It’s been a couple years since 17 year old Aisha has seen her sister June, but with a meteor heading straight for earth and the end of the world imminent, she and her mother decide it’s time to try to find June and make amends. Joining their journey is Aisha’s boyfriend Walter, his parents, and a stray cat that Aisha has dubbed Fleabag. As they make their way across Malaysia, the group finds themselves revisiting and letting go with the past and coming to terms with the bleakness of the present, all while still holding out hope for the future, even with the end looming.

This is a slow-paced, tender story set at the end of the world that focuses on the people, relationships, and feelings rather than the actual impending doom. Aisha harbors a lot of anger over the things that have happened in her life and all the things that will never happen in her life because everything is ending in a few short months. She often finds herself expressing this anger by being prickly with Walter and we are able to watch as his sunny disposition gets slowly worn down by Aisha’s negativity, even as they are both trying their best to make the most of the time that they have left. Mikail finds a balance that has the reader vacillating between being frustrated with Aisha and feeling sympathetic towards her plight.

I felt like I was put through the wringer while reading this story—laughter turning to sadness turning to anger turning to hope. Mikail expertly weaves a story that will get you thinking about what—and who—really matters in life. The story from start to finish feels a lot like the stages of grief as they make their way closer to June and closer to the end. And the way Mikail brings it all together in the end leaves you feeling a little bit of hope, even as you know that nothing has fundamentally changed in regards to the group's future. This story is very much driven by the relationships, especially those between Aisha, June, and their mother, and that is how Mikail gets the reader thinking, re-evaluating, and growing in their own relationships with loved ones.

If you're looking for an action-packed adventure where an individual or a group of individuals tries to stop the end of the world, this is not the story for you. This is a story that is anchored in accepting that the end is near, a story that reminds us that we need to stop waiting, to take the risk, to reach for your own joy and happiness. Because even though the end of our world isn’t imminent, tomorrow is never guaranteed—and this story is the reminder to evaluate what truly matters to you.

AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Nadia Mikail is available now and you can get a copy for yourself here.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2024 Book Recommendations."