You know the sort of book that leaves you questioning about every single thing in life? The one that leaves you reeling with all sorts of emotions and questions and a possible book hangover?
I recently read a book like that and it was The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James. Let me tell you, I’ve been obsessed with the author for a long time, dating back to when I read The Loneliest Girl in the Universe which absolutely blew me away. So I already had great expectations from this book but it left me so much more stunned and amazed?
How does this author blow me away every single time?
And why is Lauren James so freaking underrated? I literally never hear anyone else talk about her books which is such a shame! That’s why I’m here to rectify that and give you five reasons why you absolutely need to read The Quiet at the End of the World. I mean I could give a lot more than five reasons but for the sake of this post being concise I shall limit myself and give you only the best bits 🙂 Go ahead and look it up on Goodreads here and add it to your TBR while you’re at it.
5 Reasons to Read The Quiet at the End of the World
How far would you go to save those you love?
Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.
Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .
1. The World-building
This dystopian future world is frankly amazingly written. There is not one moment of confusion and absolutely no information dump which is what makes it so easy to dive into the world. Lauren James has worked on a deep backstory that unfolds beautifully as the book progresses. I’m a person who often gets confused with certain aspects of worldbuilding but The Quiet At The End of the World just keeps everything crystal clear.
2. The Dual Timelines
This book follows dual timelines in the sense that Lowrie reads social media posts from the past of this account owned by Maya. Maya’s life gives us and Lowrie and Shen a huge insight into the past and how the world changed after the virus and it honestly makes the backstory and world-building a hundred percent better! There is such a great amount of tension that these social media posts bring and I swear at certain points I was more invested in Maya’s story than Lowrie’s. I’m also, in general, a sucker for dual timelines especially when they are woven together so well!
3. That Plot Twist…
I feel like Lauren James has a special writing habit of inserting a particularly powerful plot twist at about 60% of the book which absolutely changes your perception of the story. Honestly, this twist had me so shocked, I gasped out loud and there was no putting down the book after that. The whole story just took a huge swerve and got even better if that was possible? Lauren James is a plot twist queen, I absolutely love being surprised like this!
4. Queer Rep!
I love how we have lots of casual queer rep in this book! Lowrie is bisexual, as is Maya and Riz, who appears frequently in Maya’s posts is trans. Lowrie’s bisexuality is mentioned a couple of times and I love the casual talks Shen and Lowrie have regarding liking boys and girls. It’s just a cherry on the cake. This is the kind of representation we need in every book 🙂
5. Pacing and Writing = Chef’s Kiss
Is this technically 6 things? I don’t care at this point. I loved the pacing of this book! It was just a teeny bit slow in the beginning but we get rammed into the action and main plot very soon and the pace never slows down after that. Also, Lauren James has such a beautiful writing style! The reason I was more emotionally affected was that the way she wrote the entire story reminded me a bit about quarantine and in general, as well, her writing makes you question the future of humanity. It definitely leaves you with something to think about!