Posted in Jamie McGuire, Suspense

Red Hill – Jamie McGuire

17457124Synopsis

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?

4 out of 5 stars

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My Review

For someone who doesn’t like anything Zombie related – books, TV shows, films…I surprised myself by actually wanting to read Red Hill and see just how disturbed I could be by reading a Zombie book.

I began reading this one morning on the way to work, and to be honest, I wasnt so far in when I began to feel really faint – Told you I wasnt good with zombies and gore and anything hospital related. So I stopped and told myself I would wait until I was home, but all throughout the day it was all I could think about, so on my lunch I read a bit more until I was sneaking bits between doing my work for the rest of the day.

Jamie took a big risk switching genres but it definitely paid off. I was hooked, despite my emotions all over the place and I even dreamt about Zombies coming after me when I put it down for the night. Although this book is about Zombies, it really is more about the people doing whatever they can to survive this apocalypse, to make it to safety, to make it to the ones that they love – and each character are entwined in one way or another – they just don’t know it yet.

Behind the backdrop of a now apocalyptic world, it is a fight for survival, a fight to stay alive and not get caught by the ‘Teds’ – which Zoe calls them. We see the fear of the three groups we follow, the fight to make it to Red Hill – to the safe haven where it’s far into the countryside that they are save and away from the Teds, despite a few rolling across the fields and the stretch of road.

We meet all the characters the day of the breakout, we watch them panic and set off to find loved ones so they can get to safety. We meet Scarlet first, she was working in the hospital when it broke out and as her children are with their father that weekend, she is determined to get to them, to get them to Red Hill and safe. We watch her kick into survival mode, doing whatever she can to get to her children. I’m not a mother but I can completely understand her panic over getting to her children. I can just imagine not being there to console them, keep them from harms way and it tore a new one in my heart over how she just wanted them with her NOW! We watch her going it alone, we witness the heartbreak when she gets to her ex-husbands house and they arent there. She writes where she is going, knowing them with know where it is and she sets off, in the hope that they will return to the house and make their way to her. Hope is all she has left and throghout the book we see her everyday waiting to see her children walking over the hill to the house. Never once does she let go of that hope and as the reader, I was with her, wishing for her children to be alive and safely making there way to her.

Scarlet really is a badass too! She can shoot a gun, she can get close enough to crack their skulls and she truly is amazing in my eyes. Despite wanting her children, she has the strength to make it through the apocalypse. She really was a tough chick.

Nathan and his daughter Zoe got to me a lot. He;s in a loveless marriage and the only person he looks forward to seeing is Zoe. When he finds out about the breakout, he races to Zoe, and races to his brother-in-laws as Skeeter has the guns and the strength to make it though the invasion. We watch Nathan’s determination to keep Zoe safe and from harms way throughout the book. He is one tough cookie but he is a softy underneath. He never lies to Zoe or promises anything he cant keep and I liked that about him. They are facing a brand new life of always being so close to death and to tell her it will be fine would be a complete lie.

Miranda, her sister Ashley and their boyfriends Bryce and Cooper are on their way to her Dad’s house – the same place which Scarlet is cooped up in as she worked with their father. They are shit scared, especially Ashley, but Miranda has to stay focused and get through the hysteria of humans and zombies running past her car. She has to get to the house and hug her dad and know they are safe away in the countryside. Miranda was a tough character, she had definitely set in survival mode and Ashley really hadnt. She was petrified and did annoy me at times. She needed to be consoled all the time, reassured all the time. You dont have time to act like a scary cat, you just need to get your shit together and fight to survive. Saying that, her and Cooper were really cute together and you could see how much they loved each other; they could sense each other even if they weren’t facing one another.

When Miranda picks up a guy, Joey…oh I loved him so much and Miranda started to fall for him too – when they made it to the house. Joey lost his girlfriend to the virus, has only just got back form Afghanistan but he was hard, he know just want needed to be done to get to the house, to get running water…he knew what to do. Underneath his hard ass, he was sweet and really liked Miranda too.

They all witness deaths, they all see and kill Zombies – apart from the kids, and they all grieve in their own way. Too many of my favourite characters died and I think the worst death was the one we didnt read about, but just told about because, oh holy hell, he was definitely my favourite 😦

We do see the growing attraction between Nathan and Scarlet. We see them start as friends, Nathan being there for Scarlet, we watch them care about each other, fall in love and find happiness during the dark times. They dont meet until late in the book, but it would see easy to just bond over going through the same things and they were really sweet together, although the romance doesnt play a huge part of the book, it was nice to have something.

Throughout the book it got me thinking about what I would do if our world became overrun by Zombies…to be honest I had visions of my flatmate being bitten, me hiding in my room, door locked and sat against it while she tried to get in…and then I couldn’t sleep. I really would hope I would go into survival mode and do something, but knowing my luck I’d be bitten and turn into one. You really do think about what you would do, where you would run to to hide, who you would want to get to throughout the book. The fears of who you would lose, who you would see turn and that freaks me out just a bit. I’m not good at the whole thinking this could happen…lets just hope it never does.

If you are like me and have never touched a zombie book, seriously, pick this one up. It’s not just about Zombies, its about the fight to stay alive, to be with the ones you love and doing whatever you can to get to them whilst staying alive. Thee is romance, but its not heavily based at all, and despite being a lover of all things romance, it didn’t actually bother me at all….i was more concerned over who was going to die and who was going to live.

Give it a go…you may even want to read more Zombie books…

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