The Last Days Of California

Mary Miller
Liveright Publishing Corporation, €17.25;
ebook, €8.23

Fifteen-year-old Jess heads west with her family to witness the “rapture”.

Her father assures them that on their arrival in California they will be received into the kingdom of Heaven, but hundreds of miles and several home truths later, Jess isn’t sure if she wants to be saved.

With this debut, Miller makes a smooth transition from short story writer to novelist.

A coming-of-age tale aimed at young adults, the author perfectly illustrates an internal battle between morality and adolescent angst — in particular, the confusion of doing or believing in something because you feel you are supposed to.

There are plenty of laughs, and fans of American culture will like the road trip elements, although at times it does feel a little like reading a glorified fast food advertisement.

An enjoyable, easygoing read with a clear message and an ending that will leave you with a few questions of your own.


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