Apocalypse fanatic Phillip Flowers is a fifteen year old on the track team. No matter how impossible practices might seem with the (devil) Mr. Farragut on his back , he always has his two friends, Asher and Mark to support him. One sunny afternoon(isn’t that how most stories start?), Phillip sprains his ankle and a girl, Rebekah comes to his aid. And of course, it was love at first sight for Phillip. Then Farragut, or Ferret, as Phillip prefer, sees them and questions the authenticity of Phillip’s sprain. Rebekah defends him and in a heated discussion(okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating), Phillip promises to join in on Wednesday. But what is Wednesday? Youth Church! Eventually, with the help of Rebekah, atheist Phillip starts to believe in Jesus, and love. However, even Jesus couldn’t see the rotten disaster that’s heading their way.
Funny and witty, Klaus brings us a tale of faith, friendship and love. One of the few novels narrated by male protagonists, the pace is decent with hilarious moments in between. Klaus successfully constructed the voice of a fifteen year old boy, in doubt, in search, in love.
Phillip is a fleshed out character. Funny, awkward and smart, he couldn’t be a more perfect lead. His fascination with apocalypse is highly entertaining, and his honesty and awkwardness often getting him into
trouble with Rebekah and his friends.
The other characters are well constructed too. Faithful Rebekah, single parent Mr. Flowers, Asher, a** hole Mark. Their causes and actions are well thought and have a certain impact on how the plot unfolds. In short, they are life. You could find traits of friends and family not unlike the characters in the novel.
The plot though, is a little lacking in action. Not that it’s a bad thing, since this isn’t dystopian or adventure. Everything keeps building up to the not-so-dramatic climax, then falls slowly to the end.
The love between Rebekah and Phillip is sweet and innocent, and it might bring our readers back to their first love. Also, the fights between Phillip and his friends are pretty realistic, such that it make me think about my own friends. There are also a few scenes that explore the aspect of motherly love, or rather the lack of it, and the cause. Klauss wrote the scenes well, as they captured emotions and guilt completely. The scenes fully demonstrate the effect of a broken family.
Klauss’ novel will make you think about your own faith. Why believe, how to believe, who to believe, as Phillip himself asks. There are some issues presented that I agree with, but I don’t necessarily agree with the interpretations of the Bible of one of the characters. Rebekah’s refusal to date a non Christian also annoys me, though it is more of a family cause.
Klauss’ debut, Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse is humorous and entertaining, showing what bring us together and what pull us apart. A truly deep and thought-provoking read.
Cover: plain. Not the worst, but not the best either. Which means, I wouldn't be picking it up in the stores.
Ratings: 4 stars