Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REVIEW: RED HILL by JAMIE MCGUIRE


Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: 10/1/13
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Source: Received from publicist for review
Rating: 5 stars

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?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

I am not a fan of zombies. At all. The only zombie stories or movies I've enjoyed were the more humorous ones. Believe me, I've tried. But after two seasons of nearly losing my lunch every single time I watched The Walking Dead, I gave up. It's a plan that's good for your waistline, but not very enjoyable for me. 

I do, however, love survival stories. Some of my very favorites movies and books have centered around survival. On the Island, LOST, Castaway, and several others hold a strong place on my favorites list. Red Hill is a survival story. A story of the will to survive, maintain faith.  Of facing the days at a large part of society's end, and putting forth one foot after another in the face of catastrophic odds. 

Red Hill is told in three points-of-view: Scarlet, a single mom separated from her daughters; Nathan, who's love for his daughter compels him to fight for their survival; and Miranda, a young and complacent woman. McGuire did a brilliant job with each point-of-view, making each distinct and powerful. Though I felt for all three of the narrators, Scarlet's was the most powerful, in my opinion. Perhaps it's because I could relate to her struggle so well. Her unwavering faith in being reunited with her children was inspiring, and something most mothers will relate to. She wasn't always an easy character to like, but I always empathized with her. There is nothing more powerful than a mother's instinct to protect her children. McGuire's portrayal of Scarlet was raw and uncompromising. Scarlet didn't force others to help her, but if they volunteered, even at their own peril, she accepted that help.

Red Hill read like a movie. This was something my best friend commented on when she read Red Hill. I hoped I would feel the same. My hopes were answered within a few pages, when I looked at my husband and remarked "Holy [bleep]. This book is brilliant." I could visualize every scene, for better or worse, and if I had been sitting in a theater, it wouldn't have been much more impactful than this book. I barely had enough willpower to put the book down. Days later, I can't stop thinking about it. 

I have to say, I admire McGuire for stepping out of what's likely expected of her and delivering the unexpected. But not only did she deliver, McGuire knocked Red Hill clean out of the ballpark. I was admittedly skeptical going in, but she blew me away. The writing was sharp and straightforward. The story was intense, brutal and beautiful. Once you start Red Hill, you will not put it down.   


Favorite Quote

  Looking back, everyone knew then what was going on, but it had been a running joke for so long that no one wanted to believe it was really happening. With all the television shows, comics, books, and movies about the undead, it shouldn't have been a surprise that somebody was finally both smart and crazy enough to try and make it a reality.
  I know that the world ended on a Friday. It was the last day I saw my children.   ~ARC, pg 5
 


Pre-Order Red Hill
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About the author
Jamie McGuireJamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of five other novels: Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster, Providence, Requiem, and Eden. She and her husband, Jeff, live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster.






 
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19 comments:

  1. I was a bit afraid of Jamie going into dystopia and zombies but it seems to me like she did a great job. For one reason or another I don't enjoy zombie movies or TV shows, but books with them are actually great. I cannot wait to read this one now. Great review :)

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  2. I find it hard to get into zombie related books too but going by reviews this one may be one for me! Great review!

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  3. I so agree! I thought Jamie did an amazing job with this book! I actually read her paranormal series first, so I was really excited for more paranormal from her. I agree with you on Scarlet, she was definitely the most powerful of the three, however I think Nate was my favorite. Miranda... ehhh... she annoyed me. I really love that she wrote something a bit unexpected and did it so well. Amazing review!

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  4. I love zombies but only in tv shows and movies but I'm really looking forward to readingt his. I've read other peopole saying that this book played out like a movie. Great review!

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  5. Great review Andrea! I can't wait to read it! It's not a genre I usually read, but this I want to read BAD!

    Mikki @A Bookish Escape

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  6. Awesome review Andrea. I am now really looking forward to this. I am not a big zombie fan either, nor am I a fan of The Walking Dead. I have read a few zombie books that I enjoyed, and with the survival story angle, I am sure I will love this.

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  7. I think I need to read this, one I adore the author and two unlike you I love our brain eating, flesh decaying Zombie friends..i truly do that and the tale of survival. Wonderful review!

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  8. I'm not a fan of zombies either, so I'm glad you pointed that out. I also like survival stories, even though they totally stress me out! I didn't think I would read it before but I'm reconsidering that now.

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  9. Unexpected - this is why I I wanted to read this novel. This is a far cry from her hit romance novels. And look at that gorgeous and foreboding cover!

    Plus I love survivor stories too, it gets me thinking and it can be argumentative too. I personally don't want to survive any -pocalypse, I want to die with the first wave. Cowardly I know but I'm not really the type who'd do suffering and surviving gracefully. If I survive the -pocalypse, my fellow survivors will most likely murder me in my sleep to stop my ctying, whining and complaints.

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  10. Great review. I'm so excited to see good ratings for this book. I can't wait to get to it.

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  11. I'm a very visual person and I LOVE it when a book reads like a movie! I'm NOT a zombie person though. I think the only zombie book I've read is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. :) But since this is Jamie McGuire, I was intrigued. I'm soooo happy she knocked it out of the ballpark, Andrea. I can't wait to pick this one up. Thanks for an awesome review!

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  12. Excellent Review Andrea! I love that the story plays like a movie! I love Survival Stories too, and Lost was such a great TV show. You have me so excited to read this one!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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  13. I've been hearing really great things about this one! I am so glad you liked it and even though it's not your usual read- I think I'll have to pick it up since we have similar taste in books! Great review Andrea!

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  14. Awesome stuff! Keep it up!
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  15. This is a great review! I, too, struggled with the ick factor of The Walking Dead! I'm glad you enjoyed this one despite it being out of your comfort zone, I was a bit iffy about reading it but after reading your review I think I'll try it!

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  16. Wonderful review. Would love to read this one :)

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  17. I so love survival stories, but I love zombie stories, too! My husband is like you and is not a fan, though. It's nice when an author tries the unexpected and pulls it off. I can't wait to read this! Wonderful review, Andrea! :)

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  18. Arghhh, I need to read this one! I got so behind on reading on my vacation. I love this cover and how it's so different from normal NA covers. And I hate zombie books/movies/tv shows too but will read it if they can pull it off. This IS Not a Test by Courtney Summers was an amazing zombie book too!

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