Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: The Other Life

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Release Date: February 1st 2012, preorder a copy!
Publisher: Usbourne
Add it: Goodreads
Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.
Three years ago, six people entered their family bunker. Five are still breathing the same air, trapped and desperate to escape the monotonous days. One lay dead in the freezer. And two minutes ago, the last morsel of food was eaten. Their only chance at survival is to brave the outside world where an even scarier fate awaits. A virus spread three years ago, infecting humans with a monstrous rabies that can turn even the sweetest of souls into a terrifying beast with an overzealous taste for human flesh. The LA they once knew is now a shell of it's former self - death, destruction and desolation reflect back from every window.

When Sherry and her father go in search for food, it doesn't take long for them to run into the awful zombie-like creatures known as Weepers. While the attack brings a new companion into Sherry's life - fellow survivor, Joshua - her father is kidnapped. She has no idea whether he's alive, dead or turned into something unnatural. But at least she's not alone. Joshua takes her back to Safe-Haven, a place where the last few survivors in the area call home. Their numbers may be few, but they've managed to stay alive, to hold onto their humanity, despite the horrors each have faced. Some worse than others, but all equally tragic.

As Sherry and Joshua go in search for her father, she has to face some inner demons. Understandably, she struggles with the idea of killing something that was once human. Murderous beasts they may be, but these were once ordinary people just like her. They laughed, they cried, they loved. They had families. But all thanks to a cruel twist of fate, they've lost all sense of who they are. It's a kill-or-be-killed situation and she knows she needs to find her father before it's too late. She's has no choice but to grow up fast. Heck, this would mess with the head of a person twice, even three times her age, so for a 15 year old, it's a remarkable feat.

Joshua has a mysterious past that is clearly full of pain and anger. There's a sort of reckless fury to him, which isn't so great when he's out there fighting Weepers. Sure, he's capable of taking them down, but his heart is screaming for vengeance and he sometimes doesn't bother to consider the risks before jumping into action. As you grow to learn more about him, his reasons become justified and you can't help but feel for what he's endured. He and Sherry grow closer in that sweet, coming-of-age / first-love type of way, a romance that manages to blossom despite the fear that threatens to suffocate them all.

The ending brings with it some shocking secrets, which spin the story in a whole new direction and promises for a pretty awesome book two. I think The Other Life can be enjoyed by both the younger and older market of YA. It sucked me in from the beginning and held me captivated as we journey through the bleak and dangerous landscape of Los Angeles. Action, fear and danger run rampant, but the darkness can't wilt the blossoming of love and hope. Their greatest strength may not lay in numbers, but the desire to fight, to survive, burning strong within each character is enough to spur them on against the nightmare that stalks them day and night.

4/5 Golden Apples!

14 comments:

  1. Wow Brodie - you just know how to make me want to read this NOW. It sounds awesome! But right now, I'm kinda scared to read something like this. woke up an hour ago from a zombie-filled dream. They weren't chasing me though. They were telling me I'm one of them and I should eat too. *freaky* But! I love the sound of this couple. ;) I love mysterious characters and Joshua fits the bill. Great review!

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  2. Ooh I haven't read many zombie books but the ones I have were awesome! There's something so terrifying about people, maybe ones you know, losing themselves. Even the idea of spending years in a bunker scares me @_@
    I remember seeing this on Netgalley but your review definitely gives more insight on how good this sounds. Thanks Brodie!

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  3. Uh, you make this sound AMAZING. I mean, I'm sure it *IS* amazing, not that you're making it sound that way when it's really not, but zombies usually give me the willies (teehee! 'Willies'!), and this souns UUUHHHHMMMAAAAZZZING.
    Plus, I love the cover :D

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  4. This is the first review I've read for The Other Life and I've been interested in this book for a while. Sounds good! Great review!

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  5. oohhh this one sounds interesting! Another dystopian book to add to my ever-growing 2012 TBR list :) awww the romance between Joshua and Sherry sure sounds sweet <3 AND ZOMBIES. Now I'm definitely sold! Great review <3 I'm looking forward to this!

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  7. Ooooh sounds awesome :) I *think* I got this for review from NetGalley! You've just made me want to read this even more :D Great review!! Anyway, I GOT UNDER THE NEVER SKY today!!! I thought I might let you know :) weee!

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  8. Nice review. I really enjoy reading dystopian novels, so this one is a definite keeper to add to my TBR list. Not to mention, there may possibly be a book two, then I really need to get on this soon. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Ooooh sounds awesome, you made me want 2 read it now

    tnx 4 your thoughts

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  10. Definitely want to read this one!

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  11. I love apocalyptic/survivalist stories, so this book sounds right up my alley. Yet another one to add to my list...But I'm glad you enjoyed it, Brodie!

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  12. Ooh yay, glad you liked this one! I have it on my tbr and I've been really excited about it, so it's good to hear it's not disappointing. And I love how a sweet romance develops amidst all the danger/scariness. Awesome review Brodie, thanks! :)

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  13. Oooh, cool, I hadn't heard of this one. It sounds awesome AND I'm a sucker for a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles setting -- nothing like seeing your home in a state of fictional destruction. ;) I will have to look into this one asap!

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  14. I'm so glad I read this review of Other Life, somehow I've got this book mixed up with the one where chocolate and coffee is illegal(can't remember the title :O).

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