Milo and Marcos at the End of the World / Kevin Christopher Snipes / Book Review

Milo Connolly is a good Presbyterian boy. Nobody will make him question that. Especially not Marcos Price, the boy who broke his heart three years ago. Milo did all he could to forget Marcos and what almost was--what could never be, for a good Presbyterian boy like Milo. It wasn't hard, after Marcos ghosted him. But there's a new kid at school this year, just ready to throw a wrench in Milo's perfectly-planned, keep-your-head-down senior year, and his name just so happens to be Marcos Price. And Marcos doesn't want to forget like Milo did. But as Marcos and Milo grow close, things start to go awry—earthquakes, sinkholes, meteors—and Milo can’t help but think there might be something else, something bigger at play. Something that doesn’t want him to get close to Marcos. 


This book is cute, and it wasn't at all what I expected it would be. The blurb and the opening line are a little misleading, but in the end, I didn't really mind.


  • Church Idiosyncrasies: This book does a lot of calling-out when it comes to the contemporary American church, and for good reason. But it also calls out the church in smaller ways, too--pointing out the little idiosyncrasies that anyone who has been involved in the church would recognize well. People are predictable, and they form predictable patterns wherever they might be. Poking fun at prayer-turned-gossip circles, the inexorable fear of those who "strayed from the fold," and the particularly Republican persuasion of certain church bodies wasn't done here in a mean-spirited way--though it was done to call out these particular problems. This book doesn't condemn the whole Church, but it does call out a certain type of American "Christian." And I appreciate the delicate balance it strikes in doing so. 
  • Cute: I don't usually use the word "cute" to describe a romance. I don't usually care that much. But here, this word undoubtedly applies. It is very first-love young-love in its every aspect, and I liked that. It is soft and cute. 
  • Not All Rosy: A coming-out book like this--one that can be described as a "cute" romance, that is--tends to be full of hope. Why shouldn't this type of story be? This one, however, doesn't paint such a rosy picture--in a good way. These boys get in trouble. They get called slurs at school. They face homophobia in their own homes. They do have some support, but they don't have circles willing to stand around them as soon as they are brave enough to tell the world. Their caution here is well-warranted, as the pages prove, but they persevere--and their story is still cute and sweet, even with that sad dose of reality. 


  • Stereotypical Narrator: Milo might not necessarily be a stereotypical YA character, but he does have that stereotypical male YA narrator voice. He's self-conscious, awkward, and shy in his musings about the world. He fears a pending social catastrophe, and it bleeds through into his rather bland narrative voice. There's not much of a hook, as far as the voice goes. There's nothing new here. 
  • Religious Trauma: This book comes with a heavy dose of self-loathing. Milo's mindset can be hard to get into and harder to experience. Milo is really enmeshed in his worldview, and he can't stand himself most of the time. He makes himself physically ill at one point with the self-loathing, and that can be very hard to read--and I am sure it is more so for any who can resonate with this on a more personal level. 
  • Ambiguous: Milo thinks for a long time that God might be punishing him--him and Marcos both--for being gay, for having feelings for each other. The pendulum swings back and forth as Milo, the good Presbyterian boy, wrestles with his growing feelings for Marcos. And some truly apocalyptic (and perhaps not coincidental) things do happen to these boys. These "signs" were ultimately left ambiguous, and so I am left to ask: was God punishing them, Kevin Christopher Snipes? Or not? What is the message here?



Fans of Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will like this new story of self-realization and self-acceptance. Those who appreciate Adib Khorram's Darius the Great is Not Okay will like this book about two boys at the end of the(ir) world. 


Publisher: Harperteen
Date: May 24, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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