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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  3,083 ratings  ·  695 reviews
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 min
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Tzu What you are suggesting was my very first impression...

Also the adverb "scientifically" for explaining the character's birth... I did some research; …more
What you are suggesting was my very first impression...

Also the adverb "scientifically" for explaining the character's birth... I did some research; not many (none) 16 year old humans are alive that we know of today being birthed through parthenogenesis... Is it then really "scientifically"? It is even said that most of them get cancers and tumors... I'm no expert of course, so I shouldn't judge really... But this confusion bothers me, I rather not read the book...(less)

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Elle (ellexamines)
sometimes I think about the fact that this book referenced the name game meme from like two years ago and it was actually funny and then I wonder how the fuck this isn’t an NYT bestseller

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is like nothing I have ever read before or will ever read again. It is an existential and oddly hilarious book about choices, with a wide cast of amazing characters and some weird mystery thrown in. And I loved it so much. I could have read this forever over and over again.

Emily May
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi, arc, 2018
"What is going on?"
"Maybe nothing," I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out."

I'm on the fence about The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. It has many great individual components, but when looking back over the novel as a whole, I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as Hutchinson's We Are the Ants, which was one of my favourite reads of 2016.

Having only read two of his books, I cannot say for certain, but I get the impressi
Larry H
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shaun David Hutchinson's The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza may be one of the craziest, most thought-provoking books I've read in some time, if not ever. It's wild, poignant, forces you to suspend your disbelief, and some may even think it's sacrilegious or blasphemous, but it definitely cements Hutchinson as one of the best YA authors out there right now, one who combines science, emotion, and life's daily struggles to tremendous effect.

"The apocalypse began at Starbucks. Where else did you ex
✨    jamieson   ✨
"What is going on?
"Maybe nothing" I said. "Maybe the end of the world. I'll let you know when I figure it out"

so I'm finally reviewing this book. And Honestly? I can't remember the last time I felt so indecisive about a book - because I really wanted to love this and yet the more I think about it the more I don't think I do. This review is going to be hard to write.

The thing is, this book is by no means bad. Shaun David Hutchinson is such an excellent writer and I constantly value the perf
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, owned, queer
“That’s the problem with living in a world where everyone was assumed to be heterosexual until proven otherwise.”

This is my fourth novel by Shaun David Hutchinson. A few months ago I read Feral Youth and it must have been a year or even two since I first picked up The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, which made me want to read all the Hutchinson books that exist. But it was We Are the Ants that really took my breath away. If you loved Shaun's earlier books, you will love Elena Mendoza just as much
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I’m falling asleep and I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow, so I’ll come back and write a very intensive review later!

Update 1/28/18:

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has all the pieces that should make up a book I would love. It is by Shaun David Hutchinson, the author of one of my favorite books of all time. It's about Elena, a bisexual Cuban girl, dealing with huge philosophical choices. There's a f/f romance, and a Muslim side character who is figuring out whether or not he might fall on the
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think the best thing to do is to go into this book not really knowing much about it. Definitely five stars!
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Elena Mendoza is a miracle. Literally.

The product of parthenogenesis, otherwise known as a virgin birth, Elena's life has been quirky indeed.

As you can imagine, this biological anomaly made headlines, making Elena low-key famous.

She does her best to just live her life, ignoring the chatter around her, but it hasn't always been easy.

Elena has never really fit in and although she has some close relationships, she's far from one of the popular kids.

When the girl she has been
R.K. Gold
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'll always support fiction that gives baby Cthulu a voice. On a humor level Shaun just gets me, or I get Shaun, or there is no getting but his work makes me laugh enough to keep coming back to it. I'm getting off track. The Apocalypse begins at Starbucks and the story of Elena Mendoza begins with one of the best opening lines I have read in a while.

After saving her crush from a shooting on a Starbucks patio (it's not a spoiler that much is given away in the description) Elena is handed the imp
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super interesting concept and story, that I devoured in a few short hours. It gives the reader so much to think about, in terms of life and death, the state of our world, and love. I'll simply say that I underlined a lot of passages in this one that I will hopefully reflect back on. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, was that I found it dragged a bit in the middle, and at times was a little repetitive. But all in all, a solid book that will really make you think and question the wor ...more
a book featuring a melodramatic, self-hating, confused bi young girl who wants to die... can't believe my life has been plagiarized like this!

So this book took me completely by surprise. This is my first Shaun David Hutchinson, so my expectations were very low (I had no idea what to expect, really) so I guess the reason I enjoyed it so much was the reason this deserves those 5 stars. I'm a big believer that the reading experience is as important as any story. Because the writing can be completel
shady boots
This was probably one of the weirdest books I've ever read.

The first thing I need to get off my chest is the GLARING similarity this book has to the game Life is Strange. I usually ignore when things have minor similarities here and there, but this book had so much that was eerily similar to LiS to the point where I couldn't brush it aside. It was too uncanny at parts, especially in the beginning. Let me explain for those of you who have never played or seen a playthrough of LiS. (You should, b
laur gluchie
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Since this doesn't come out until February of 2018, I don't want to say too much, but what I will say is that this book is magnificent.

I'm going to be honest, I was quite worried going into this. WE ARE THE ANTS is my favourite book of all time, I was frankly, disappointed with his 2017 release, AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, but I also really loved THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY, so there was still hope.

As always, ELENA was beautifully written and crafted, the characters were SO
More of a 2.5 unfortunately

I am so disappointed with this book. Shaun David Hutchinson wrote my favorite book of all time: We Are the Ants. Unfortunately, I haven't been very impressed with his books ever since. This book felt like another copy and paste of the same premise as We Are The Ants, just not as good. (Which is the same feeling I got with his other book At the Edge of the Universe). As another reviewer has said, I think Shaun David Hutchinson needs some fresh ideas, because all of his
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

The concept of this story was super unique and interesting. Unfortunately, I was kind of in a book slump while listening to this. So, while I still enjoyed it, the weirdness of the plot wasn’t enough to make this one great for me. I had problems understanding the characters and sometimes felt that I didn't get the point of their conversations. Also, nothing much really happens?!?

Again, Eli made me do it :D I just DNFed my last read so I have high hopes for this one. Book, you better
Oct 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
Even if it's gonna take me forever, I will make it my mission in life to read everything this guy writes. ...more
Alexandra ☁
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
I really liked the writing and the originality of the plot but I felt like it was dragging a lot in the middle and end of the book. I also feel like I have a lot of questions I never got the answers to. But it was a interesting read!

btw; A lot of important and great quotes/conversations in this.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would, considering I DNFed another book by this author after two chapters. I didn't think it was perfect, but I did really like it.

Let's start with the good.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is a very weird book, and if you know me, you know I like weird. It's about a bisexual girl of Cuban descent who had a virgin birth and can perform miracles.
I like weird because it's a very interesting way to explore concepts, and those concepts can be everything: the i
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Honestly idk how to rate this. Maybe 3.5? If we're talking quality, I think it deserves more of a 4 or 5 stars - I think it's a good book! But I tend to rate based on my enjoyment level. And while I was amused while reading this, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm struggling to find a way to describe exactly why other than it was just a...weird book and just not really my thing.

So my thoughts in a nutshell: this book is really well done, has super unique and interesting ideas, and great diverse r
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
While I thought this was a unique apocalypse story with likable characters and compelling writing, the plot moved a little too slowly and there were a few statements that annoyed me enough that I enjoyed it but probably won't remember it by tomorrow. ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reads-of-2018
"No one is perfect, no one is flawless, and loving someone means admitting they have faults. It means loving them, not in spite of those flaws, but because of them."

I loved this. I knew I would love it from the day I pre-ordered it, but the first hundred pages or so I was worried. Then I became emotionally attached to all (well, most) of the characters and I knew everything was going to be just fine.

For the first chunk, this book was almost too weird for me. Mostly because no one else writes
Readers who love the weird genre-bending fiction of Shaun David Hutchinson won't be disappointed. I'd also hand it to readers who love and are itching for weird in the style of AS King. And then for readers who love this book -- particularly the messages about life, about humanity, about saving the world -- would do well picking up Blake Nelson's DESTROY ALL CARS.

My favorite character was definitely Freddie. Perhaps the most complex, challenging, and yet utterly real character who wavers betwee
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
okay so imagine Jesus
But as a sarcastic, sixteen year old bisexual girl! Crazy!
I just can't get over how cool this idea is! All the characters are perfect and I loved Elena so much!

even Morgan Freeman god would approve of this book.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it

Actual rating: 4.5 Stars!


I just love Shaun David Hutchinson and his books so much. I've been waiting for this one and I can't believe I've already finished reading it! It was a fantastic edition to his "end of the world series" and I absolutely loved how it connected all of his other books together in one!

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi Cuban-American mc, sapphic li, Muslim ace (questioning) side character

yes, the mc literally performs miracles & i would still say this is the least weird of hutchinson's books

anyway, there's so much to love here but the ideas it incorporates that i wanna focus on are 1) that we get crushes on a person we imagine, not a real human being & 2) that all we can do in this life is make our own choices

(yeah, i'm putting this on my 'chosen one' self and u can't stop me)
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shaun David Hutchinson tends to situate his protagonists at the brink of apocalypse, often placing the fate of humankind in their hands. This is also the case with Elena Mendoza who faces an especially dire dilemma: is she willing to perform miracles even if she dooms others in doing so? However, besides the magical realism frame of the story, do not expect to receive answers to why the world might be ending. Once one has read several books of the author one sees through the pattern and realises ...more
I had a hard time with this one. I was looking forward to SDH's quirkiness, but there were too many character & prose issues to fall in love with Elena & her world.

First, the positives. The representation here is great. Elena is a bisexual Cuban teen who has a crush on Freddie, the girl she heals from the Starbucks parking lot. This in turn leads to them getting to know each other better, eventually leading to a f/f romance. There's Fadil, Elena's Muslim best friend who is unsure whether he fall
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
So. I really really really love Shaun David Hutchinson's writing style. I loved the premise of this book and I loved the characters and all of the diverse representation in here. Somehow, it all flowed really nicely together and never felt forced or like he put these characters in there solely for representation. They are just people, characters with diverse backgrounds who happen to be friends. Amazing.

I loved how sassy the characters were and, although they were frustrating at times, I still
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.

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