This is my nineteenth review for the BBC! :)
The Other Life is the first book in a series (not sure of the name as of yet) by Susanne Winnacker.
This is a book that I bought myself after hearing lots of great words and high praise about it. To be totally honest I am really glad that I did buy it, but I was slightly let down in the fact that this book is usually compared to The Hunger Games, but it is, in fact, completely different from it. However this did not dampen my liking of the book in anyway, though I would warn Hunger Games fans that if they were thinking of reading the book because it is said to be similar that both books are only slightly similar. So here is my review.
The cover of the book (see below) actually is what clinched me to buy this book, the details on the butterfly are perfect and the little pictures inside wings really make the drawing special. The colours also blend really well and really pop out on the plain white background, which is brilliant. Also the barbed wire really shows the harsh side of the book, while the butterfly kind of balances it out, and kind of shows both sides of the book in a really subtle way, which also really makes this book cover really special and sets it apart from all others. Which is why I love it. This is the cover:
The book itself is about 15 year old Sherry, a girl who has lived in a stifling underground bunker for around 3 years now. (Or 98,409,602 seconds, to be precise - Sherry likes to count things - it makes things less boring.) As a precaution for a deadly virus of rabies that had spread throught Los Angles.
And everything is as fine is can be - that is, until they run out of food.
Things go from bad to worse as when Sherry and her dad go on a perilous hunt to search for food in the wasteland that used to be L.A., when they are attacked by the extremely dangerous Weepers, the once human mutants that caught the rabies - her dad is dragged away.
Sherry - cornered by two Weepers, is near death - that is, until she is rescued by the troubled (yet insanely cute) Joshua. A boy who has devoted his life to destroying the Weepers.
But will his vengance put everyone's life in danger? And will Sherry find her father alive - while keeping everyone else safe?
One thing is for sure.. for Sherry, and everyone else, time is running out...
To be absolutely truthful, I really liked this book. Many people have said that is has undevelopted characters and not much action, but this is completely untrue. In fact, the parts of the book were Sherry and Joshua fight the Weepers when they attempt to rescue Sherry's father is one of the most action-packed and well-written parts of the book, all thanks to Winnacker's amazing writing skills. It is so professional and outstanding that I finished this book is no less than a couple of hours, really, I could not put it down until I finished it, it just flowed really well, Winnacker's phenominal writing skills really shine through with this novel, and to say that this is her debut novel, Winnacker's shows great promise and I cannot wait to see the rest of her work.
Another favourite element of the book, that I really loved, was that before every new chapter in this book we get a page, and sometimes a little more, of Sherry's life before the rabies outbreak. I think that not only is this really insightful to the life, and mind of the character (thus giving it lots more depth - so I have no idea what those reviewers were on about), which was really interesting. It also really made me think about how good some of us have our lives are compared to others and how lucky we really are. I really do hope that Winnacker does include these in the next books in this series because I found it a really original and clever idea and I couldn't wait to get to the next instalment, another reason that Winnacker really shows true talent in this novel.
Actually I found it really hard to choose a favourite character after reading this book - I loved them all equally! They all managed to survive, against the odds, for 3 years and yet they have never given up hope. They still hunt for survivers, keep there wits about them, and more importantly, still remain fantasticly good people. I do have quite a soft spot for Sherry - she being a very strong heroine (also the fact that she is handy with a gun, and not a bow and arrow like most heroines are now-a-days - not just in THG - but her compassion and unwavering spirit also clinch it too.) But this is the first book that I have not really been able to choose a favourite character, which really surprised me. However it also showed me how fabulous an author Winnacker really is, as that really is a talent, making all characters different and inviting - that is a real skill, and has really made me respect Winnacker as a author and I really hope she does really well in her writing career.
But not only that, the characters also seem very real. And that, Ultimately, is the reason I admire this book so much - it is something that can really happen. This isn't the future, or something paranormal or fantasy. We could easily wake up one morning and find ourselves in Sherry's place - which is terrifing and slightly alluring at the same time and which also really drives this book apart from the others. Absolutely magnificant.
So if you're looking for a dystopian thriller full of adventure, romance, thrills and exciting characters and a super plot - then this is the definate book for you! This book really impressed me and I'm sure it will you to. I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the series! I would give it a age rating of 13+ and a personal rating of 9/10.
Thanks for reading!
Sorry if there are any grammar mistakes, bad spelling ect. Please let me know in a comment so I can fix it! and comments & follows are hugs<3 This is all my opinion. Please no negative comments because of my opinion expressed in these reviews. Thankyou! xoxoxo