen Bks/HarperCollins/. Aug. 2019. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062698902.
Gr 9 Up–High school junior Ellis Kimball is prepared for the end of the world. She lives by the mantra “anything terrible is possible,” accumulating supplies to survive various forms of disaster. If she can save her close-knit Mormon family from the apocalypse, she reasons, it will make up for all the times that her anxiety disrupted their lives. What she’s not prepared for is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah claims that she knows how the world will end—and she’s had visions of Ellis standing beside her when it does. With the apocalypse looming, Hannah draws Ellis into a quest to find an elusive prophet to interpret her vision, as well as into her witty, diverse friend group. There Ellis meets bisexual Talmage, who helps her acknowledge her attraction to both boys and girls. But the closer the end of the world gets, the less concerned Ellis is with simple survival—she wants to define the kind of life she’s surviving for. Ellis is a whip-smart and compelling protagonist who grapples with deep questions about the nature of belief, identity, and control. This is one of the few YA titles with a Mormon protagonist, and Ellis’s faith is portrayed as a complex and meaningful part of who she is. Humorous dialogue and richly developed supporting characters add to the appeal.
VERDICT Hand to fans of Courtney Stevens’s Dress Codes for Small Towns or John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back. A first selection

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