Monday, February 10, 2014

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire


When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is 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 the first page and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.


Before I give my Red Hill review, I'll tell you a little about myself.  When it comes to books, I'm a girly girl. I seek out stories with princesses & fairies.  I also love sweet boys who love with their whole heart & cherish every moment with their special someone.  Because of this, I never fully connected with Beautiful Disaster & Walking Disaster and all of the love that flooded the internet for Travis Maddox.  I know to some this is blasphemy, but it's just who I am. Give me roses over tattoos any day!  That said, I can't deny being taken away by Jamie McGuire's writing.  I couldn't put down either of the previously mentioned books or any of the three books in her Providence series.  So, when it came to Red Hill, I was torn.  I wanted to read it because I had no doubt it would be a well written story, but I don't do horror...

However, when I saw that our local library had a copy, I decided to finally give in.  I am so glad I did.  I haven't been that sucked into a story in a long time.  I would catch myself crawling into bed & staring at the book debating if it was a good idea to read before bedtime & then deciding it was worth the potential nightmares because I couldn't wait until morning & risk another busy day stealing my opportunity to read.

The story is told through three main points of view.

  1. Scarlett is a single mother who dropped her daughters off at school on the day the world ended.  They were to spend the weekend with their father.  Now her only hope is that they are still alive out there somewhere & that they remember the song that would lead them to Red Hill Ranch...the safest location that Scarlett can think of to escape to.
  2. Nathan comes home to find that as the world was changing outside, his wife had run away, leaving behind him & his young daughter with only a note to explain her actions.  More relieved than saddened by her departure, Nathan takes to the road to find a safe place for him & Zoe.
  3. Miranda, her sister & their boyfriends get more of an adventure than they had planned on as they drive away from college in her VW Bug for a weekend escape.
Each group has their own reasons for heading toward Red Hill Ranch, and Jamie weaves their stories together beautifully.  While there are hints of romance throughout the book, this isn't a love story.  Because of that, it is quite a bit different than her other books, but I think I enjoyed it more because of that difference.  I love to see authors step a bit outside their norm & watch when they succeed.  It makes me want to read more of their work to see how they grow & evolve with their experience.

Red Hill was so much more than a zombie book and so much more than a love story.  It makes you question who you are, what you would do for those who matter most in your life, & how far you are willing to go to survive.  My recommendation, grab this book (and maybe a nightlight!) and jump in for a wild ride!

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