Reviewed by Samuel Redfearn, age 16
Milo and Marcos at the End of the World by Kevin Cristopher Snipes
Milo Connelly already had a tendency to overthink before the world started collapsing around him, but ever since Marcos reappeared in his life, it appears as though God Himself has intervened to keep him as on edge as possible. Perpetually a goody-two-shoes and, to most people in his life, deeply religious, Milo is yet again faced with his inescapable love for another boy. Just when he thinks he might be able to manage it, however, a sinkhole opens (literally) beneath his feet. The only person can trust not to despise him for his crush on Marcos is Van, his best friend, because now, in addition to fearing the rejection of his parents, the people at his church, and most of his peers, God Himself has also decided to punish Milo for his sins. That Earth itself seems to be crashing down on top of him is certainly not helping matters. Will Milo choose to stay in line and prevent disaster, or will he be honest about how he feels?
Milo and Marcos at the End of the World is a masterpiece of young adult writing. Although occasionally an irritating narrator with his constant anxiety, Milo is stunningly relatable and easy to connect with from the reader’s perspective. However, the events of the story are sometimes idealized and dramatized to the point of being unbelievable. For example, Van always has the perfect plan, and some of the natural disasters that occur are far rarer than what could really happen. Sometimes, the author acknowledges this, but other times, the reader has to take it at face value, which undermines the realism of other aspects of the story. That set aside, the witty writing style paired with outlandish events and sarcastic high schoolers makes for a hilarious and entertaining read. The characters also demonstrate true depth and have nuanced thoughts and emotions. As a queer person, it is often difficult to connect with stories because most authors don’t think to include people like me in their work, and it was extremely refreshing to see such an amazing novel integrate themes of acceptance and self-love at the forefront of such an already creative story. I would recommend this to anyone who would enjoy a funny, romantic comfort book, and wouldn’t mind a somewhat self-pitying narrator.
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