The End

Arctis. Oct. 2020. 384p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781646900060.
Gr 9 Up–With the looming threat of a comet arriving that will completely decimate the Earth, Swedish teens Simon and Lucinda must learn to cope with their quick end. Simon, whose mother is from Dominica, is desperately trying to hold onto his broken relationship with ex-girlfriend Tilda. Lucinda, who distanced herself from her best friend Tilda when she was diagnosed with cancer, tries to reconnect with those she’d stepped away from. When Tilda is found murdered, Simon and Lucinda come together to prove that Simon was not the one who killed her and discover the truth behind her death. This book illuminates the best and worst of humanity in its reaction to “the end,” and creates a world not so different from our own. The emotions are raw and pure, the ending heartfelt, and readers will experience what the characters are feeling. This is not just a murder mystery, but a coming-of-age novel, each character learning to face the unknown in their own way. The novel is beautifully character-driven, each character relatable and so utterly human in their own way. It explores how it does not matter what you do in your final days of life, but rather, who you were with.
VERDICT A stellar work of fiction that will cling to readers’ minds and take hold of their hearts. A novel that tackles the world’s reaction to the literal end of our planet in a way that is relatable and eerily foreseeable.

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