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A Reader of Fictions: Lonesome Town - Milton Mapes

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lonesome Town - Milton Mapes

The Weepers
The Other Life, Book 1

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Pages: 256
ARC Acquired from: Marshall Cavendish via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

First Sentence: "3 years, 1 month, 1 week, and 6 days since I'd seen daylight."

Reading this, I could not help but think about one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, Blast from the Past. If Adam had come up to a world of zombies aka weepers, they would be pretty similar. Ha. Anyway, the whole coming up out of the bunker device creates a nice time lapse so the characters can emerge into a wholly unknown world, as happens in The Walking Dead with the MC waking up out of a coma. This allows for believable exposition to relate how the heck the world came to be this way. It's a good method.

Although this is YA, I thought it read a bit like middle grade. This is largely due to Sherry's voice. She just isn't an especially mature 15, which is hardly surprising since she's spent 1/5 of her life living in a bunker with just her family. Her social development and possibly her schooling have been limited for the last three years.

Sherry is not an especially strong heroine, but she's not entirely useless. She has skills, like knowing how to handle a gun, and she's fit, but she also has terrible aim and wastes bullets because she feels bad killing anything. In short, she's a believable girl, not falling into either the helpless or the kickass category.

Although not actually written in diary format, The Weepers read a bit like a diary. Sherry is obsessed with numbers and constantly relates how long it's been since she's done something, like felt the rain on her face. I actually liked this about her, although I imagine it probably irritated some, but it did make it feel like she was writing everything out and doing calculations. How else could she remember precisely how many days ago she last ate chicken?

I was worried about the romance in the book. I do get a bit tired of the fact that the heroine always seems to manage to find a hottie when the world is ending, but I suppose it might be believable (any port in a storm kind of thing). What saved it for me was the time frame, which I think was longer than it seemed as I read along and that they definitely didn't instalove. Besides, I really like Joshua, and how ruthless/realistic he is about his situation, which is precisely why he and his crew are still alive.

My rating is not any higher simply because I do not feel like The Weepers did much to set itself apart from the host of other titles with this same sort of story. It's a wholly enjoyable read, and I'll definitely read the next book, but I didn't spot anything especially original.

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote: " 'I do care. That's why I hunt them. But if you've seen what I have, then you learn to deal with the murders and disappearances. You learn to push it aside and move on. The other life isn't here anymore. This new world has its own rules. Survival of the fittest is one of them. If you're hoping for kindness and pity, don't hold your breath.' "

Liner Notes: I chose this song, because I felt like using a song from the Stubbs: The Zombie soundtrack. Why? Not sure. The spirit moved me, and that's what matters! 

"In the town of broken dreams,
The streets are filled with regret

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Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I want to read this book, but I haven't made a special point to get to it yet. (I have almost zero reading time right now.) I think I'm going to wait until we get it at my library now. I like zombie books, but if it's more of the same, I can wait a little while. :-)

May 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca Hipworth said...

I have no idea whether I want to read this or not. :/ On the one hand, it sounds quite interesting. On the other, anything to do with zombies has been extremely overdone. I might give this one a try. Thank you for the review. :)

June 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM  

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