After the Ending (Book 1) by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue
THE FIRST BOOK IN THE EMOTIONALLY CHARGED POST-APOCALYPTIC ROMANCE SERIES, The Ending.
The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.
When people started getting sick, “they” thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family…they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them—with the rest of the world—but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, and I survived The Ending.
The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We’ve all had to start over. I’ve been stripped of my home, my dreams…all that is me. I’m someone else now—broken and changed. Other survivors’ memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won’t let them consume me. I can’t. My name is Zoe Cartwright, and I survived The Ending.
We’ve been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing—we’ll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we’re strong…we’re survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.
And more than anything, we have to find each other.
This book totally owned me while I was reading it, and maybe some time after as well. While the premise doesn’t seem that unique, the writing style was for me. It’s written in letter/email form from each girl’s point of view, Zoe’s and Dani’s. They are best friends separated by a virus that sweeps the country. Zoe is in Salem, while Dani is in Seattle, but they keep in contact with each other through phone calls, then emails. Eventually the internet really is the only way they communicate, and that is hit or miss after awhile.
I loved reading what each girl is going through to survive and reach each other, I didn’t necessarily love one girl over the other. Zoe travels across country to find Dani and her brother Jason in Colorado. Dani starts to realize that not only did she survive the virus, but she acquired a “talent”. She also develops feelings for Jason.
“What are you doing, Jason?”
He paused with the ax raised but didn’t face me. “Chopping firewood.” Duh. He swung again. And again.
“This is kind of far from the house.” Double Duh.
Another pause. “Yep.” Another swing.
I rounded the tree he was currently hacking away at, careful to keep clear of the ax’s arc and the erratically jettisoned wood chips.
Jason avoided looking at me while I studied him. Other than his curt answers, he acted like he was completely alone. He seemed to lose himself in the meditative motion, and I lost myself in watching him.
Lift. Swing. Thunk. Life. Swing. Thunk.
He wore an expression of grim determination as his chest and abdominal muscles rhythmically clenched and released. Clenched and released. It was hypnotizing. And erotic. And annoying.
“How will you get it all back to the ranch?” I asked, watching his focused, granite expression. There was so much beneath his attractive surface. I wondered how many women had bothered to consider who he was on the inside, when his ousted would more than make up for pretty any personality flaws. He was complicated and conflicted—he had always been—though he rarely let it show. It took the world ending for me to realize it.
Zoe is traveling with her ex-boyfriend Dave, and develops her own kind of “talent” that she keeps hidden, fearing for her life. Her experiences are daunting when she joins up with military people at Fort Knox. When Jake Vaughn rescues her from being assaulted, things start to get even more interesting.
While reading about how different the world would be if everything went to hell from sickness or an attack, it is still interesting to me to see how relationships are developed under unusual circumstances.
The authors voices were distinct and clear, I loved that the girls wanted so much to reach each other. They never gave up hope that they would survive and find each other. The ending was great, but there is a cliff hanger that I didn’t see coming. I have the second book already downloaded, so I can read what will happen next!
I give this book 5 crazy-good stars, and put it on my “books that own me” and “top shelf fantastic read” shelves on Goodreads.
****I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley. The excerpt is from that copy.****
This book is FREE at Amazon right now!! Check it out here.