Author: Mari Mancusi
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian Zombie Apocalypse
Published by: NLA Digital
Summary from Goodreads:
Can true love survive the end of the world?
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?
You know the book you are reading is good when you find yourself on the edge of your seat and you are clenching your jaw until you realize that it's a bit sore. I loved the way Mancusi was able to create so much tension in so many ways. The romance was tense, the journey was tense, Peyton's relationship with her father was extremely tense, and add to all of that her body is literally breaking down a little more everyday. Every situation was intense and the pace was maddeningly fast (in a good way).
The way that Peyton's memories flashed back sometimes made me want to throw the book across the room! I would be gripped with terror or some other all-consuming emotion and then... WHAM!!!! Peyton would remember what it was like before the virus. Now don't get me wrong these flashbacks were placed perfectly and gave you information when you needed it and I actually think it was genius on Mancusi's part to add them when she did, they definitely kept me reading and dying to get back to what was going on in the present. In other words I was glued to the pages!
The relationship between Peyton and Chris is actually really wonderful to read. There is a constant push and pull between them and trust issues on both sides. I loved that even though these two characters are on a journey through a world full of zombies they still had normal issues to get through as well, it made the story seem more real.
I would recommend this book to the slightly older young adult crowd just because it is really intense and a bit scary at times. Also, there were a few editing issues, but for me at least the story was so good I was able to easily over look these. A great read for zombie enthusiasts as well as romance readers!