Published October 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster | 368 pages
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.
Review: 2 Sad Stars
Walking Dead right now, so I thought I’d continue the zombie theme by finally reading Red Hill. I loved Beautiful Disaster and the Providence series so was really excited to see what Jamie McGuire would do with a zombie apocalypse. But sadly, I was super disappointed.
I thought the story really fell flat; the zombies didn’t excite me, the characters were annoying, the romances were random, and the plot was directionless. I think it flopped in a number of areas.
*Note: this review may contain some spoilers (but not major)*
A main problem for me was the characters. They did a lot of stupid things and put themselves in silly situations! For characters that claimed to know a lot about zombie apocalypses, I don’t think they did a great job. For example;
– Why didn’t they shoot Jill in the head?! I know they were in a church but when the church is surrounded by zombies trying to eat you and there are potential zombies inside then I think exceptions can be made.
– Also why did they make a plan to bury Jill!? I know Skeeter loves her, but it didn’t seem like the ideal time to try to bury a potential zombie in a yard filled with actual zombies. Digging takes a lot of time. Very unrealistic expectations during a zombie apocalypse.
– Can Miranda stop being so concerned about her car? The world is literally ending and she is driving a VW bug. That’s not a great survival car and that’s what she should be concerned about.
– If Scarlet was so concerned about her children, then why did she ever leave her ex-husbands house?! If she was so sure that her family would return and see that message then why didn’t she just wait for them?
– Why did they keep that dog locked in the backyard next door? They know it barks and they know that zombies are attracted to noise. That scene at the house was 100% preventable.
I was also just confused by the direction of the plot. The storyline for a lot of the characters didn’t feel very developed. There were several characters that seemed to be placed in the book just to die. What I mean by this is that they had no purpose. The character’s main drive in the beginning was to get to Red Hill but then what? What was their purpose in life? What was their goal? They didn’t have one. Yes, they were surviving a zombie apocalypse but there was nothing REALLY happening with them. Miranda had this awkward and random flirtation with army guy that her boyfriend refused to acknowledge, Ashley taught Zoe some math and Caleb ran a lot (there were way too many references to the fact that Caleb is a track star). IT WAS BORING. There was no character development for so many characters. I felt like they were simply there to die so that readers would cry. But here’s the thing; I didn’t cry because the lack of development with those characters meant that I had no real connections to them!
But worst of all; where was the suspense and the horror? This is a zombie apocalypse!! Those are scary; this was not scary. It did not keep me on the edge of my seat, instead I was bored. It was the children’s movie of zombie apocalypses. This would have been fine if the story had a different focus, like a romance but the romance fell flat as well! I felt no sparks or chemistry with any of the characters. Jamie has written some awesome love scenes in previous books but I just wasn’t feeling it this time.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this one but I will continue to recommend and love Jamie McGuire’s other books.