cover image Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse

Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse

Lucas Klauss. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2388-6

Klauss debuts with a thoughtful and often witty novel of a teen's newfound (and intertwined) enthusiasm for a girl and for religion. High school sophomore Phillip meets and falls for Rebekah, an "unconventionally hot" devout Christian. As he gets drawn into her world, the previously atheistic Phillip immerses himself in her faith, attempting to believe both for the sake of his fledgling relationship with Rebekah and as a way to grapple with his unresolved feelings over the loss of his mother (whose exact fate is revealed over the course of the novel). Although Rebekah and other characters offer faith as a way for Phillip to fill an emotional and psychological void in his life, he is conflicted about the message of Rebekah's church. The frequently awkward relationship between Rebekah and Phillip is well-drawn, as are Phillip's tumultuous interactions with his friends, brother, track coach, and outspoken atheist father. Phillip's contemplation of salvation, prejudice, death, and the meaning of life point to the novel's appropriately uneasy footing in agnostic territory. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Jan.)