The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 23, 2018

“The apocalypse started at Starbucks the moment I healed Winifred Petrine.”

Elena Mendoza doesn’t want to save the world. She already has enough going on, what with attempting  to escape from her ex-boyfriend Javi, trying to get to know her new crush Freddie, practically raising her two younger siblings while her mom works three jobs because, scientifically, Elena doesn’t have a father. (It’s called parthenogenesis. Look it up. Or don’t. She could care less.)

When the voices that Elena has been hearing since she was a child start to tell her the world is going to end, she wants no part in it. But when an unidentified boy shoots Freddie in the parking lot of a Starbucks, it really does seem like the apocalypse is near. I mean, it’s not every day you discover you have the power to heal gunshot wounds and possibly shoot people into another dimension. She’s not crazy, okay?

Elena now has to confront the abnormality she’s been shadowed by her entire life, and while doing so she must attempt to convince 7.6 billion panicked people of the one thing she isn’t totally sure of herself: To save the world, she’d going to need to end it.

This suckerpunch of a book was most certainly an experience. It took me a few chapters to get into it, the mashing of realistic fiction and sci-fi so violent, I thought it would never work. But then it did, and it did so, so, well. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has the the snappy dialogue, insightful statements, and the tears-worthy feels of any good YA novel while still supplying the other-worldly ideas and emotional dilemmas of a masterful science fiction book.

This is not Shaun David Hutchinson’s first YA rodeo, and you can feel that in his detailed and expressive writing. He knows how to tell a story and how to capture the reader, while at the same time presenting the audience with something fresh, emotional, and exciting.

I laughed, I cried, I witnessed the end of the world, then laughed and cried some more. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza was an incredibly moving read that definitely doesn’t deserve the tea stains I gave it. (Sorry pages 25 - 30.)

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