Review Happy Doomsday: A novel by David Sosnowski

#1 Best Seller in General Humorous Fiction

The end of the world is the weirdest time to come of age.

Welcome to the end of the world. One minute, people are going about their lives, and the next—not. In the wake of the inexplicable purge, only a handful of young misfits remains.

When it all went down, “Wizard of Odd” Dev Brinkman was seeking shelter from the taunts of his classmates. Goth girl Lucy Abernathy had lost her best friend and had no clue where to turn. And Twinkie-loving quarterback “Marcus” Haddad was learning why you never discuss politics and religion in polite company—or online.

As if life when you’re sixteen isn’t confusing enough, throw in the challenges of postapocalyptic subsistence, a case of survivor’s guilt turned up to seven billion, and the small task of rebuilding humankind…

No one said doomsday would be a breeze. But for Dev, Lucy, and Marcus, the greatest hope—and greatest threat—will come when they find each other.

From the Editor

If you can accept Happy Doomsday’s basic long-shot premise—suddenly, (almost) everybody dies—then you’re in for a rare treat, a deeply felt and frequently hilarious coming-of-age tale like nothing else I’ve read.

The lone survivors of “the whatever-it-was” are three teens already struggling through the trials of late adolescence. For Dev—who was once told that he has Asperger’s syndrome, an armchair diagnosis that Dev wholly owns—hell is other people, and their sudden absence feels like a miraculous deliverance. Lucy is pregnant, grieving her bestie, and out of options. Marcus is an all-American kid with a sinister secret life online.

Within this almost completely depopulated world, author David Sosnowski’s treatment of these self-styled outsiders provides Happy Doomsday with its singular charm. There are no zombies in this comically apocalyptic tale, just three flawed, striving, and—through Sosnowski’s masterful narrative voice—identifiable characters whose stories I will never forget.

Novels are, at their core, about empathy—encouraging us to feel for their characters and, ultimately, each other. And in this sense, Happy Doomsday is one of the most successful novels I’ve ever had the honor to work on. Oh, and don’t worry about false advertising: it’s no spoiler to say that Happy Doomsday has a very happy ending. I’ll be recommending this book for years to come, and I hope you will too.

– Jason Kirk, Editor

Customer reviews

Mindy

Finally, a post-apocalyptic tale that does not follow a worn out story line and has a unique and diverse cast!

This is a very character driven story, IMO. It is told from the points of view of three high school students who survive the sudden and mysterious end of the world as we know it. The main character is Dev, who has Asperger’s. As the parent of kids with autism spectrum disorders, I really appreciated an autistic main character. Also, the way the author took us into Dev’s world, inside his head, and let us experience things from his POV was refreshing. I actually learned some things I didn’t know, and went to read more about them after reading this book. Also, it’s nice to see a character with autism NOT being portrayed as creepy, weird, violent or dangerous.

Secondary characters Lucy and Marcus, each troubled in their own ways, had both found themselves in difficult situations and were seeking extreme solutions, when the sudden end of the world derails their plans. There is a lot of backstory on all three characters, so the story is a slow burn, but I found it all so well written that it sucked me right in and I wasn’t bored a single minute.

Fair warning, if irreverence regarding political and religious issues or reading about the plights of once domesticated animals who suddenly have no one to care for them will be upsetting to you, then this may not be the book for you. It’s important to keep in mind when reading this that it is being told through the eyes of teenagers who have been brought up in a confusing world during turbulent political times, so they look upon things from varied perspectives.

All in all this was a fantastic read and I would definitely recommend it.

Emilie Vangilder

Not a YA book, but about three teens in post apocalyptic America. Funny and grim, central character on Asperger spectrum. No explanation for EOC, but well told story for first 3/4 though it dragged in a few places, but seemed rushed after that. The POV from Dev was very well imagined, but somewhat less so from the other two teens. Probably a realistic telling of how suicidal teens would react in these circumstances. One of the better reads from kindle first.

Lacey

This one’s a little hard for me. It was good but at times it was also tedious. There’s just so much explanation about how Dev thinks and why he does what he does that it just drags in places. And then we get to the chapters about all the pets left behind and their fate and it was just depressing. Things start to pick up near the end. This is definitely a character driven plot and I really liked the open ending.

 

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