The End of the World is Bigger Than Love (Davina Bell, Text)
Davina Bell’s first young adult novel is unlike anything else written for the target audience. This becomes clear almost immediately upon beginning the book, when the identical twin protagonists, Summer and Winter, address the reader with a compelling directness. The End of the World is Bigger Than Love takes place in a future ravaged by global warming and cyberterrorism, and the setting is drawn using rich language and eerie imagery. The novel is populated with a slew of strange and intriguing supporting characters, from a mysterious bear-like creature to a talking whale. Resounding themes of grief and love are explored to mesmerising effect, with enough adventure and suspense to draw readers in, while literature, sibling affection and appreciation of nature are all celebrated with a sense of urgency and pathos. This novel could be likened to a young adult version of Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, with lashings of creativity and magic realism a welcome addition to the more disturbing elements of the narrative. The End of the World is Bigger Than Love is a departure from Bell’s previous work for children and middle-graders yet is sure to be just as successful. This novel heralds the arrival of an ingenious new talent writing for the teenage readership.
Karys McEwen is the library manager at Prahran and Richmond High School and the president of the CBCA VIC Branch