The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Published by Reagan Arthur Books, an imprint of Hachette
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie is happily nestled in her life in the suburban midwest when her best friend, Evie, disappears. Lizzie takes it upon herself to uncover the truth about who kidnapped Evie and why, in the process spending more time at her best friend’s home, which Lizzie sees as the perfect home and family. Her quest for the truth has the direct result of forcing Lizzie to grow up faster than she thought possible, as she learns things about her friend that force her to question how well she really knew Evie after all.
There is no question that the writing in The End of Everything is excellent. Abbott’s prose is evocative and conjures up a clear picture of suburban life in middle America. Told from the point of view of Lizzie, Abbott truly got into the head of a sad, confused, but determined thirteen-year-old girl and I felt that I understood Lizzie, I sympathized with her, and over the course of the novel she became at true person to me.
While I appreciated the Abbott’s writing in this novel, I have to admit that I don’t know how much I liked the book itself. It definitely has that haunting, things-are-not-what-they-seem vibe throbbing throughout the entire novel, and I liked that eerie feel. At the same time, it was full of so much dark, depressing stuff that I think eventually that got to me. The book’s somber mood invaded my own mood as I was reading it and put me in a sad state. This is actually a huge credit to the author, since she has a remarkable ability to make me feel what the characters are feeling, but at the same time it really made me dread picking up the book after a while and it took me much longer than a book this short normally takes me to finish it.
So I don’t know about this one. I definitely can see what makes The End of Everything a compelling read and a good novel, but it is incredibly dark and that was difficult for me. I could go either way on this, but I would say if you are a fan of these loss of innocence type stories, give this novel a chance.