Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Other Life (The Weepers) by Susanne Winnacker

The Other Life (The Weepers) by Susanne Winnacker

Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Usborne
Age Group:
Young Adult (14+)
Formats Available: Paperback and eBook (Hardcover will be published in May with a new cover)
Buy the Book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world.

Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers.

When Sherry's dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers.

But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

Well, this was certainly an enthralling, action-packed read! I was captivated from the very beginning, and all the action had me on the edge of my seat. This was definitely an exciting story from debut author Susanne Winnacker, and while I enjoyed the story immensely, I felt that there was just a little something missing that would have made this good read a spectacular one.

3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world. From just those few sentences alone, it is almost impossible not to draw parallels to Shatter Me. Juliet, the MC in Shatter Me, hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days and has been locked up for 264 days with 1 window. 4 walls. 144 square feet of space. Sounds a little similar, no? Add to the fact that both these books are dystopian literature, and even I was expecting The Weepers to be a lot like Shatter Me. However, these books are two completely different types of dystopian fiction. If you picked up this book expecting something like Shatter Me, be prepared for something a little different.

A rabies epidemic has been unleashed, and in order to avoid being contaminated, people moved into basements and bunkers. After spending over 3 years in their bunker, Sherry and her family have run out of food, forcing her and her father to brave the now unknown world awaiting them outside. Their old neighborhood is desolate, and dead bodies litter the streets and sidewalks. During their search for food, Sherry’s father is taken by Weepers, human who have become mutant creatures (or zombies, if you will) from the rabies outbreak. Sherry joins forces with Joshua and his companions to help find her father and figure out the truth behind the Weepers and the rabies spread.

The action in this book was crazy! As soon as Sherry exits the bunker, her life basically becomes a constant fight for survival. Emotions were always heightened, and there were some scary moments that made my heart beat a little faster (but I am a huge baby, so that is no surprise…). However, while the action and intensity of the novel was bar none, there was very little time to introduce a decent plot and really bring the characters to life. I have to say, the premise of this novel definitely drew me to the book, and I was really looking forward to learning more about the world and the rabies infestation/zombie problem. However, there was almost no plot throughout most of the story. There were constantly fights with Weepers for survival with a little romance thrown in intermittently, but the whole plot was introduced in the last couple of pages. Now, the plot was great and really interesting, and the introduction of it all in the end definitely served as a big cliffhanger that left me wanting more, but I really wish there had been more of it throughout the story. It would have been better to have introduced the plot twists pieces at a time instead of exposing everything at once. While the wow factor at the end might not be as great through slow exposure, it definitely would have kept me more invested in the story.

I liked the romance between Joshua and Sherry, but there was little chemistry between them. They are constantly fighting for their lives, and I felt their romance was more a production of the high of surviving after a rough battle instead of two teenagers falling in love in a dystopian world. I really wish I knew what they saw in each other, or even what they felt about one another. And that leads me to my next point: I think the reason I did not really understand their love was because I did not really understand them. The book was told from Sherry’s perspective, but I felt like I really did not know much about her at the end. What did she feel? What did she think? And it is not just Sherry’s character. I felt like I did not really get to know any of the characters. This book was a really quick read, so I think it would have been best to make the book longer and add in emotional or romantic moments to help flesh out the characters more. While the book was good without these added moments, I personally think they would have made this story better.

Do not get me wrong, I loved the action in this book, and it left me riveted and constantly on my toes. However, I just wish there would have been a little more substance to the story. In the end, it just felt as though something was missing. However, this is a good book and a quick read, so you should definitely check it out! I will definitely be reading the sequel, The Life Beyond, to see what happens next, and hopefully we will learn more about the characters and the new world!
A Decent Escape

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