Monday, 21 April 2014

Review: Red Hill by Jaime McGuire

Red Hill
Red Hill by Jaime McGuire
Narrated by: Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 9 Hours 38 Minutes
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17457124-red-hill

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:
I’ve always been a fan of zombie stories, and usually they’re told in an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world type scenario, and I’ve always been attracted to those types of tales.  Not sure exactly what about them that appeals to me, but part of it is the challenges faced in the fight to survive.  Red Hill was a thrilling, personal story that brought out a mix of emotions, and I enjoyed every second of it!

Red Hill was the zombie apocalypse told from three perspectives: Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda.

Scarlet is a divorced single mother desperately trying to find her two daughters after all hell broke loose.  She was separated from her girls when they go to spend the weekend with their father and she drives off to work.  Scarlet has one mission, one goal, and that is to reunite with her daughters and find someplace safe to hole up.  I felt a keen connection to Scarlet as a mother and could easily relate to the desperate determination she felt trying to find her girls.  I was rooting for her success and biting my nails nervously at every turn.  Scarlet was incredibly brave and one tough lady, and I admired her even when I didn’t completely agree with some of her decisions in the end. Would I make the same choices, knowing it endangered my life or those around me? Maybe. Probably.

Nathan, a recently abandoned husband and father to seven-year old, Zoe is scrambling to find a safe haven after the outbreak with his daughter in tow.  He was stuck in a loveless marriage and trying hold everything together for his daughter who has special needs.  I don’t think her condition was ever named but she might have had Asperger’s syndrome.  I felt his depression and sad resignation at his situation as the story began, but all that changed with the outbreak.  Ironically, the apocalypse sort gave Nathan a new lease on life, and I was hoping he’d get a happy ending.  Even though romance wasn’t the focus of this story I was hoping that Scarlet and Nathan would connect and I wasn’t disappointed. 

Miranda starts the story as a college student escaping for a weekend away with her sister and their boyfriends, and then a run for their lives when the situation becomes crazy.  They were on their way to her father’s weekend home, Red Hill to spend time with him and now they can’t get there fast enough. My heart broke for her and her boyfriend, Bryce at the situation they find themselves in when the get to Red Hill.

We get the end of the world told from each Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda’s personal perspectives, and I loved how their stories overlapped each other until they all come to the same point: Red Hill. Their struggles, emotional and otherwise felt real and made a zombie apocalypse feel very possible.

This is not the first story I’ve read and enjoyed of Jaime McGuire’s, but I was surprised Red Hill was so completely different from Beautiful Disaster.  Being able to switch from one genre to another and still manage to tell a moving story really impressed me.

I listened to the audio version of Red Hill, and I highly recommend it.  There were three different narrators: January LaVoy as Scarlet had an appealing, low, sultry voice, and the determination and sincerity as a mother on a mission came through loud and clear with her performance.  Zachary Webber as Nathan did an amazing job conveying his depression in the beginning, and boy was his voice ever sexy!  Emma Galvin as Miranda sounded age perfect: fresh, plucky and strong. I thought each did a brilliant job!






22 comments:

  1. After Walking Disaster ruined one of my favorite books Beautiful Disaster for me, I'm not really excited to read anything by McGuire no matter how many times I hear about Red Hill's brilliance. I'm glad that you enjoyed all the POVs. I especially like the sound of Miranda's since I feel like I could connect with her the most. Yay that you got your romance :) Even though I'll probably never read this, I'm glad you loved this one :)

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  2. I got this in the mail but ended up sending it to a fellow blogger because it didn't look that itneresting. Now I am thinking maybe I should have given it a go first. Oh well, I'm glad that this one worked well and all the characters were likable.

    Lovely review, girl! <33

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  3. Ohh. Great review :D I am glad you enjoyed this book. <3 I haven't decided yet if I want to read it, but it makes me happy that you liked it :D Thank you for sharing. <3

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  4. McGuire's work just hasn't worked for me in the past, and while this sounds extremely different from her typical read, I'm a bit wary to touch it with even a six-foot long pole. Still, I'm so glad you enjoyed this and you've definitely made me consider it, Rachel, so perhaps I'll tentatively add it to my TBR after all! ;)

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  5. I had dismissed Red Hill for so many reasons, none that I can even remember at the moment, and while it does sound pretty fantastic, I'm still not comfortable with zombies yet, so this may be on my 'very far in the future' list when I'm less afraid of them, but it sounds like a great book and I'm glad you enjoyed it and connected to it Rachel. Great review! :)

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  6. Fantastic review, Rachel! I enjoyed the recap - it reminded me how much I loved this book! It is SO good. I'm glad you enjoyed it, too. I agree that it's impressive that the author was able to switch hats and write something completely different. She introduced a whole new world to me.

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  7. I haven't read a book by this author yet but I confess I'm curious. I love a good zombies book when I can find one because I don't read a lot of them. I'm also anxipus when we have many POVs but it sounds well done here! Tahnks for the lovely review.

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  8. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Rachel. I haven't had much luck with the author's works, but this one sounds something that would be enjoyable. I like post apocalyptic books and this has been receiving some impressive review, so I'm going to have to give it a shot.
    Great review.

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  9. I love anything Zombie or apocalypse-y. I'm a huge fan of Walking Dead or any films about it. But I haven't really read very novels on this genre. But I really think I should give this one a go. I've read her Beautiful Disaster book and I loved it but I haven't given the sequel to it a go. Lovely review, Rachel! :)

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  10. Can I get a high five on our love of zombies? They're one of my favourite things to read about and, like you, Rachel, I'm not entirely sure what it is about them. But I'm content to just shrug and carry on reading. ;)

    It really is impressive that McGuire has managed to switch from contemporary to post-apocalyptic, seemingly effortlessly. I've had this one on my radar for a while, and it's good to know that this is worth the read. Definitely looking forward to it now. Fab review! :)

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  11. It's definitely impressive that this author could move so seamlessly between genres. I didn't read BD (mostly because of the hype and all that jazz that surrounded its release) but this one's been on my list because ZOMBIES!

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  12. They are all very distinctive personalities and would bring diversity to the story. I have read a few zombie stories, but don't normally pick them up for whatever reason, but this seems well done.

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  13. Oh, wow! Usually multiple POVs don't work well for me, but it sounds like each one was distinct and vivid, which could make it work. Plus, I love the cross-genre appeal of this one...it sounds like something I'd love to read! Great review, Rachel!

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  14. This is definitely a switch from her last genre! I'm not typically into zombies but I admit I've been curious about this one!

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  15. I am so happy that you liked Red Hill this much, Rachel. I already have it on my e-reader and I plan to read it soon. I am curious about it, especially because it is completely different from Beautiful Disaster.
    Great review.

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  16. Oh yay, Rachel! Loved this one as well when I read it last summer. I think it's quite an endeavour for Ms. McGuire, but she did splendidly well.

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  17. See, I don't like zombie books or movies, but I loved Red Hill. I think it's bc I really do love survival stories. And I agree, the fact McGuire made such a big switch was so impressive.
    Great review, Rachel!

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  18. Oh Wow! I like that this book has 3 completely different storylines and each of them is so unique and interesting. Seeing that I'm a huge fan of Jamie McGuire books, I'm very tempted into trying this zombie apocalypse one because for one, it sounds so different from what she usually writes and two, I really want to read a zombie book. Though I don't think I would be listening to the audio because I tried "The King" few weeks back and I was constantly getting distracted throughout the story, so I'll probably read the book. Thanks for sharing, Rachel! Great review :)

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  19. The audio version sounds fantastic! I must have been living under a rock as this is the first time I came across this book. >.<

    Hmm... those must be very tough decisions that Scarlet had to make in the end and I now wonder what they were - bet I'll have to read the book to find out. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

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  20. I think the 3 POV's would originally confuse me, but it sounds like it was done well and easy to follow. I love zombie books, did not know this was one of them! sounds fun.

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  21. I absolutely loved this book and I'm glad you did too Rachel! I read this one but think that the different narrators for each character sounds like a really fun experience.

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  22. This genre isn't my first choice, unless the story really stands out to me. I've been hesitant to read this, because I don't usually go for books featuring several narrators with overlapping stories. But I'm glad this worked so well for you, and I trust your judgement about stories. Is this a standalone? It definitely sounds different from Beautiful Disaster.

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