Armageddon Summer

Armageddon Summer

4.3 41
by Jane Yolen

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The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000. At least, that’s what Reverend Beelson has told his congregation. That’s why Marina and Jed and their parents have joined the rest of the Reverend’s flock at a mountain retreat to await the end of the world. But this world has only just begun for Jed and Marina, two teenagers with more attitude than…  See more details below


The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000. At least, that’s what Reverend Beelson has told his congregation. That’s why Marina and Jed and their parents have joined the rest of the Reverend’s flock at a mountain retreat to await the end of the world. But this world has only just begun for Jed and Marina, two teenagers with more attitude than faith. Why should the world end now, when they’ve just fallen in love for the first time?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Yolen and Coville, writing in alternating chapters..., explore their rich, thought provoking theme with the perfect balance of gripping adventure and understated pathos, leavened by a dollop of humor.—Booklist

Convincing and compelling.”—School Library Journal

Providing action, romance and a provocative message, this novel could well get teens talking.—Publishers Weekly

In this page-turner...the authors pull off the remarkable feat of making the sacred tangible, of delineating what it means to believe.—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On the heels of Paula Danziger and Ann Martin's P.S. Longer Letter Later (Children's Forecasts, Feb. 16) comes another novel (on a very different subject) co-written by a pair of popular YA authors. The two alternating narrators, Marina and Jed, are both children of religious fanatics, so-called Believers who dedicate themselves to the Reverend Beelson. The Believers have brought their families to the top of a mountain to prepare for the end of the world, only two weeks away, according to Beelson. Marina and Jed are instantly attracted to each other, even though Marina believes the world really will end and Jed thinks the whole thing is a hoax. Their different points of view--and occasional interleaved "memos" from FBI agents, excerpts from sermons, etc.--yield a multidimensional description of cult dynamics and dangers. As Beelson predicts, there is a type of Armageddon on July 27, 2000 (Marina's 14th birthday), but, as Marina sadly concludes, it is one "made by man. Not by God." Yolen's and Coville's styles and narrative voices, though different, complement each other well, so that both protagonists emerge with the same depth and the action builds smoothly and steadily. Providing action, romance and a provocative message, this novel could well get teens talking. Ages 12-up.
VOYA - Lynne Hawkins
With world-destroying comets in summer movies and in the news, and memories of David Koresh at Waco and Jim Jones in Guyana, YA readers of Armageddon Summer will find much to contemplate in this realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the evolution of a cult incident and will be drawn in by the two narrators. Marina has been brought to the mountain by her mother who, in her devotion to the charismatic Reverend Beelson, virtually abandons her children, leaving the youngest ones in Marina's care. Marina wants to be a Believer, but constantly struggles with doubt. Jed has come with his father and is not a Believer. Beelson prophesizes that the end of the world will come with fire on July 27, 2000, about three weeks away. Only the 144 disciples who have quietly fled up to Mount Weeupcut in western Massachusetts will be saved. Are all others, including Marina's dad and Jed's mom, doomed? Relatives of Beelson's followers claim that he has kidnapped their loved ones. Frightened Believers try to break into the camp as electric fences are built and armed guards are posted. Is Armageddon at hand, or only a short, fierce hell on Earth born of intolerance and fear on all sides? Yolen and Coville write successfully in tandem. Marina and Jed complement one another; one beginning to doubt her belief, the other finding belief creeping into his doubt. The two authors facilitate each character having a distinct voice--Jed and Marina react to similar circumstances in unique ways while being drawn together by those same events. With its fiery cover and suspenseful story, this book will not only attract readers, it also provides opportunites for discussion on many issues. Parental neglect, family relationships, medical care, hypocrisy, news media behavior, cults, and abortion are all part of this solid story. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Reverend Beelson has called exactly 144 True Believers to gather on Mount Weeupcut in western Massachusetts to await the End of the World. Marina, her brothers and mother, and Jed and his father arrive on the mountain to be ready for Armageddon, which the Reverend says will occur in exactly three weeks on July 27, 2000. As the congregation prepares for the New Era, their campsite is turned into an armed fortification. As the frenzy of the Final Days swirls around them, Marina and Jed find in one another the voice of sanity and reason as they struggle to make sense of their lives and their beliefs. Marina wants desperately to believe in Reverend Beelson's vision of the world, but her own common sense and her reliance on the poems of Emily Dickinson force her to question the reality of his teachings. Jed, whose mother has run away from the family, is on the mountain because he feels he needs to protect his father, who has been devastated since his wife left. When the Day of Armageddon, though not the expected one, finally occurs, these young teens are able to get all of the children in the camp away from danger. Told in alternating voices, this gripping tale gives a close look at people caught up in events over which they have little control. Though coincidence plays some part in the plot, the book establishes a convincing and compelling scenario. The two protagonists are well developed. They find one another, fall in love in a delicate and convincing way, and ultimately survive.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
Michelle West
There are no easy answers in this novel, and there are no simple characterizations; both writers are skilled enough to paint a full picture even through the narrow experience and tangled affections of their narrators. It was a lovely piece of work...
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Kirkus Reviews
The format is a story told from alternating viewpoints, with a few letters, radio and e-mail transcripts, and other realia thrown in is becoming familiar, but two practiced writers employ the tactic and run with it in this page-turner. Marina loves her family, her faith, and her little brothers, but she is horrified when she discovers that her mother's favorite preacher, Reverend Beelson, has just declared that the world will end on July 27, 2000; in another family, Jed accompanies his father to the mountaintop where Beelson says they will await the end of the world and prepare, as 144 of the faithful, to begin anew. They stockpile supplies, dig latrines, live in tents, and build an electrified fence to keep out everyone else. Yet these details are background to the real story of Jed and Marinaþshe is a Believer, and he is notþas they wrestle with faith, skepticism, family attachments, and their interest in each other. The authors pull off the remarkable feat of making the sacred tangible, of delineating what it means to believe. Beelson is a particularly rounded character: a man who believes that God has spoken and that he must obey. The harsher aspects of fundamentalist religion are not glossed over, and the final conflagration is right out of the headlines. Jed and Marina have epiphanies great and small, and they emerge whole, still searching for belief in its myriad aspects, and for each other. (Fiction. 12-15)

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

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Armageddon Summer 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mikarabians More than 1 year ago
Armageddon Summer was a very interesting read. A very complex plot and ideaology made simple. Marina and Jed are dragged up to the top of a mountain to wait for the world's end with a group of religious fanatics. It's a suspenseful story and unless you read the last few pages first, you don't know till the very end if the world's going to end or if it won't. The book was published in 1998 and set in 2000, so I'm sure it gave readers in '98 and '99 as well as early 2000 a lot of things to think about. It still gives readers a lot to think about. It wasn't particularly well written, but the story line was great.
bacowboy More than 1 year ago
The book that I read is Armageddon Summer and the author is Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville. The authors' purpose for writing this book is showing people that religion is important but it's not the end of the world. The authors intended audience is believers who want to know what is too much in believing. The narrators' point of view is 1st person. Jud and Marina are telling the story. It is important that they are telling the story because it wouldn't make sense if one of the parents or other children told it. I think one thing that was unbelievable is that the angels had guns on the mountain and believers' would kill people just to be saved. I could connect with Jud the most in the story because if my parents thought that the world was ending then I would do the same thing that he did. I felt this book was enjoyable it was mostly a story about two teenagers falling in love while they are on a mountain and they don't know if they believe that the world is going to end. I thought the ending was predictable, but it had some sadness and happiness all in all the ending was good. I would rate this book three out of five stars because it was a good book but it was really predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off I loved this book. I am very picky with the books I read, but I loved it. The book follows the story of Marina and Jed, two teenagers whose parents have gone off the deep end. Marina's mother and Jed's dad both join Reverend Beelson's church of Believers, who Believe that the World Will End on July 27, and the world will catch fire and everyone will die. To protect his Believers, Rev. Beelson brings 144 (no more, no less) to the top of Mt. Weeupcut to wait it out. After the world's fiery doom they will descend into the world and create a new Eden. Marina and Jed are falling in love, and Marina's birthday is the same day the world will end! The book was funny but thought-provoking. Jed's chapters always added some comedy to the mix, (These Guys Use Capital Letters For Everything) while Marina is struggling desperately to Believe. Of course, the book could be seen as religiously sensitive, but that is to be expected. It was really easy reading. The pages just flew by. I would defiantly re-read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Armageddon Summer, by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville, isn¿t just your ordinary science fiction book. It has passion and action while still being quite realistic. In the book, there is a religious group called the Believers. The leader of the Believers, Reverend Beelson, has predicted that the world will end on July 27 in a rain of fire. To keep his Believers safe, Beelson takes 144 people to a mountain top, where they will be saved from the fires and start a new life after Armageddon. Jed¿s dad and Marina¿s mom are Believers. Jed and Marina, two teenagers struggling to figure out what they believe in, are pulled up on the mountain with their parents. But why should the world end now, right after Marina and Jed¿s meeting, and right before Marina¿s 14th birthday? This book is really good and it is a quick read. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe that was just because i shared the main characters name, but i thought it had a nice plot and was very well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THIS BOOK AND thought that it was dumb. as i read on it got a little better.A LITTLE. even though im only halfway through this book i still dont think that its great. im only reading it because i need AR points
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i first read the begginning of this book i thought it was really stupid. as i read on it got better but i only read it so i could get some AR points
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't say I loved the book, but I can't say I hated it. While the beginning is thoroughly boring, it picks up at the end and provides a satisfying finish. Both characters are portrayed well and the writing is descriptive, but it never really becomes a 'great' book in my opinion. I would not recommend it for anyone easily offended or young, however.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Loved it! A very exciting book to read. Maria's and Jed's love pervailed through all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love how the book has it's chapters. It has the two teenagers point of veiw.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was 14 and being 17 now, I think I enjoyed it more at that age. Therefore, I recommend 11-14 y.o. readers of this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was a little bit confusing. It was a good book because it made me feel as if I was their when Reverend Beelson took all of the believers to his mountain. The book starts of a little boring but it gets better as you understand it more. The families of believers were the only people who could enter the camp.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. i liked these authors and the topic so i thought it would be pretty good but i didn't think it would be this good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best book I've ever read a love storie wrapped in with some drama
Guest More than 1 year ago
I dont read books more then 100Pgs. long but i read the first chapter and i was addicted. Jane Yolen & Bruce Coville did a GREAT job on this book, if i could give 6 stars i would ONLY give it to its book. Ps !!ONLY!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great! It's the first book I've read of that kind and I find that now when I'm in a book store I look for something that seems more odd then the usual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I belive this book could be an insparation to us all. The way two teenagers fall in love is the way it is supposed to be. It ishow the plot falls into place with the industries today that make this a great book. Once i picked up this book, i could not put it down. It is how the teenagers meet and bond to gether that makes a good book.If there is a book that you want to read that has love, adventure, and eximent; this would be it! For that i rate this book 4 Stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book! the viewpoints of two different people was a great idea! My friend recommended this book to me!I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read it for school, which is in my Pre AP L.A. class. It was really boreing at first, but it then turned good. It kinda reminded me of that Steven King story where the people followed god and one group followed the devil. The only thing that bothers me is, which Marina found odd in the book as well, that the angels in the front gate had guns. But I liked the book, and tomorow we start doing a school graffiti wall in my pre ap L.A. class, so wish me luck!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. I had never read a book dealing with armageddon/religion like this book. It really made me think about religion. I also liked the romance with Jed and Marina.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. It had everything I look for in a good book.