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A Reader of Fictions: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross & The Supremes

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross & The Supremes

Tomorrow Land

Author: Mari Mancusi
Pages: 300
Publisher: NLA Digital
Source: NLA Digital via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
Can true love survive the end of the world?

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family--and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind. 

All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why. 

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgramage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all while attempting to save what's left of the human race?

First Sentence: "'I wouldn't go out with Chris Parker if he were the last guy on Earth!'"

Not gonna lie, I one hundred percent expected this to be completely awful. Well, okay, maybe not 100 percent...perhaps just 95. Either way, my expectations were way low. Why read it? You should have figured out by now that I will read pretty much anything, so long as it's dystopian/post-apocalyptic. Why did I think it would be bad? All I knew is that Mancusi previously wrote about vampires (during the glut of vampire fiction) and that this was a story she updated because of the glut of dystopian stuff now. Also, her covers are lame. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Tomorrow Land and found it a pleasant, if unoriginal, read.

In Tomorrow Land, we follow our heroine Peyton as she emerges from her family's fallout shelter, in which she and her mom have been locked for four years. Peyton's crazy 'the end times are coming' father locked them in there after the outbreak of a 'super flu' that turned some of its victims into Others (think zombies only they are actually alive). Once she comes out, Peyton plans to go find her father. First person she meets, though, is a cute boy. She also meets an Other. This sounds really familiar...maybe I've read this before? Not only that, but there's also a couple of chapters pretty much straight from Rot & Ruin: Gladiator style fights against zombies.

So yeah, all of that is pretty well-mined territory. Still, there are some things that set the story apart from all of the other teen zombie apocalypse books. For one thing, Mancusi also incorporates the technological to our detriment futuristic society, where everyone spends most of their free time in virtual reality. Also, in one of the strangest bits of world building I have seen so far, fear of AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases has led to legislation regarding sex. Basically, everyone over 18 has to get a license to be allowed to have sex, so that they have been tested and, if they only have sex with licensed people, everyone should be safe from disease. Younger people, with parental approval, can also get what is popularly known as the LTF (License to Flirt...Mancusi didn't specify what that last letter stood for, but surely it's flirt, right?). I really cannot see this working, but it was good for many laughs.

So far as the zombies go, I feel like I should warn the zombie enthusiasts now: they're really not the focus of the book. There are zombies sprinkled throughout the text, but there aren't many actual fight scenes. The zombies are more a background consideration, like I want to go do this thing, but I won't because a zombie might eat me. If you want a non-stop zombie-fest, Tomorrow Land is not your book.

What Tomorrow Land really cares about is the romance between Peyton and Chris. The story alternates chapter between their relationship before the apocalypse and their relationship after Peyton emerges from the fallout shelter. Being able to see the past in flashbacks was nice, since it did explain some of why they were so sappily into one another at the beginning. Also, it made it clear that she really did like him before he filled out with muscles, because I totally thought she only liked him at the beginning because he was hot now.

As you can see from the first sentence, Peyton does not think much of Chris at first. She's popular and he is a geek, but that doesn't stop him from asking her out constantly. He just wants her so much; she's his goddess. Their relationship did seem to develop a bit too quickly and seriously for my tastes, but I did think the change of heart was pretty cute. I doubt however that Peyton would have dated him so confidently and publicly at school, especially since her friends made fun of him.

Peyton's mostly the popular girl through and through. However, she does have a core of hardcoreness. This is aided by the fact that her crazy dad gave her some tech, basically making her into Wolverine minus the healing powers. She also has night vision and some other cool features. I'm not really convinced these elements were completely necessary, but they were alright.

Mancusi does take a stab at making this an issues book by giving Chris/Chase a pill addiction. This could have been interesting, but...it really fell flat with me. I think that was due to how out of place it felt in an otherwise fairly cheery apocalypse book. Besides, the pill addiction really did not seem to fit with Chase's character at all.

Tomorrow Land mines dystopian and zombie tropes to create yet another fun, somewhat forgettable read.

Favorite Quote: "'If the world does end, I want you dancing by my side.'"

"I'm gonna do all the thing for you
A girl wants a man to do
Oh, baby (Oh, baby)
I'll sacrifice for you
I'll even do wrong for you
Oh, baby (Oh, baby)

Every minute, every hour

I'm gonna shower you
With love and affection
Look out, it's comin' in your direction
And I'm

I'm gonna make you love me

Oh, yes I will

Remember: Every comment on a post during Dystopian August is an entry to win one of fourteen dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels IF you've filled out the form from this post.

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Blogger Lilian said...

That girl's fingers are distracting me. I thought her finger tips were cut off and she was bleeding light or something.

For a dystopian, this sounds like a very great idea: "Basically, everyone over 18 has to get a license to be allowed to have sex, so that they have been tested and, if they only have sex with licensed people, everyone should be safe from disease."

"everyone spends most of their free time in virtual reality."
I would too if everywhere else was zombie infested.

"it made it clear that she really did like him before he filled out with muscles, because I totally thought she only liked him at the beginning because he was hot now."
Ha! That reminds me of all the Harlequins I've read where the guy is like "I thought of her as a younger sister before..but now she is in a fancy, revealing dress and she's all beautiful. I LOVE HER!" While I'm shaking my head.

"that doesn't stop him from asking her out constantly"
CUTE! I approve.

August 16, 2012 at 2:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


I forgot to mention that she's basically Wolverine. Only, I didn't forget, obviously, because it's there now and I DON'T MAKE MISTAKES.

LOL. People would not settle for license to...flirt.

Virtual reality was pre-zombie times.

Romance novels like that are always HILARIOUS. That happens all the time. Same thing happens with like the boss' daughter. Oh the lols. That reminds me that in here people said 'lawls.' Uncool.

Chris was, aside from the random drug addiction, the best character. Not that there was a lot of competition.

August 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...


oh course, of course. *wink wink*
*Shaggy's It Wasn't Me plays in the background*

I don;t get these people. This sex license thing is helping them and they are getting mad? Do they all want STDs?

"Virtual reality was pre-zombie times."
FUDGE. WHY CAN'T WE GO BACK TO THOSE TIMES? So even if I get eaten I won't think I'm being eaten.

Romance novels, so shallow. Especially those guys.

August 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

No, no, most of them accepted it, but I just have trouble imagining society following that.

Right? Men are so shallow. I would never want a man just because he was hot. *stares at Harry Shum, Jr's abs*

August 17, 2012 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger aLilLacey said...

Do her creepy glowing fingers on the cover really do something? Do we all get creepy glowing finger tips in the future? I'm not sure i would've given the book much of a chance just because i find the cover a little corny. And why have zombies if they only pop in and out of the story. Hmm. Sorry I'm not giddying up to read this one.

August 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

They're actually knives not lights, but they didn't do a great job depicting that. She's basically like Wolverine. The cover is corny for sure.

Zombies actually end up not being the main part of a lot of books in which they feature. *shrug*

August 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM  

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