No, Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss is not an apocalypse story. The dorky teen character Phillip is interested in the apocalypse, but that’s about it. Really it’s about Phillip getting involved with a girl who’s committed to her church and Phillip falling for both the girl and God. The exploration of Christian youth culture is eerily accurate, though ultimately it feels like it shortchanges the faith element.
There’s this open question of whether Phillip is really converting to Christianity as he gets closer to Rebekkah, or if he’s just interested in a girl. We get the whole church youth group experience, complete with awkward altar calls and outsider weirdness. The book nails it. I kept checking to see if it was from a Christian publisher.
We get the interesting dilemma of Phillip’s faith versus love and it’s treated well until the end. There’s a real exploration of faith happening, but it isn’t going very deep. It seems sincere, but then as Phillip loses the girl he loses the faith as well. It’s disappointing because it’s such a waste. Was any of it sincere?
I appreciated the effort and the otherwise honest way church was portrayed, but it all felt like a wasted effort at the end.