Title: Red Hill
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: October 1, 2013
ARC provided by publisher
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.
Thoughts on Red Hill
I'd like to start off by saying that you really shouldn't read Red Hill late at night next to your sleeping husband. The urge to wake him up to start planning what you are going to do during a zombie apocalypse will be huge if you follow through on that urge, well, let's just say mine wasn't impressed.
Red Hill is a heart-stopping story from start to finish. There's no gradual build up or "I wonder what's coming?"; the first page opens up to Day One of the American Infestation and you hit the ground running.
Red Hill is written from three different character point of views and at first I thought I would have a hard time keeping track of each person's story but Jamie McGuire weaves their escapes from the chaos together as though it is fate that they all meant to be at Red Hill. The story opens up with Scarlet, a single mom who is working her shift at the hospital when the virus first hits and is desperate to get to her girls. We then meet Nathan, a father who is facing the end of his soul-sucking marriage as well as the end of the world and finally, Miranda, a young college girl who is more worried about her brand new VW than dying. Each takes a path that finds them at Red Hill along with others that they meet on the way.
I've never read a book with zombies before (and I've never seen The Walking Dead either) so I was a little tentative at first at how a story where the "bad guys" were pretty much dead guys was going to be that much of a problem. Surely you could outrun or just kill a zombie right?
I was so wrong.
I felt the panic and desperation of the characters creep up on me with each point of view. Their world was imploding around them and I was desperately turning each page to find out what happened next. Jamie McGuire puts their terror and helplessness right into your heart and doesn't let you breathe until the very last page. I liked Scarlet's point of views best, mostly because I am a mother too and her single mindedness to get to her children hit very close to home. Under most circumstances I'd be hiding in the corner while waiting for it to be over but if I didn't know where my children were, then yes, Scarlet's actions make absolute sense to me. Nathan was a close second because his daughter reminded me a lot of my boy in behavior and age.
What impressed me most of all though was how smart the characters were. I'd be screwed because I've never seen a zombie movie but everyone right down the the teenagers made the best decisions for themselves at the time. Nobody tried to be the crazy hero or put anyone else in danger to do something stupid. And I found this gem...
"I wasn't sure how long we could survive, but I knew I wasn't dying on day one of the fucking zombie apocalypse."
Best. Line. Ever
Bottom line, Red Hill had me hooked until the very end. I held my breathe at times and cried in others. I would have been peeking through my hand as well if I didn't have to hold the book. And the ending, I said it was heart stopping to the very end and it absolutely was. Jamie McGuire tells a story like no other and she's rocketed to the top of my "to buy even if I have to eat Noodles" list.