Undying by Valerie Grosjean
Publication date: September 29th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Zombies
This is a story of love . . . and zombies.
When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most.
Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her.
Christian’s plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm—where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they’ll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.
Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.
Book Review ~ ‘Undying’ by Valerie Grosjean ~ 5 Stars!
You hear that spluttering and insane rambling and giddy squealing? That is me expressing my love for this book! Wow! What a thrilling read! One of my absolutely favourite books ever! This was my first forage into the world of Zombie apocalypses, because whilst the idea had always intrigued me, I always worried that I would be disappointed by what I encountered. I don’t mind the blood and guts in these apocalyptic stories, but I knew that I needed something else that would really make me connect to the book.
Valerie Grosjean did that to perfection.
I needed to see the way that faith and desperation to protect loved ones helped the survivors continue to fight through their worst nightmare, I needed to see what made those not yet infected fight to keep each other safe, and to keep hope that they could survive this, and I wanted to see how such a dangerous situation, so scary, so life-threatening could turn people against each other, as escaping the apocalypse with their lives becomes the most important thing.
This book tied all these desires up with a nice little blood-thirsty bow, and I was in awe of the story long after I finished it, eagerly awaiting the second book in the series to know what happened to the characters I had connected to so deeply, as though I was depending on to help protect my own life.
Christian was an absolutely wonderful hero. I really enjoyed reading this story from a male perspective, as it made it clearer that whilst men put on an outward facade of strength and certainty, the fear still crawls inside them. It broke my heart when he was left to travel alone, having lost his roommate to the zombies after a bloody fight, and how his guilt piled up at not being able to save any of the other uninfected dorm members. I really loved his determination to get to his family, his strength and utter desperation to save his family although he couldn’t save his friends.
The romance was beautifully entwined throughout this novel, and Iris became my favourite character. She was mature beyond her years, yet still held the youthful charm and hope that really struck with me. I wished throughout the book that Christian’s feelings for her would be reciprocated, and growled with Christian when he discovered that Iris was held up in the house of her high-school crush. I couldn’t help but laugh though as it gave some light relief to the terror and suspense of the story as we see that even in a Zombie apocalypse, little bits teenage angst still ran-through, like ‘what if she liked this guy more than me?’
This is an absolute gem of a story, and I adored reading Christian and Iris’ journey, and what they did to sacrifice themselves for those they love. It was heartbreaking, shocking and yet still hopeful throughout, with the end leaving me hanging with a squeal, excited thump of my heart, and immediate research into when the next book was to be released.
5 Stars and a definite recommended read. Even if you don’t think the Zombie apocalypse story is your sort of thing, I really think that this book will appeal to all romance lovers.
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Valerie Grosjean is the author of the young adult novel UNDYING. She grew up on a Nebraska farm. After college, she married and moved to Northern California, where she lives with her husband and their two young children. Her obsession with zombie movies inspired UNDYING, her first novel and the beginning of the Undying series.
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