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Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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?

This e-ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and  NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC.

This was how the story went for me;

Yup, the first 1/3 of the book was quite annoying but unexpectedly, the story picked up its pace after that and I was quite entertained by the progression. But then, it ended worse than it started. For the last hundred pages, I actually didn't care anymore whether the two protagonists, Chase and Peyton would survived the zombie apocalypse.

Truth be told, I'm currently majoring in Microbiology and I was fairly impressed by the author's knowledge about the possible properties of epidemic plaque. The zombies in this book were depicted as having originally caused by mutated HIV vaccine and the trigger was the infectious super-Flu. Factually, HIV does mutate at a high frequency and flu is indeed very infectious without prior immunity. So, kudos to the author for getting her facts right :)

Okay, here comes the actual review.

I must say that the cover literally represents the story itself in one glance. Here we got our Razor Girl, Peyton Anderson with super-enhanced cybernetics courtesy of her father. She was on a mission to search for his dad after four years being trapped in her basement. Again, due to her father orders. After her mom decided to commit suicide, she went for her journey but unexpectedly, she encountered her ex-boyfriend, Chase and the story built up from there.

It was kind of confusing because we got two parallel stories set at different time, one in the past, once in the present narrated in alternating chapters and this trend actually persisted until the end of the book! I swallowed my pride to say this (because I don't really like Everneath), but Everneath is a prime example of how a book with parallel stories should be written. It's interesting to have a flashback going on but it should only lasted for about half of the book, then the two stories should converge, otherwise we got two disjointed plotlines which actually left me detached with what's going on in the present because the knowledge I need i.e. what happened in the past was told right at the end of the book!

I had several rolling eyes moments at the start of the book when the author started to refer to popular culture (hate to use the word culture here) such as Twilight, the Kardashians and the Knight of the Living Dead etc. Dear author, I'm sorry but I didn't find those as cool. And seriously, there's no need to name every high tech device with the 'i' at the front, e.g. iComm. cough *apple* cough. Seriously, the author could be more creative than that. The author also depicted the old Chase/Chris obsession over Peyton as quite sexual in my opinion. Some reviewers think that this Chris guy is cute or whatever, but I think he was just plain creepy stalkerish type of guy. So, when towards the end, Chase and Peyton did declare their love, I found it hard to appreciate the love as well...love and not lust.

Moving on to the middle part of the book, I actually thought I was lucky I didn't drop this book quarter-way because this part was quite well-written. Peyton and Chase became increasingly likable and inspiring characters and  Chase battle over drugs was very convincing and very likely considering the world that they lived in. Sadly, there were some minor illogical stuff happened such as when Chase single-handedly able to lift his brother's body because I believe corpse is heavier than a living human being by default, plus we were told that Tank was a large man. And the whole Tank ghost inspiring Chase to be a better man was not cool, I'm sorry

Now, let's talk about the last 1/3 of the story.  I honestly don't understand how a bunch of school kids lead by Trey/Tank could organize a pilgrim to the mountains. Then when Chase got bitten , it was the whole Edward-in-New-Moon thing all over again. You guessed it right.


Okay, minor yay throughout this last 1/3 of the book was I applaud the way the author justified Peyton's decision to go through the cybernetics implantation procedure. It was believable.

There was also one major inconsistency, Peyton had a lesson never to trust stranger after what happened to Chase because of Luke but she didn't really give a second thought before following this David to his underground hive. Seriously?

Okay, here what really turned me off. Chase tried to commit suicide! What a weakling. Gosh, and it was after they found this people in hive which has sufficient human resources to improve Peyton's condition. Couldn't he think that if Peyton gets better, he might stand a chance of getting a cure once they found Peyton's dad?

Laughable. Totally laughable.

So, the verdict. Would I still recommend this? Hmm...maybe not. Sorry!

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