Wednesday, October 26, 2016

{Book Review} Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Published: October 1st, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Series: Standalone
Source: Bought
Genre: Horror, Contemporary, NA
Pages: 368

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

First off I want to state that I am a huge zombie fan!  Although I have watched TONS of zombie movies, I have only read one other zombie book prior to this, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, which I highly enjoyed.  I think that in this day and age it is really hard to create anything zombie in an original way.  These genera, whether it is books, movies or TV shows, have been overpopulated for the last couple of years.  This book was nothing groundbreaking, but it was also highly enjoyable.

I have only read one other book by Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster, which differs COMPLETELY from Red Hill.  I really didn’t know what to expect going into this, but I was very excited.  McGuire’s writing was perfect in this book.  It was not too complex, but was able to paint a perfect picture in my mind.  I also surprisingly liked how this book was told in multiple points-of-view with the story unfolding in the voices of Nathan, Miranda and Scarlet.  Usually I hate books like this (unless it is a contemporary romance with dual POV), but this book really pulled it off.  I always find myself preferring one story point over another, but not this book!  All the stories were completely different, absolutely exciting and beautifully interwoven together. 

The plot of this book was pretty simplistic, with all of the characters struggling to survive and find somewhere safe from all the chaos.  It follows the stereotypical zombie apocalypse formula, but the writing and the characters are what really makes this book something special.  I really loved Nathan’s character.  He was level-headed, smart, brave and I loved seeing him be a wonderful father to his daughter, Zoe.  I really liked Scarlett’s character as well.  She was strong-willed and stubborn, but I think that is what helped her survive.  Her character became somewhat irrational as the book progressed, but I had a hard time blaming her as a mother who has lost her children in a zombie apocalypse.  Miranda was probably one of my lease favorite characters.  I really liked her at the beginning of the book, but once she made it to Red Hill, she became a hormonal girl worrying more about boy problems than how to survive. 

I think the standout character of this book, other than Nathan, would be Skeeter and Cooper.  I loved both of their characters and would have loved to have read from their POV’s as well.  It seems weird, since I usually prefer reading in a female’s voice, but the males in
 this book just stood out so much more.  They were charismatic, brave and helped keep everyone sane.  I felt like the character development was fantastic, which made the deaths and high-tension moments that much more devastating.  I fell in love with them as individuals and as a group, so much so that I found myself hoping no one would die (which is obviously going to happen in a zombie book).

For those that are wondering, there is slight romance in this book.  There is one standout romance that I absolutely loved.  I almost wish that I could have more of it, but I do think that this is a great standalone.  The secondary romance in this book never fully pulled me in.  It was a slight love triangle between three characters, but before you love-triangle haters put this on your ‘do not read list’, it was not even remotely a main feature in this story.  The romances in this book were a subplot to survival. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to individuals new and old to the zombie apocalypse genera.  It will make your heart race, anxiety rise and make you cry both sad and happy tears.  I would classify this book as scary, eerie and overall ominous. 

“I wasn’t sure how long we could survive, but I knew I wasn’t dying on day one of the f***ing zombie apocalypse.”

Also check out some of McGuire’s other books below.

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