Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 388
A romantic, thrilling story about finding yourself
(Updated: August 16, 2021)
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Hannah Ashton has a ballet audition to prepare for. She doesn’t have time for the world to end. When she wakes up one day to a completely empty city, she doesn’t know what to do. After a few days, she finds one other person: Leo Sterling, a musician she’s seen around school but rarely talked to. Leo doesn’t know what’s going on either, but with strange, aggressive wind and rain, it seems best they stick together. As they try to understand their unusual circumstances together, they find that in a world with just the two of them, their respective labels of ballerina and rocker no longer have to confine them. Whereas before, they were strangers in different circles, they are now free to be open and honest in a way that just might prove what a great team they could make…if something dangerous doesn’t tear them apart first.


1.) The mystery: I had two main theories of why Leo and Hannah were in an empty city. One turned out to be somewhat correct, but it was still so intriguing to watch everything unfold. Leo, being Leo, wants to spend his time in distraction, having fun. Hannah is searching for structure and control, continuing to practice her dance routine even as the audition date gets closer and nothing changes. In the middle of everything are increasingly weird weather patterns and odd occurrences, like Hannah or Leo knowing something they wouldn’t otherwise, that adds to the mystery.

2.) The romance: From a purely timeline perspective, I could see some reading the romance as instalove, because Leo and Hannah don’t spend too much time together before feelings start to deepen. However, in the empty city, time feels strange. What they may experience in one day is more impactful than any average day, and this makes the time seem longer and the romance far more slow burn than instalove. The chemistry between them was electric and engaging.

3.) The theme of finding and accepting yourself under the layers of criticism and labels: Hannah and Leo both start their journeys comfortable in their respective roles: a wannabe rock star and a ballerina. Once it’s only the two of them, they find space to exist just as themselves, without the weight of others’ expectations. It’s about letting yourself live outside of a box and embracing both the freedom and the fear of doing so. Through moments of quiet bravery, they learn to be who they are.

YOU AND ME AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a romantic, thrilling story about finding yourself and falling in love in an unexpected place.
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