In Jeanne Martinet’s Etiquette for the End of the World, Tess Eliot’s world as she knows it has ended – she’s suddenly without a boyfriend or a job. Low on funds, she takes an offer to ghost-write a how-to manual for a survivalist group who believes the world as everyone knows it will end on December 21, 2012. Although she doesn’t start the project as a believer, doing research leads her to information that could prove that society may be in jeopardy after all.
The cover touts this as ”Bridget Jones for the New Millineum” and I see the similarities. Both are full of quirky characters and outrageous situations. And like Bridget, Tess starts her journey with a new relationship involving a man that seems too good to be true and who is definitely hiding something. The romance is secondary, though. The main plot of Etiquette for the End of the World involves a mystery over the feasability of one of the ways civilization may end and how WOOSH, the group that hired Tess, may be involved.
The funniest parts of the book are the snippets of Tess’s how-to manual that are scattered throughout – with titles like “How to Rob Someone with Style” and “Dating as if Your Life Depended on It (Which it Acutally Does)”. Although told with a large dose of snark and humorous from the perspective of a post-apocalyptic world, there is some great advice in them, especially “Twelve Rules to Live and Die By” found at the end of the book.
Etiquette for the End of the World is a humorous, light-hearted book that takes on the latest doomsday theory – the end of the Mayan calendar. Martinet does a good job of keeping the story moving quickly and making it playful without it getting ridiculous. If you are looking for a fun distraction, this is the book for you.