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The End of the World as We Know It

TitleThe End of the World as We Know It
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsChoyce, Lesley
Number of Pages223
PublisherRed Deer Press
DescriptorsAdolescence; Emotions; English Language; Families; Identity; Nova Scotia; Novel; Young Adult

This young adult novel by Nova Scotia author Lesley Choyce tells the story of sixteen year old Carson, attending a last-resort private school for kids who have flunked out elsewhere and hating the world. His life changes when he meets Christine, a teen whose circumstances are much worse than his but who teaches him to find happiness in his imperfect life.


Nova Scotia.

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Carson hates the world and everything in it. Because of his clear disdain for humanity, Carson often finds himself in conflict with his parents, teachers, and peers. Consequently, Carson was kicked out of his public school, and now attends Farnsworth Academy, a school for wealthy kids with behavioural problems. Though Carson continues to be depressed throughout his tenure at Flunk Out Academy, things change when he meets a local girl named Christine. Christine’s parents abandoned her, and she now lives alone in an old trailer, in constant fear that social services will find her. Because of her living situation, Christine is severely depressed, and in the past has resorted to self-mutilation as a means of coping with her problems. Christine’s desperation shows Carson that his anger is not a product of tangible problems, but is, instead, an emotional response to his philosophical reflections about humanity. As Carson begins to develop feelings for Christine, he also begins to open himself up to his teachers, his family, and his roommate, Fin. However, just as the future looks brighter for Carson, Farnsworth Academy is shut down. Feeling lost, Carson and Christine decide to take it upon themselves to find a new place to live and call home. The End of the World as We Know It is a young adult realist novel, and is told from a first-person, immediate-engaging perspective.


“The last thing I need was a girl like this in my life. The last thing I need was anyone. I walked purposefully and quickly down from the trailer park and into town. Stay focused, Carson. Keep your wits about you. Look out for number one and you might survive for a few more years on this despicable, screwed-up planet.” (41)