Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Review of The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

Thanks to Usborne Publishers for the advanced review copy of The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker.
** What it’s about **
Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all

** What I thought **
The Other Life is the first book of perhaps a series, but there certainly is a follow up book called The Life Beyond which is due to be released in February 2013.  (The Other Life is launched on 1st February 2012).  Firstly, I have to say that I love the cover - absolutely gorgeous and entrancing.  The barbed wire on the cover and the start of each chapter has a very clever and subtle link to the story (I won't say anymore....!)
This is my second YA dystopian debut in as many days.  This one, I devoured in a matter of hours.  Susanne Winnacker writes beautifully creating a world of eerie destruction intermingled with the  seeds of first love. 
Winnacker has packed a powerful punch with her debut novel about survival, adventure and first love.  The character development is perfect, and I absolutely adore the hero of the book, Joshua.  I can’t wait to see the relationship between Sherry and Joshua blossom in the next book as they take on bigger and bolder tasks.  There are some other heart-warmingly strong bonds built as everyone pulls together to survive.  I particularly loved Sherry’s little sister, Mia, and the bond between them.
In between each chapter, we read a short extract from Sherry’s other life (her life prior to the disease, death and destruction).  These are short, sweet and refreshing.  The book is well-paced and will keep you turning the pages until the last page is turned and you'll be looking for the next book!
A wonderful YA dystopian novel that hopefully will stand out from the rapidly growing market in this genre.  

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