Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.
2014 Voice Arts Award Winner
2015 Audie Finalist - Solo Narration, Female
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a feel good zombie apocylapse
as the story opens, cassie and her best friend, penny, are heading to work. the author spends a little time introducing this small group of friends who work together before the action starts. cassie and her friends live and work in brooklyn, new york. the lx virus has spread across the world and has reached the u.s. however, most of the cases have appeared in the west and midwest so cassie and her friends haven't been too worried about it. later in the day when the local news reports that they expect 20,000 people in the greater nyc area to be infected in the next 24 hours, cassie and her friends decide to head to penny's apartment instead of going out drinking.
as they head to penny's apartment, most people are carrying on as normal- eating, drinking, and making merry on a friday night. before they reach penny's apartment, they encounter their first infected person that truly scares them. holed up at penny's apartment, they begin to learn the true extent of the outbreak as james, cassie's techy friend, discovers the local news has been lying about the rate of the infection. as things start to devolve, penny receives a text message from her mom, who works at the hospital. she tells penny to meet her at cassie's apartment so they can flee the city. everybody realizes the situation is much worse than they previously thought, except for anna, penny's younger sister. the publisher's summary describes her as "bratty," and that description is right on.
although the characters are in their late 20s, i would definitely classify this story as a young adult (ya) zombie apocylapse. why you ask? because of the themes. yes, there are zombies, but they act as more of a catalyst for the characters to confront their situations, feelings, and relationships than a terrifying threat. the story starts out as a zombie apocylapse story, but it quickly becomes more of a ya problem / coming of age novel. being in my mid 30s, i can relate to it b/c the main character, cassie, experiences THE most coming of age problems at that age- did i let go of the man i should of married.
this is more of a character driven story than zombie driven story. yes, there is a lot of zombie action in the beginning, but once they escape nyc, the story focuses mostly on the complicated relationship between cassie and peter and peter's and anna's belief that this whole thing will blow over and that things will quickly be back to normal.
i was innitially engrossd by the zombie aspect, but as the story continued, i got caught up in the inter-relationship drama. this was kind of surprising to me. i was kind of bummed that the zombies took a back seat, but i kept listening b/c of the characters. i could relate to them and feel their frustrations. and yes, i was at times very annoyed with some of them, but to me, that's good writing- when the author can stir emotions in you that you weren't expecting.
the narration is really good. julia whelan does a good job bringing the characters to life and portraying their emotions. i found the writing tight and the dialogue smooth and believable.
the story is kind of predictable and more ya than zombie. you could easily replace the zombies with any other serious disaster and have the same story. so if you're looking for a zombie-centered apocylapse story, you might want to read a few other reviews before deciding on this. if you're looking for a good ya story with an end of the world slant, look no further b/c you've found it.
i hope i don't come across as too sexist, but i think female listeners would enjoy this sort of story more than male listeners. but i may be wrong! i'm a guy, and i enjoyed it. but i only listen to ya stories every once in a great while, and i didn't know this was a ya novel. maybe i should've paid more attention while reading the summary.
after listening to the entire story, i would say my overall impression is a feel good zombie apocylapse. kind of an oxymoron, but it fits!
- Mike Naka "Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL"
Loved every minute of this
- Natalie Harris