Abigail, her twin brother Aaron, and her parents are in San Francisco living out of their van. Their parents believed the end of the world was coming and sold everything, climbed in their van, and went to California to be near Brother John, who predicted this end. Well, it didn't happen and now they have nothing. But the parents are still devout followers of Brother John. So when he says "This is a test from God" or "Put your faith in God and he will provide" they believe it wholeheartedly. So they do nothing to bring themselves out of this mess. They continue to give what little they have to Brother John and survive on what little charity they can get from others. This most Godly man, Brother John, gives them nothing except sermons.
It was so hard to read what these teens were going through. They sneaked away from their parents and got to know some other street kids. Aaron is angry and wants to get enough money to return home. Abigail is more sympathetic and still trusts her parents. I empathized with their situation but also found it very frustrating.
I find it hard to believe any parent would watch their kids go through this and do nothing. All in the name of God. Unfortunately, I'm sure it happens. The kids kept talking about an uncle that would help them. I don't understand why they didn't call him and come clean. Yes, Abi does call him eventually but doesn't tell him the truth.
No Parking at the End Times was a very quick read. Almost too quick. While I felt for the kids, I didn't feel the story had enough depth and details to really make me connect. I would have liked more background, especially what happened to the parents to get to this point. I know the father lost his job, but that wasn't enough. Abi struggles with her faith, but I would have liked to see more of that. I just didn't feel there was enough detail to grab onto. The end was very quick and almost too convenient.
However, because of the fast pace, interesting story, and short length, I think No Parking at the End Times would be a great pick for reluctant teen readers--who would appreciate the lack of depth! So, while I have personal reservations about the story, for the intended audience I think No Parking at the End Times may be worthwhile.
Published by Greenwillow, February 24, 2015
Copy obtained from Edelweiss
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