Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing other than library books!

1 thing this week:

  • Everything that previously existed in my head has been wiped out by Halsey’s new song and I’m not even mad.

Song of the week:


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.

This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.

I have previously read three of Shaun David Hutchinson’s novels with varying results. We Are the Ants was an easy five stars for me. I could have cried while reading it. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley? Four stars. The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried? One of my most anticipated books of 2019 and, really, kind of a disappointment.

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. I’d seen really mixed reviews when it first came out, I remember seeing people yelling (in a bad way) about the trans rep, and then there were all of the reviews that screamed “BUT NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS.” Well, I’ll tell you what. I enjoyed this. I enjoyed it a lot.

There’s some definite social commentary here. Elena makes frequent (negative) references to the current president of the United States. There are discussions about the right to choose, not necessarily with regard to abortion, but just in general. When Elena learns that she has the ability to heal people, she has a bit of a crisis about whether she should really be playing god. This is exactly what I expect when I read one of Hutchinson’s books, and I was so happy to find it here.

As for the story, I thought it was really interesting. Elena doesn’t have a father, and she doesn’t mean that in the usual “my dad is a deadbeat and left when I was little” way. As the product of a virgin conception, scientifically known as parthenogenesis, she literally has no father. This has had little bearing on her life, aside from a lot of teasing from her classmates, until she suddenly learns that she’s capable of performing miracles.

I’m not going to get into all of that for fear of spoilers, so instead, I want to talk about the subtle diversity of this book. Elena is a bisexual Cuban girl. Her main love interest is Freddie, a girl she’s had a crush on forever. Elena’s ex-boyfriend, Javi, is a fairly main character, and nobody makes any sort of deal over her having an ex-boyfriend and now pursuing a girl. Elena’s best friend, Fadil, is Muslim and in the process of figuring out his own sexuality. Since none of the characters made a big deal out of this and all of this diversity was woven very seamlessly into the story, it never felt like flashing lights and ringing alarms screaming, “HEY, GUYS, DID YOU NOTICE SHE’S BI?!?” It just existed.

And also, that thing about bad trans rep? There’s like one sentence in this entire book and it’s one character saying something like, “Hey, how is [male name]?” And another character being like, “Actually, she goes by [female name] now.” How anybody found anything to hate in that is beyond me.

So, yes, this book is basically about Elena deciding what to do once she finds out that she can heal people. I suppose I can see how some people might consider that “not much of a plot.” I really enjoyed it, though, and I hope to read At the Edge of the Universe after I take a little SDH break.


Have you read The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing other than library books!

1 thing this week:

  • It’s been a long time coming, but I finally updated my about me and my all reviews pages! Next up is the favorites page and my 2020 reading challenges!

Blog hopping:

  • I loved Amy’s list of anticipated LGBTQ+ 2020 books! We Used to Be Friends sounds amazing, and I didn’t even know that David Levithan had a new book coming out! Two new books to add to my TBR. 🙂
  • Jess’s list of things that make bookworms roll their eyes was spot-on. I think my favorite is the age-old, “Oh I don’t have time to read, I’m so busy.” We’re all busy, we just have different priorities.
  • Mandy’s Can’t Wait Wednesday post informed me that Shaun David Hutchinson has another book coming out, and I am super excited to read it!

Song of the week:

I was listening to my old Fall Out Boy CDs while driving this week and I just feel like I’m fifteen years old again.


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

WWW Wednesday

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday post! WWW Wednesday is hosted over at Taking on a World of Words and just involves answering the 3 Ws!


What are you currently reading?

  • The Kitchen by Ollie Masters
    • This really feels more like a collection of plot points than an actual story, but it’s a graphic novel so at least it’s quick.
    • reading challenge: a book becoming a movie in 2019 (popsugar)
  • Roommates by M.E. Parker
    • I can’t really say that I’m enjoying this one, but at least it’s almost done.
    • reading challenge: firestation (romanceopoly)

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
    • This was so good! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
    • This probably wasn’t the best choice for my first Becky Chambers book. I wish I would have started with one of her novels.
  • The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson
    • Once again, SDH gets me to accept, without a second thought, a completely outlandish premise in a YA contemporary.
  • Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
    • I’d expected a memoir and this was more like a collection of funny thoughts, but it was still a lot of fun!
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    • Given how much hype I’d seen about this book, I expected more than a racist, biphobic celebration of the manic pixie dream girl.
  • Snug by Catana Chetwynd
    • I love Catana’s comics and I loved this collection!
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    • I didn’t expect to enjoy a classic so much, but this was a lot of fun.
  • Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
    • I’ve had this one on my TBR for a very long time and was very relieved to love it.
  • A Warning by Anonymous
    • I wasn’t going to read this one this week, but then it was automatically checked out to me and within about an hour, five more people put a hold on it. It was incredible.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
    • Since I recently moved to the south, I figured I should learn how to behave.
  • Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
    • I’m just praying that this will be good.
    • reading challenge: uptown (romanceopoly)

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Did you do your own WWW Wednesday post today? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing other than library books!

1 thing this week:

  • I went to a magic show last Sunday and it was so much fun! I would highly recommend that you go see An R-Rated Magic Show if you get the chance!

Song of the week:

I found a playlist of mine from high school and this song was on there. I forgot how much I used to love this song!


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’