The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
By Shaun David Hutchinson
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Bang Bang Review
Elena Mendoza was born from a virgin birth and since she was a child, objects have been speaking to her. At first it was small things like make friends with Fadil but then the voices began to tell her to heal people to save the world. Sound interesting? I thought so too until I read it.
I thoroughly enjoyed We Are the Ants and I also like genre blending stories so I was excited about Hutchinson’s new book. I personally think he got gipped in the award department with Ants and I think he thought so too and tried to write an award winner in Elena but I think he tried too hard.
The paranormal premise of Ants was the idea of pushing the button to save the world or not pushing the button to doom mankind and Elena was faced with the same decision except it wasn’t a button it was listening to inanimate objects. With that being said, Hutchinson needs some fresh ideas. Elena started off quickly with the shooting of her crush in the first couple of chapters which was good. I also liked the voices; I thought they were bitchy and funny but after the first quarter of this somewhat different book, it went downhill. The main characters talk about finding the shooter who vanished into the sky ad nauseam but they don’t do too much to find anything about him. A good chunk of this book and when I say chunk I mean about 75% is basically different people giving Elena advice about making choices. It’s all a bunch of introspection and that’s fine but her mother gives advice, then her shitty step father, then her best friend, then her crush, the a rando cop, then her mom again, then best friend, then her crush, then her crush, then her neighbor, and on and on and on. And they are all kind of telling her the same thing but using different words. Actually Dumbledore gave us this advice-“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” This book is 430 pages too long.
While all of this advice is happening, Elena is developing relationships with her crush, Freddie, and her ex-Javi. Freddie began as an interesting character but because of all ass dragging plot I didn’t care about their budding romance I just wanted Hutchinson to tell me the connection between her life saving abilities and the choice theme. Usually this is the type of book where I don’t want to author to tell me the point but because the middle was just people giving advice, I just wanted to be told everything and not have to think.
Her best friend Fadil was okay but their friendship was nothing new. He got a new girlfriend and he felt Elena was too dependent on him and blah blah blah. Then there was Javi who only wanted sex and then slut shamed her after she broke up with him. There was a moment when he asks her out and Elena has to tell him why he was a total dick and then she constantly had to tell him she wasn’t going to get back with him like several times over different events. I don’t understand why that was in the book. I don’t understand what Hutchinson was trying to say? Guys need to be told ten times that you don’t want to fuck them? I don’t know the point.
I think the ending was supposed to be this huge epiphany for Elena about choices and free will but I feel like teens kind of know this. He seemed to try to make this point through a supernatural story and I applaud the concept but final message was not new info especially since Elena was getting advice about choice and free will for 200 FUCKING PAGES! In Ants, he left it up to the reader to decide if the MC was being abducted by aliens or if it was imaginary but in Elena, he bashed us over the head with the theme.
Hutchinson is a good writer and I think he has a lot to say but this just was not it for me.
Bang Bang Rating: 3/4