Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Title: Red Hill
Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon and Schuster (October 1, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Adult Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic 
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

My Thoughts and Review:
It is no secret that I adore McGuire's work but even though I love her work, it still sometimes makes me nervous when a beloved author goes to a totally different genre. Not only a different genre but also a subject matter that I don't always adore but am inexplicably drawn to, zombies. 

And while I had the utmost faith that she could pull it off and make me fall in love with her work all over again and not only her work but zombies, I was still slightly apprehensive going into this. But I knew that if anyone could do it, it would be her.

This novel is actually told from three main point of views, something I wasn't expecting. Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. Out of the three, I think I like Scarlet most. As a mother I connected more with her and she searched for her children. I could feel her frustration, her loss, her despair, and her willingness to move on and do what needed to be done. She was a pretty strong protagonist.

Miranda had a slightly different voice, being younger and under different circumstances as the others, she didn't have the same feel but you could feel her fear and desperation just as much as the others. I didn't warm up to her at first but after awhile I really started liking her voice as well and her perspective of what was going on.

Nathan too was a father, in a different situation than Scarlet, he had his daughter with him but it was no less terrifying for him and he tried to protect her and keep her safe from the walking dead around them.

And can we talk about the “shufflers” (or if you prefer, the dead ones, teds, biters, infected) for a minute? The whole concept behind how the virus began and was spread was completely terrifying. Terrifying in the simple fact that I could see it happening. Could picture it, could imagine it.  

The way all their lives intertwined was cleverly done and added an extra depth to the storyline that I really think separates it from every other book in the same genre.

Cooper, Ashley, Bryce, Skeeter, Miranda, Nathan, Zoe, Joey, Scarlet, Joy, Walter, and Elleny were all fabulous characters, in fact I couldn't of asked for better ones. 

Even though the ending felt a little rushed and almost wrapped up too easily, I really enjoyed the story. 

This isn't a happy go lucky read. It is dark, frightening, gruesome and at times sad. But it is also filled with hope. 

I can say with confidence that McGuire pulled it off. The switching of genres, the storyline, the characters, the realness, all of it.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*


  1. Frankly I was afraid for this one too. I love McGuire's Beautiful Disaster and I think she did great job in contemporary stories. So zombies and dystopia are quite different from that. I'm so glad that this book still was great. Great review Ali :)

  2. I hope you try this one Tanja, it was a good jump into a new genre for her.

  3. I am so glad you liked this one. I was a little nervous about it to. I am not a huge zombie fan, though I do enjoy some books, and I think I will like this one. Great review!

    I'm ready for the books about Maddox brothers :)

  4. Me too Ellen! I am sooo ready for them!

  5. I had no idea she'd written a book in this genre! I totally understand what you said about being nervous when an author writes something completely new and different from what you've loved in the past, but I'm always excited too. Sound like this was a fantastic read aside from the rushed ending, and I'm extremely curious about how the infection started and its realism. Lovely review Ali!

  6. I didn't even know about this novel..LOL and like you I love her BD books. Despite the forced ending I am curious about this, so I will keep it on my radar. Wonderful review Ali :)

  7. I think you would like this one Kim!

  8. This sounds intense! I hate and love it when they make things really seem like they could happen. It's really really scary, but I like that it makes you think.

  9. I was very curious about this book, I am glad she did well outside her genre. I honestly think I would like this more than her NA books. A perfect book for the season.

  10. It is perfect for this time of year Heidi!

  11. I'm a bit worried about the three perspectives, but honestly, she's a great author and there are zombies! What more can I ask?
    Oh and the cover is simply amazing!
    I'm glad you weren't disappointed. Fabulous review, Ali!

  12. I've been so curious about this one because of the extreme genre switch for McGuire, and I'm SO happy to hear she pulled it off. I love zombie books, so I'm definitely adding this to my list now. Awesome review!

  13. I've been so curious about this one because of the extreme genre switch for McGuire, and I'm SO happy to hear she pulled it off. I love zombie books, so I'm definitely adding this to my list now. Awesome review!