Author: Mari Mancusi
Genre: YA, dystopia, romance, dystopian chick lit
Release Date: March 2012
Summary: Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice–between her family–and Chris Parker, the boy she’d given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he’s the only thing on her mind.
All Chris “Chase” Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed–breaking his heart without ever telling him why.
Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk…and feed. As they begin their pilgramage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost–all while attempting to save what’s left of the human race?
☆: 1.5/5 stars – nothing new, original, or special that we haven’t already seen before in this genre.
Review: I was really disappointed with this one, guys. I was hoping that it would take an innovate approach to the end of the world and romance, but alas, it’s like so many other YA dystopian romance books/dystopian chick lit. Mancusi could have done so much more than what she actually did do with this basic idea of finding one’s true love after the apocalypse has actually happened – and she didn’t. I wish I could recommend this one, guys, but I can’t.
Very technologically advanced society? Check.
Everything goes to hell in a handbasket (fairly) quickly? Check.
Apocalypse or dystopian society or both? Check.
Boy and girl running away/trying to run away with each other to rub it in the face of said society? Check.
“True Love”? Check.
It’s almost as if Mancusi was using a checklist here when it comes to what I now call dystopian chick-lit in the YA genre. The first chapters were very slow moving and it was hard to not keep my mind from wandering elsewhere, and I just remembering sighing a whole lot. There were a lot of jokes about “oldies” and talk about the old-fashioned internet, but I felt the world constructed within the first few chapters didn’t feel very stable or original. Virtual reality? Also check. It felt like a lot of older sci-fi tropes all thrown together to try to create a world where an apocalypse felt more likely than not, and I just couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried.
I couldn’t finish this one – I’ll openly admit that. I got to page 90 and finally threw up my hands. The pace was far too slow, any arc executions that were there were very muddled and hard to determined and, quite frankly, it badly, badly, badly needed another draft and copy edit because there were mistakes everywhere (even for an ARC).
And then there’s the boy meets girl and then the apocalypse part happens – I’m sorry, that storyline just can’t cut it anymore. Dystopia has flooded the market so much that you really need to do something special to stand out, and Mancusi just didn’t do it this time. I liked her earlier work (“Gamer Girl” was awesome and I really enjoyed it) so I was hoping for something far more than I got. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
So, guys, I’d skip this one. Read a really awesome YA dystopian book like “Divergent”, “Masque of the Red Death”, “The Hunger Games”, “Legend”, “Matched”, or “Across the Universe” instead. Don’t waste your time here. I wish I could get the few hours I did spend in this sad little world back.