The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

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4stars

If and when our world ends, it won’t be from a meteor or a viral outbreak or some other cosmic event; it will be us. We will be our own undoing.

Title: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Good things about this book: It’s the right amount of weird.
Bad things about this book: The last page leaves you wanting more.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I was so into the story that I didn’t even realize the book was over when I reached that last part. Why did it end that way?? I want more and more and more!!

It was different, and it made you think. I was so happy about the cameos of Hutchinson’s other books’ characters. I almost cried when Henry appeared! I miss Henry every time I find myself thinking about We Are the Ants; it’s one of my favorite books.

This book can be officially declared peculiar. Elena was born from parthenogenesis; that can be explained scientifically, but her let’s say weird situation doesn’t stop to a virgin birth, because Elena hear voices from the siren of Starbucks to a My Little Pony, telling her she has the power to heal people, and she should do it, or else the world is going to end. That’s a little too much responsibility for a young girl struggling with a massive crush and trying to avoid bullies.

The first person Elena healed, that one first miracle that put in motion the apocalypse, was a girl named Freddie and Elena has a huge crush on her. Freddie is certainly not the person Elena thought she was and getting to know her is going to put her patience to test. It put MY patient to test, but then I got to know her and the reasons behind her hard façade and I ended up liking her.

With the end of world, people disappearing all over the world, her love life being a total mess, and the voices being very insisting, Elena doesn’t really know what to do. She is set on finding out why Freddie was shot like that would make her understand why the world is ending. Why does finding the reason is that important? Elena is trying to avoid the real problem!! Elena is like a lot of us.

We make choices. We make bad choices. But we still deserve the right to choose.

I really liked this book. Like all of this author’s books, there are serious issues being portrayed and analyzed. I found that this had the right amount of serious and peculiar, just the amount that I usually love. Elena is a nice main character, she isn’t without flaw, often irritating, but you just cheer for her to be able to save the world, get the girl, be happy with her bff and family. Easy, right?

Not the lightest of reads, but neither one of the hardest. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. This author needs to have more love from readers all around the world.

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ☆

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“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Why you should read this book: Because this is one of the most beautiful and moving books I’ve ever read and the world needs to know it.

Summary from Goodreads:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

“We remember the past, live in the present, and write the future.”

This book deserves a rating of 144 stars. 144 like the remaining days our main character, Henry, has to decide whether he wants to push the button or not to save the whole world. This book is important. This book is not about aliens; this book is about life and all the collateral effect it causes. The author digs into emotions, into hard themes that, willing or not, surround us every single day. Maybe you are not aware of them, but trust me, they are there, very present in your life.

Despite what you’ve spent your entire life believing, you are not a special snowflake. Somewhere out there, another you is living your life. Chances are, they’re living it better.

Henry Denton has problems. The first time he’s been abducted by aliens he was 13 years old. They have abducted him several times, doing experiments on him then leaving him far from home naked or only in his underwear. Now it seems they are going to blow up the Earth and they are giving Henry the power to choose if it happens or not. A big red button: pressing it means the world is save. Guess what Henry’s going to do? He doesn’t want to press it. He hates the world, a world where his mother is struggling with money, his father abandoned them, people are making school a living hell and his boyfriend committed suicide the year before without leaving a note explaining why.

“What if I don’t give a shit about the world?”
“I’d say that’s pretty fucking sad.”
“Why?”
“Because the world is so beautiful.”

Henry is bullied at school; they call him Space Boy because they know about the abductions. High school boys are cruel in a way that always leaves me perplexed. I can’t seem to understand where all that cruelty comes from, why they seem to gain popularity by doing awful things to their weaker school mates. Henry is weak because the ghost of Jesse, his now dead boyfriend, hunts him. He thinks it’s his fault because he didn’t see the signs, he didn’t realize his own boyfriend needed help and was thinking about hurting himself. This situation makes him weak and an easy prey to bullies and it makes his life at home harder that how it already is. But nothing is an excuse for bullying. If Henry went to school dressed as an alien, you don’t have the right to bully him, NOT A SINGLE RIGHT! No excuses whatsoever! Let’s put an end to this nonsense!

Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.

One day he meets Diego, a newly transferred student from Colorado with a secret past we later found out about. It left me speechless but I didn’t blame him. How could I blame someone for doing what I was thinking of doing in his situation but I’d always be too scared to do? Henry meets Diego and it puts his life in perspective. Henry starts seeing other faces of the dice that is the life he thinks he knows. Diego will make Henry question his decision to not push the button and let the world end. But Diego can’t and won’t make that decision for him; Henry has to want to push the button or else it’ll be pointless. Henry needs help and someone needs to see it before it’s too late.

“Depression isn’t a war you win. It’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.”

I struggled with Henry because I felt his pain, his indecisions. I am an over thinker like him and that leads me to a lot of anxiety filled scenarios. Henry doesn’t like people hiding things from him; all of this because of what happened to Jesse. He decided to believe his lies and not ask for explanations and that resulted in his suicide. Henry can’t let something like that happen again. He won’t be responsible for someone else’s death. The pressure of life is too much and he can’t bear it. We will never know why Jesse took his own life and knowing it won’t change the fact that he is already gone. The grief will accompany them forever, memories will be cherished but life has to continue, it’s the ugly truth: we may need a break from life, but life doesn’t stop for us. Don’t let that overwhelm you, go at your own pace like I do.

I’d let myself believe the lies because it was easier than digging for the truth.

He won’t allow himself to have feelings for Diego. Diego is hiding his past from him and Henry is still pretty lost in the memory of Jesse, feeling that he’ll be cheating him if he starts liking someone else. More importantly, with the world ending, what’s the point? What’s the point of everything? Nothing really matters. Not for Henry. With the end of the world he will free his Grandma from her Alzheimer consuming her, his mother from the money problems, his brother from bringing to this awful world another human being; and he will be free from bullies calling him Space Boy and from the grief from losing Jesse that is eating him alive. But maybe you don’t have to save the world or end it, for the sake of others. Maybe you have to be a little selfish and make that decision for yourself.

“There’s an amazing world out there for you to discover, Henry Denton, but you have to be willing to discover yourself first.”

I love Henry. I want to hug him and help him in his road to be better, to accept and move on. To have a life filled with difficult situations but knowing there are people out there to help you, that you are not alone in this. I love Henry. I love how he changes throughout the book, the more the day of the end of the world approaches, the more he doubts what he believed in the beginning. And that’s perfect. I think we have to question what happens to us but being careful about not over thinking because that leads to an infinite loop of fear from which is not easy to get out. I know that loop all too well, I hate that loop. But I love Henry. I love him very much.

People wait for the countdown to tell them that it’s okay to believe in themselves again. They end each year with failure, but hope that when the clock strikes twelve, they can begin the new year with a clean slate. They tell themselves that this year things will happen, never realizing that things are always happening; they’re just happening without them.

So I as said, this book is not about aliens. I still have my doubts about said aliens but that’s ok, I don’t need to know. This book is about all of us. This story is filled with emotions, raw and deep and hard. The world is an ugly place and we have to find a way to live in it. Whether we want to fight for what’s right, or live quietly far from chaos, the world is ours, is a big community and it’s an ugly one. So many bad things keep happening, and if you think about it for a bit you just come to the conclusion that IT SIMPLY DOESN’T MAKE A FREAKING SENSE!!

“When the days are darkest, dear, you latch on the happiness wherever you find it.”

We have to choose what to fight for, we have to look for small personal victories, at home, at work, at school and the bravest of us, will look for large scale victories and we are going to support them because we are in this together.
We aren’t going to give up on the world just because we are sure things aren’t going to end well.

“So, when you’re offered bacon for breakfast, do you refuse because you’re worried about what’s going to happen when it’s gone?”

If I knew the world was going to end and I was given the possibility to stop the end from happening by pressing a button, would I press it?

I guess you will never know ;D

Do I recommend it? Yes, and read it soon, it’s really worth it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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