The End of Everything is a yucky novel and it made me feel icky.
Lizzie was the last person to see her best friend, Evie before she disappeared. The girls were best friends then suddenly, at age 13, Evie was gone and there were no clues, just the faint remembrance of a maroon car, and the knowledge that Lizzie was the last to Evie.
Lizzie, who was lost without Evie, started her own search for her friend. However, as Lizzie dug deeper, she started to learn that she and her best friend really didn't share all their secrets, and maybe Evie wasn't who she thought she was.
The End of Everything is well written, but difficult to read because it is so disturbing. It's dark and sad and made me, as a reader, very uncomfortable and feel rather icky. I thought it would be a good mystery or psychological thriller but instead its teenage sexuality, as well as a glorified or romantic view of a pedophile was shocking and harsh.
There is a loss of innocence here which was difficult to read, too. The characters were disgusting and it felt like all the relationships were really warped, from that of Evie and Lizzie to that of Lizzie and... well, everyone, as well of that of Evie and her abductor.
Author Meg Abbott creates an uncomfortable (there's that word again, I know) atmosphere but her characters are not flat. I work with teens and she does seem to have a firm grasp on the mind of a child who thinks they know things but in reality, really know nothing. This story is narrated by 13 year old Lizzie and often the assertions that come from her are twisted and creepy, even eerie, which make Abbott a good author, even though the subject matter is quite repulsive. The sexual overtones through the whole story were uncomfortable. Between the feelings Lizzie seemed to have for Evie's dad, as well as the feelings she seemed to have for Evie and Evie's sister Dusty, all these seemed to appear sexual in nature. It was hard for me to read that Lizzie thought Evie's kidnapper took her because he loved her and wanted to have a romance, rather than the pedophile sexual predator he was. There was something sadly realistic which led to the uncomfortable feelings this story left with me.
As I said, this book is yucky and icky. I wish I hadn't read it. (256 pages)