I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse by Daphne Lamb
Published by Booktrope Editions on August 11th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, New Adult, Urban
Buy on Amazon, B&N
Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb. As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn't have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has "meh" feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren't exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.
The Girl’s Guide to The Apocalypse is essentially a satirical tribute to the Millennial Generation. In the wake of a catastrophe that causes all modern technology to fail and disease to spread causing zombie like creatures Verdell becomes the narrator and hero of her own tale. She’s luke warm about her long term boyfriend (should she break up with him, or keep him?), her boss is obsessed with a book entitled The Secrets of Risk Management and the world has devolved into a free-for-all cannibal country. Oh, and then there’s the cults.
I want to start off by saying that I found Lamb’s novel extremely original. Its not often you find novels with this sort of humour or zest for satire so I feel the need to give the author a nod of appreciation for her efforts. If you have ever read Robert Rankin’s The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of The Apocalypse you understand how great (and rare) novels like these can be. Unfortunately, I find myself on the fence with these sorts of novels more of then than not. It’s rare when I can say I adored a satire novel.
The day of the Apocalypse was a really bad day. It was the closest thing people in the twenty first century had ever known to real actual hardship. I know it was for me, Verdell Sonobe, born of the Eighties, recipient of absentee parenting but constant loving care from the TV, educated in the philosophy that if I wanted it then I probably deserved it.
I generally love satire, sarcasm and anything that begins with “sa”, but unfortunately, The Girl’s Guide to The Apocalypse took awhile to get into. I had to take breaks a few times because the humour was beyond me. I think that Lamb touched on something amusing with Robert’s obsession with The Secrets of Risk Management book, though. I get it’s a satire, but I just didn’t get some of the jokes. I like a bit of reality in my satirical representations and I found Lamb’s novel completely missing..something..
“Hear me out on this,” he said, taking a bite. “I know when a girl’s had her heart broken. I’ve done it plenty of times I’ve watched it even more times. Mostly because that Pretty Little Liars show is deceptively emotionally layered.”
I can see where the author was coming from on this one. I could see where she took some of the weaknesses with society and amplified it in her characters. I see where the amusement factor could play a role. It had it’s moments.
The entire world is bumbling around, filled with idiots who can’t do anything for themselves. I felt like perhaps Verdell was meant to be the one person left with enough intelligence to see through the complete absurdity of her circumstances, but she fell flat. She wasn’t really all that bright and really didn’t seem to have much of a concept on human life.
I found most of the characters annoying because of how nonsensical they behaved and everything had an element of, well, nonsense. I don’t know what was missing for me but I can see why so many reviewers loved this book. Perhaps I just needed one sane character to offset the idiots?
I saw potential so I will probably look into Lamb’s work again. Seriously, if you like satire and end of the world scenarios I’d give this a go. It’s not a waste of time.
This book would appeal to readers who enjoy satire, sarcasm, silly humour, dooms-day tales and completely original ideas. A recommended read for someone who enjoys a light read without any real lessons while getting their post-apocalypse fix.