cover image No Parking at the End Times

No Parking at the End Times

Bryan Bliss. Greenwillow, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-227541-7

Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, live in a van in San Francisco, begging for meals from local churches and waiting for the end of the world with their fervently religious father and dutiful mother. After their zealot preacher’s prediction falls short, the teens approach their breaking points, desperate for some semblance of normalcy. The family’s hapless circumstances provide a distinctive backdrop for this contemplative coming-of-age tale, Bliss’s debut. As a homeless teen, Abigail is unfairly and abruptly cast in a parental role when her parents fail to provide the basic necessities, selling their home and giving their money to a man who is little more than a con artist. Bliss’s languidly paced story focuses on Abigail’s internal turmoil as she questions her faith, her parents’ sanity, and her bond with her brother. But there are plenty of external events to push the story forward, from the siblings’ late-night explorations with street kids they befriend to Abigail’s jogs, which serve as much-needed escapes from her claustrophobic existence. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Feb.)