Vivian Versus America is the sequel to Vivian Versus the Apocalypse and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.

Every morning I wake up and think, What do I have to do today in order to not get murdered?

Reaching San Francisco wasn’t the magic solution Vivian Apple had hoped for. Now that she knows The Rapture was faked, what’s she supposed to do with the information? And Peter’s still missing. At least she still has Harp, and together they are wanted fugitives. Can they save her boyfriend and reveal the truth to a nation in chaos, all without getting caught by the Church of America?

I honestly didn’t expect to like the sequel as much as Vivian Versus the Apocalypse but I think this is a rare occasion where it has surpassed the original. The characters are rounded and believable; they are still regular teens despite what they are facing. They joke around, they get drunk and they’re more than a little sarcastic. They’re also anxious, confused and scared. Vivian has grown so much since we first met her but, like any human being, she still has doubts and worries.

“How do we explain the fact that we live in a world where the fake Rapture could have happened in the first place? Where human beings could have done that, to other human beings? Don’t you feel like we’re kind of…doomed?”

There are some lovely messages in there about how belief can be a comfort to many and religion can provide a community. It would be very easy for these books to fall into a “the church is evil” tirade, but it’s only this fictional churches exploitation that is evil. In a world where the climate is becoming destructive, it made sense that people would look for answers. But believers, including the prophet himself, were taken advantage of.

It also gives us a glimpse of how normal people can turn to terrorism. When there’s no hope of change, where those in power are the ones ruining lives, what can you do? Many just go along with it, survival being the key, but others rally the disgruntled population. People stop being people and are just seen as with us or against us.

Although part of the plot is about what happened to Peter, it’s very light on the romantic aspects. As it should be, Vivian has quite a lot on her mind. What I did love was the story of Vivian and Harp’s friendship.

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Book Source: Purchased