Paperback, 320 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2012 by Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Description via Goodreads:
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?
My thanks go to Usborne for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Since I first heard about The Other Life late last year, it quickly became one of my most anticipated books of 2012. When I was welcomed to read and review the book before official publication, I couldn't wait to get stuck in! This book wasn't a disappointment and I think that it will appeal to fans of fast-paced dystopian books, especially those such as Life As We Knew It and the recently published Dark Inside.
Whilst for the most part, I did enjoy this novel and it's fast paced action, there were a few flaws that irritated me at the beginning. Thankfully, by the end of the novel, the book did level out and it certainly felt as though the author had more confidence in what she was writing.
I found Sherry, our protagonist, took a little getting used to. I was slightly annoyed by her naiveté, lack of self awareness and also the fact that she asked so many questions to others even though they were no more aware of anything than her - I think that there should have been some more time for me, as a reader, to ask my own questions. When Sherry is told about the reason that everyone has been 'quarantined' in bunkers, to be protected from a mutation of the rabies disease (which turns humans into zombie 'Weepers'), by order of the Government/Military at the beginning of the book, she doesn't seem to have very strong feelings upon something that had such a huge impact on her life. This uncertainty was, however, quite apt at the same time - it would be easy to feel confused in her situation. I think that Sherry did evolve throughout the book and by the end, I found her to be a more determined, strong and likeable character.
Joshua, the love interest of this book, was quite atypical. He was handsome, but not perfect and he certainly had a sense of attitude to him. His quite secretive past life was also very intriguing. As a secondary character, I did enjoy reading about him. I thought that the relationship between Sherry and Joshua felt awkward, which was appropriate and realistic to their situation. I actually found their troubled friend, Tyler, to be one of the most interesting characters of the story. He has fantastic space for potential in the next books and I will look forward to learning about more of his story. It will also be interesting to see how other characters such as George, who has knowledge about the mutation, contribute to the next books.
The story is an interesting one and it is interesting to see how Sherry, her family and new-found friends adapt to their new, harsh reality and the fact that death and destruction is the norm. Seeing the contrast between her present life and her past life allowed me to see how much things had changed. I found the recollections of Sherry's past before each chapter to work very effectively. It's a very harrowing story with some very gruesome descriptions and events. We are kept on constant alert with the near constant action which helps you to feel as though you're in Sherry's position.
There are unanswered questions by the end of The Other Life and the revelations that we have already found out have left me wanting more. This was a compelling book that made me look forward to discovering more on the next page and it was a very easy read. The ideas behind the story are very intriguing and the progression of this will be interesting to see in the next book, coming out in 2013.