Monday, April 2, 2012

[Review] Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Title: Tomorrow Land
Author: Mari Mancusi
Published: March 8th 2012 by NLA Digital
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Dystopian, Zombies, Apocalyptic, Romance.
Goodreads summary:
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 pilgrimage 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?
Emma's thoughts:

Okay, first things first. I LOVE the cover. I usually hate covers where you can actually see the models' faces, but this one... This is AWESOME. They both just look so bad ass. And then there's Chris/Chase with his rugged handsomeness... *drools*. I personally wouldn't mind if he was the only guy alive on Earth with me.

First Impression:
It was very 'WTF' for me. The first chapter starts off with this whiny fifteen year old girl who has a cute stalker guy and a jerk as a boyfriend. And here I thought I was reading about zombies and apocalypses... 

BUT NEVER YOU FEAR! The story is actually alternating chapters of the past and present. Which, by the way, works really well. Especially since, at the beginning, we're left wondering as to why she had to make that oh-so-important decision between her family and her friends. Along with that, within the chapter, you get the two different perspectives from Peyton and Chris.

Chris/Chase, whatever you want to call him... this guy... he's just, so, so, so utterly unreal! Or, at least he was in 2030. Stalker? Pfft. He was sweet, charming, and so adorable! I don't see why Peyton needed to be chased by a zombie for her to realize utterly amazing he was. But that was in 2030. In 2034, Chase is nineteen, he's pretty much alone in the plagued world, and he's got real problems. He's not perfect. I seriously wanted to punch his face in for getting addicted to painkillers, but hey, I don't think I'd be any different if I was in his situation. Not everyone can be strong and fearless like Trey, and that was just Chase's way of dealing with the harsh reality. But thank god for Peyton. 

I hated Peyton in 2030. She was semi stuck up and semi stupid. She was your average teenage girl with your average dickhead boyfriend. But don't get me wrong. Four years later, she becomes this strong, determined girl out to save the dying world. She's an awesome heroine and together with Chase, they're unstoppable. Most of the time. They have their ups and downs, and I loved almost every bit of it. It wasn't a perfect relationship, but trust me, you'll be rooting for them the entire way.

But Peyton has this crazy dad, who's convinced the government is spying on all of them and the end of the world is coming. Of course, he's right and he 'enhances' Peyton with special vision and razor nails. Then he locks her up with her mother for four years and tells Peyton to come find him at Disneyland when the doors open. Disneyland! Peyton blindly follows his orders, but not before she bumps into Chase, aka the Chris she used to know, and guess what? He follows her to Disneyland...

...with about five younger kids! This is what made it an incredible journey. There were children. Living, breathing, children. They may've been a nuisance, they may've been annoying, but they made it real. THANK YOU MARI MANCUSI! Thank you for acknowledging that there WILL be children in the dystopian future, and that they won't just be magically looked after and that they WILL have to be a part of the journey, whether we like it or not.

Tomorrow land is a promising dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel of true love and survival. It's a stand-alone book, as far as I can tell... but, be sure to check out Mari Mancusi's upcoming dystopian, Alternity. There's a wonderful sneak preview at the end of Tomorrow Land, and I'll be sure to get myself a copy when it comes out!

Overall rating: 4 stars ~ Thrilling, adventurous, heart-breaking and just simply exhilarating!
"I wouldn't go out with Chris Parker if he were the last guy on Earth!"
Broke my heart:
"What about me?" he whispered. "I needed you too."
"...You could use some brains. Especially if we're stuck living through Armageddon. You wouldn't want zombies to kill you and find there's nothing to eat."
*Thanks to the publisher for the free copy of this ebook (via Netgalley)* 

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