Love this book!
The title of this book is actually something the main character, Cassie, and her father started saying to each other when she was young. I love you... Until the end of the world... And after. This carries throughout the book with her supporting characters. This book is filled with drama, but what I loved about it the most was that the women didn't wimp out. I was glad to see them fighting for life right along with the men. This book was fabulously written, with characters that draw you in with real emotion. I caught myself tearing up a few times. The decline of humanity in this book was realistic. It was plausible, and I could easily believe what some of the surviving humans were doing.
At one point, Cassie's group has been targeted by another survivor group of men only. This group attacks Cassie's group to try and steal the women. They have already been known to kill entire families just to capture teenage girls. They then rape and torture the girls before killing them. (This is NOT written about in detail. It is barely touched on, so the reader can figure out what is happening.) Cassie finally gets the rapist gang leader at gunpoint as he begs for his life. She says, "No. No." She shoots him in the head! Yes! I hate books where the female lead character is portrayed as weak and unable to make the final determination to end a life. This book is about survival, and Cassie is a fantastic example of a person who will find a way to live, against all odds.
Great zombie/survival story
My rating: 4.75 stars
I almost gave this book five stars. I was so close! The one thing that stopped me is also a spoiler, so I’ll have to save that until the end. I did ALMOST give extra points since the characters didn’t drive up to a gas station to get gas, though. I hate it when that happens.
I loved the title of this book. I’m notoriously horrible at finding titles for my books, so when I come across a really good one I get title envy. This one is especially sweet. It comes from something the main character, Cassie, used to say to her parents when she was little. I love you until the end of the world, and after.
The story starts with Cassie deciding she need to make a change. She’s been living in a fog since her parent’s death, and she suddenly realizes that she doesn’t want to do that anymore. There’s a kind of hope at the start of the story that makes you dread what’s going to happen next, because as the reader you know things are about to get bad, but the characters are oblivious. Cassie, Penny, James and Nelly are happy, fun and ready to head out on the town to help Cassie plot how to end things with her current boyfriend, Peter, so she can rekindle the romance she threw away.
Then all hell breaks loose in New York. The group runs, has trouble, finds safety, adjusts and begins to fall into a nice pattern. Of course, there’s conflict. Peter and Ana were the kind of characters that made you want to reach into the book and strangle them. Their attitudes were ridiculous from the start, but in a realistic way. I have no doubts there are idiots out there who would act the exact same way. I knew they were going to be taught a tough lesson, and even though the group came close, it felt a bit anti-climactic (for the reason I will list at the end).
But they get over that little hurdle and then they’re happy for the most part. Things are going well. It’s light and there are moments of joking that made me smile mixed in with the descriptions of what they’re doing to survive. But I as I was reading, there was a pit in my stomach, and every time I turned the page I waited for that one thing to happen that was going to destroy the perfect little world they had created. I knew it was coming, which made the happy moments almost sad. It felt like the characters had convinced themselves they could make it through untouched, but as the reader you knew it wasn’t possible.
There were a lot of touching moments in the book. Things that made me tear up as characters dealt with their past or talked about the things they’d lost. Cassie’s former fiancé, Adrian, was the main source of this. He was a survivalist, like Cassie’s parents had been, and she knew he was alive somewhere, but she didn’t know where. That moment when she finally hears his voice is heart-wrenching in a good way.
This book is long. Over 800 pages on my iPad. I think it could have been shorter and the story would have been the same. There were definitely things that could have been cut out, but unlike with other books I’ve read recently, I didn’t have the urge to skim. I was interested in what the characters were doing, even if I knew it wasn’t essential to the plot. The writing and the story were smooth and the characters interacted so well that I didn’t care how long it was. It’s nice to pick up a book and have the story woven together so well.
There’s so much that I can say about this book, but I just don’t want to spoil it for the reader, so I’m trying to hold back. Basically, if you’re looking for a zombie book full of action and blood, this isn’t for you. If, like me, you want a book that takes the reader on a journey, you’ll love this. Zombies are amazing and I’ve always loved them, but I love the survival part of the story. I love seeing how people adjust and how they pull themselves through, what they’re willing to do to survive. Good and bad come out in any stressful situation, and this story has both. I feel like this was the zombie series I’ve been looking for, and I’m excited to see where the story takes us next.
Okay, the one thing that kept me from giving this book five stars is the fact that none of the main characters died. I have this thing where I hate when an author loves her characters so much she can’t bear to let them go. It’s hard to kill off someone you love, I know, but it’s unrealistic to think a group can make it through a post-apocalyptic situation like this and have everyone come out okay. It was heart-wrenching when we though Peter died, and when Nelly was so close to turning, but it would have been more real. I fully expect Cassie’s brother, Eric, and the Washington’s to pop up in the next book, along with Penny and Ana’s mom. As unrealistic as it will be, I think that’s the direction this is going. Would I cry if one of the characters die? Yes! I cry every time someone dies on The Walking Dead and I curse the writers for being so heartless, but that’s also what I love about the show. You never know what’s going to happen and because of that it all feels so real.