If you’re looking for a book that has tension, lyrical evocative writing, humour, romance, and above all, love, look no further. Davina Bell’s recently released young adult book, The end of the world is bigger than love, is my favourite young adult book of all time.
It’s the story of Summer and Winter, identical twins, set slightly in the future where climate change, a pandemic and technology mishaps have completely changed the world. They live on an abandoned island, nourished by their mother’s books and their father’s stash of tinned food. Their isolated but idyllic life changes when Edward appears.
The story alternates between Winter and Summer, and it’s clear from the beginning that one of them, perhaps both of them, are unreliable narrators. I found it fascinating to look for tiny hints of whose version of the truth was slightly truer.
The language is beautiful and humorous and exciting.
This is Summer – We didn’t have any books that, like, specifically advised what to do when your identical twin sister falls in love with a bear with Real Murderous Potential. But as I was looking through the piles for one, I came across Matilda, that short, minxy genius, and thought to myself, well, her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, isn’t too far off some kind of unpredictable, bloodthirsty grizzly ….
And here’s Winter – A butterfly can’t crawl back into a chrysalis. And so I said, “Not.”
And Summer said nothing and her face said everything.
And not that much later, I could feel that she had left.
And for the first time in so long, I was alone.
Alan Watts wrote that “A satisfying ending fulfils two criteria. It is, to some degree, a surprise while also being utterly inevitable; in retrospect, it could not have ended any other way.” A difficult feat to pull off but Bell’s ending had me reading both quickly and slowly (as contradictory, I know, as writing an ending that is both a surprise and the only possible ending).
This is the sort of book you want to immediately go over to savour the poetic language and to understand the story a little more once you know the ending.
It’s almost the end of June, I’ve read almost 50 books this year, and this book is my equal number one choice.