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Parents' Guide to

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Thought-provoking end-of-world tale; lots of angst, drama.

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Kids say (3 ):

Teens who like end-of-the-world scenarios will enjoy the humor, angst, and drama in this fantasy novel. They'll appreciate that The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza doesn't spoon-feed easy answers. They'll laugh at Elena's sassy, kind-of-cynical attitude, and they'll relate to Elena as she struggles with how to make the right choice, how to approach her longtime crush, and how to handle life when everything seems to be changing before she's ready.

Readers who like magical realism with a dash of the existential will easily accept the voices, the healing, the virgin mother, the beams of light, and the impending doom. Harder to accept in the otherwise realistic, modern-day world might be how calm everybody is, how much life goes on like normal, how little worldwide attention Elena receives, and how her friends and family aren't worried about life ending as much as they are about Elena making up her mind what to do. Those interested in the relatable relationship, friendship, and high school dramas; family life; and learning to make tough choices may find that the fantastical elements just get in the way of all that. Those who can find the middle ground will hope for more after the wide-open ending.

Book Details

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