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The Other Life #1

The Other Life

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3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world.

Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers.

When Sherry's dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers.

But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

315 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 2012

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About the author

Susanne Winnacker

5 books542 followers
Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals.

Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers!
I don't read messages on Goodreads. If you want to contact me, please send me an email to this address: books(at)susannewinnacker(dot)com
Here's my official Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/SusanneWinna...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 465 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,978 reviews170k followers
April 9, 2020
books like this make me appreciate authors like laini taylor so so much.

part of me is concerned that maybe i am being unfair. the book is on scholastic, which makes me think it might be intended for a younger-than-teen audience, in which case, it is probably awesome. but for a contemporary YA audience, or (ahem) someone much much older, it just wasn't enough.

the premise is great - after a rabies-like disease overtakes LA, sherry and her family take shelter in their bunker at the urging of the military. they are there for 3 years, 1 month, 1 week, and 6 days. get used to the numbers, because sherry will tell you exactly how many seconds it has been since she has felt rain, eaten chocolate, washed her hair with shampoo...

and that is a little irritating, but it's not a major complaint. i question her ability to know these things with such certainty, but it's not like i am reading this book for its super-realism.

but so anyway, they run out of food. and of course, they wait until they are down to one final can for three adults and three children before they decide to come up with a plan. which, yeah, actually, now that i am sitting down and writing about it - most of my complaints are about the realism after all.

you can't just live in a dreamworld. no matter that your radios have stopped working and you haven't heard any news from the outside world in a year or so, military-assurance-wise, you don't wait until you have no. more. food. to figure out a solution, and then sit there for two days after the food runs out to finally decide to leave the bunker and see what's what. you have guns, you have know-how - if her dad was supposed to have been this serious survivalist, would he really have waited that long to take action? leaving the bunker weak from hunger is no way to provide for your family, sir.

so this is just an example of why this book didn't work for me. there are many others in this vein; convenient instalove, too-easy rescue scenarios, too shallowly-written characters, clumsy exposition, etc etc.

there isn't anything wrong with this book, it is just okay. but after just having read Days of Blood & Starlight, this is somewhat of a letdown. again, if this is intended for younger readers, it changes everything. and i understand it is completely unfair to hold it up against laini taylor, who is one of the most skillful writers i have ever read, in the YA world or otherwise, but it is just the way things happened.

this book was kind of a pain in the ass to track down (thank you, bill thompson) so i don't know if i will ever read the next book in the series. but if it presents itself to me, i will. and i will try not to judge it too harshly.

i feel like i haven't written much of a review for this book, but again - it is just the way things happened. and i think some of it is the book's fault.

it's fine, it just didn't leave me feeling particularly review-y.


come to my blog!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
March 31, 2012
I rather wish I'd waited to read The Other Life until the second book was out. Or maybe I wish so many books weren't stretched out into a series. This novel just felt a bit insubstantial to me since it's fairly short and the contents could definitely have been a bit meatier. The promise of it is there, but just as things begin to get interesting, the story ends and you'll have to wait a year or so for the next one.

I'm a big fan of post-apocalyptic books and survivalist scenarios, and the premise of a girl being shut up in a bunker with her family for years reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode I'm fond of. So I was pretty excited about the possibilities of the psychological effects of seeing what happens to people staying in a shelter like that for a long time. Well, that's not what this story is about at all. I understood that the book was about the need to leave the shelter after the family runs out of food, but somehow what surely must have been a claustrophobic, crazy-making or (spirit-dulling) experience didn't really seem to have that much of an impact on Sherry, which was a disappointment.

What I did like about the novel:

--The premise
--Some of the action sequences
--The fact that it's a quick, entertaining read, and I do want to find out what happens next
--An interesting ending that definitely made my ears perk up.

What I wasn't so crazy about:

--The repetitiveness of the countdown of how many days it had been since Sherry had done this or that. Would she know right off hand exactly how many days since she'd seen rain, for example? The overuse of this narrative device lessened the impact of the notable moments that were truly important.

--Lack of character development. Even after finishing the book, I still have very little idea of who most of these characters are. The secondary ones are especially one-dimensional.

--The dialogue. The language often seems a little simplistic for a young adult novel, with a rather prosaic style of writing.

--Lack of subtext. I don't always need my entertainment to be deep or meaningful, but somehow I expect a little more from books in this subgenre, particularly when the life-or-death, end-of-the-world, torn-away-from-loved-ones circumstances seem to call for it.

--Not enough Weepers. Since this story is all about the action, I would have liked to see more interactions and chase scenes and such. Besides, zombies make everything better.

--Not quite instalove, but...kinda. I don't really dislike the romantic relationship that develops between Sherry and Joshua, but nor am I enthused by it.

In short, I liked this book but I really didn't love it, mostly because it just seemed as though the story was over before it had really gotten very far. Maybe it's just that I've read too many great zombie novels in the past year, but I found the story to be somewhat predictable and not nearly exciting enough for my jaded zombie tastes. Still, many of my friends have absolutely loved this book, so I'd say it's worth checking out if you're curious, at least from the library. For myself, however, I'll probably wait until the series is complete before I pick up the sequel and gauge my interest level at that point.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
March 30, 2012

Well, it would have to go and end like that...

You see, this book was incredibly hard to rate because I spent the entire thing bitching and moaning about the lack of plot and originality, the boring characters and how I couldn't wait for it to end... then the ending had to be all super interesting and leave us with the most exciting piece of info in the entire novel, didn't it?

The ending would have been perfect if I'd enjoyed anything else, it's not quite what you'd call a cliffhanger but it opens an entirely new mystery that makes me think this series could actually get exciting afterall. If only I'd liked what I'd read leading up to that point, if only I wasn't planning on giving it one star before the ending, if only I cared if the characters lived or died. If only, if only, if only...

But up until the author decided to shock me with the ending, the book had been tremendously difficult to get through because the plot is so very lacking. Okay, another zombie apocalypse - so what makes this different to all the others available in bookstores? Nothing. Rabies gets out of control, people hide in underground bunkers until they run out of food, then they venture out and see the ruins of LA which is now inhabited by infected people (aka zombies, aka 'weepers'), one of them gets captured, it's all very tragic... and amongst it all there's some quality teen-romancing (quality here meaning 'dull').

Oh yes, because what would modern dystopia be without some love-struck teens? Honestly, there was no need. If more heart had been put into the actual plot rather than into the accidental nudges and palpitations... well, this could have been a very different sort of review. Unfortunately, 99% of this novel carried no mystery or political message, just romance between zombie fights.

And Sherry, a rather flat and un-interesting protagonist. Who is she? What does she really think and feel? Where is her personality? I think the author tried too hard to make her a nice person but the result was a character who was boring and unbelievable. She is constantly faced with all these zombies that would eat her as soon as look at her and I lost count of how many times she experiences these deep, moral battles in the middle of a life-threatening crisis. She's always seeing the human they used to be as they're running towards her with jaws gaping, I mean, she needs to get a grip... she's like "can I really shoot something that used to be human?" and I'm thinking "well, either that or serve your brain to them on a platter - take your pick and do it fast!"

It was all very uneventful and boring until the end. I keep saying those words "until the end", but it's true. There was a very definite point in the last chapter when I thought "ooh, now we're getting somewhere good". But I'm afraid overall it wasn't enough. If the second installment happens to fall out of the sky and land on my lap, then yeah, I will probably read it. Otherwise, I won't be picking up this author's work again.

Many thanks to the publisher for kindly providing a copy of this for review.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,374 reviews206 followers
February 23, 2012
I swear I didn’t mean to do it.

I was just going to open the package—I swear. Not read the books. I just started another book. But…I found myself running my hands over the cover, flipping the pages, yes—okay smelling them too perhaps, opening to the first page, reading the first chapter, and BAM!

The next thing I knew it was 2 a.m. and I only had one more chapter to go! When I say this book pulled me in—it PULLED! The only time I moved was when my butt went numb and I jumped from the floor to the couch. It was like finding the perfect song on the radio, discovering the munchies you are craving are actually in the cupboard after all or bumping into the one person who makes you smile no matter what. The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker was all that for me and more! Is this book perfect? Probably not. But for me it was! It was exactly what I needed.

Characters I liked from the get-go, white-knuckle suspense, scary beasts, and a little blushing romance all combined to create one of the best reading experiences I have ever stumbled across! Plus you should know--if an author throws in a shooting-out-the window-of-a-moving-car-with-a-shotgun scene, I instantly find a place for the story in my heart and on my bookshelf! :D

This is more of a confession than a review. :D

I confess. The new book weakness made me do it. And oh, was it worth it!

p.s. Welcome to my world Ms.Winnacker! I can’t wait for more!

Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,301 followers
March 20, 2015
"Danger is not the only thing that makes your heart beat faster"

4.5 stars - Such a lovely read! There were so many things I loved about this story that I don't even know with what to start.

The Title:
There is this big gap between this life and the other life.
This life is one of hiding, of trying to survive, of fighting monsters, of not knowing if tomorrow will ever come for you, not knowing if your family will be safe, if you'll be able to keep them alive. This is a life full of death.
The other life has been so easy, so beautiful, so full of color, and joy, with so many things to enjoy and so little to worry. The other life has been so full of.. life.

The (UK) cover:
...it's simple, and perfect, and it tells so much about the story, you only have to listen to it, to really watch it.
I must confess that I've misread it - it gave me the feeling that the story might be about some concentration camps or something similar (this reminds me that I still need to read 'Between Shades of Gray'), but in fact this is a light dystopian story about - among other things - zombies. I'm starting to like these creatures (in a 'like to read about them' kind of way).
"3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life."
"98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world. Imprisoned us."
"Only 2 minutes since we'd run out of food."

The writing:
I loved the 'rhythm' of this story, not sure if you understand what I mean. It was like watching it unfold on high speed. I liked the suspense, the way the chapters ended in little cliffhangers followed by a short scene from the other life revealing how easy and worry free life has been only 3 years ago. It's speeding up and then slowing down for just one page, enough for you to catch your breath and then keep running through the book, not wanting to get to the ending, but unable to put it down.
Every member of our little group was haunted by memories of their past, but we never talked about it. The future was scary enough. We didn’t need the past to worry about.

The characters:
They all had something to add to the story.
- From the dead grandfather, kept in the fridge, that gave Sherry so many great surviving advices while being alive (during the other life).
- To the grandmother, lost in her inside world, that made everyone insane with her obsessive knitting.
- To the desperate mother that doesn't know how to cope with the situation they've got into.
- To the father that would risk his life for his family, because he doesn't have any other choice.
- To the little brother that wants to be considered a little man.
- To the innocent little sister that doen't know how this world has changed and doesn't understand it.
- To the group of survivors from Safe-Heaven that have their own story to tell, from this life and the other one as well.

...And I left the best for last: Sherry and Joshua.

"Joshua shook his head like a wet dog, sending droplets of water flying my way. I threw up my hands to shield myself.
“I thought you liked rain.” His cheeky grin made me want to punch him. I tried to hide my smile."

Sherry is just a kid, but she has to grow up fast. She needs to save her father and take care of her family. I could see her change - how she became stronger, how the courage started to flow through her veins, how she didn't want to be part of this world but didn't have a choice but to face all these horrors, how she loved the life before (with her only biggest worry being her first crush; with her best friend always by her side; having a happy, caring family; enjoying little/silly things like rain, and sweets, and clothes; etc).
I liked how she was attracted to Joshua from the beginning, but how her feelings started to grow slowly from gratitude, to caring about his safety, and finally to loving him.

Joshua had as well a tragical destiny. He's lost everyone and he only cared about destroying the monsters that took away his other life. He needs to love and be loved, he needs a reason to keep going, other than revenge. He is a bit reckless, but he has a great heart and everything he does it is because he cares.
Our kiss tasted of blood and tears. Of rain and dirt. Of pain and relief. But more than anything, it was a promise. An oath to never let anything happen to the other.

Now, I had some problems (but they didn't interfere with my rating):
1. The book was so damn short! I need more!!!
2. The fact that these 2 kids are risking their lives fighting monsters while the adults stay in hiding, and then when there are decisions to be made the adults have their own 'private talk' and don't even bother asking 'the kids' for their opinion.
3. Sherry's mother keeping an eye on Sherry and Joshua. Dear I-don't-remember-your-name, I understand that your daughter is only 15, but when she was away for 3 days with this boy saving your husband's a$$ you didn't care, or did you? You're not concerned about her dying, slaughtered by monsters or turned into one, but you are concerned about her getting pregnant on your watch - give me a break.. are you kidding me?!

All in one - I loved this story, the pacing, the characters, and I really hope that you will love it as well.

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
May 23, 2012
"The dead skin looked like it belonged to a snake, and its spine looked strange. The Vertebrae were took big and pushed against the skin as enormous white bumps. With every intake of breath, they got more prominent, as though they might poke right through."
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof

Weepers aren't your usual zombies. These ones can look like humans, or like a fury beast, they even sleep. But what stands out the most is their intelligence. They live in nests, they stock up "prey" for winter, they're somewhat organized, and they know how to hunt you! In a way they sort of reminded me of the zombies in I Am Legend. In one word - terrifying. Sherry sees one for the first time when she finally comes out of their bunker after 3 years. You have to admit that this premise is spine chilling. Being cooped up while god knows what is happening outside. Coming out with absolutely no idea of what to expect, and realizing it's way more than you bargained for. The right vibe is definitely there; the writing is compelling. It's dark, dreary, with a constant uneasy feeling. Some may be annoyed by the constant numbering of days, but I found it grounding. Furthermore, seeing as I always look forward to finding out the cause behind the apocalypse, I was fascinated by the explanation in the Weepers. How it started, how the world reacted at first, basically what happened; it's alarming and original, also plausible. In theory these are not actually zombies - they have a mutated Rabies virus that turned them into flesh eating beasts - yet it still satisfied my zombie itch. Even if it's slightly predictable, the ending made me take a step back. It ups the ante in how complex the whole thing actually is.

The book is very short, so we go through the story at high speeds. There's just enough suspense to keep your imagination running wild; nothing's disclosed right away, and the info we do get evokes immediate questions, drawing you in. There are also occasional flashbacks that I found especially captivating simply because it shows normalcy that has since become a rarity. Moments of her other life that she may have taken for granted. I did find that as soon as I started to really get into it, the book was over. There's undeniably some good plot development, but I still felt like it ended too soon; just when things were starting to get moving.

For this same reason, the character development isn't as strong as it could have been. Sherry is a good, but fairly plain protagonist. She's a tad naive and her reactions lack the distress that you'd expect. She doesn't seem fazed by having been trapped in a tiny, claustrophobic bunker for over 3 years. You would think there would at least be some mental instability. I didn't feel her situation, her emotions. I also found it a bit irritating when she has constant dilemmas when dealing with the zombie threats. You either gotta shape up, or die! I love heroines who are strong and tough. Sherry - I wanted to slap her silly to wake her the eff up. Notably, she does go through a lot of changes by the end where she becomes much more capable. As for the side characters, they're fine. We've got a decent cast, but none of them truly stand out except for Joshua.

The love interest, Joshua, is a surprisingly convincing character compared to the others. He went through hell since the zombies came, he's got a lot of issues including dealing with some guilt and regret. I could discern his turmoil better than Sherry's. We also get his story in snippets, barely abating our curiosity, but making us crave for this secretive past. The romance that begins with him and Sherry seems forced, though. Fundamentally, it's a cute story with a believable timeline. The problem lays with the necessity to always have a romance, in this case, I would rather we had gone without. It's as if it was added maybe after the fact because she thought it was needed, but it comes off feeling like it was forced in. Especially to the degree she took it. Maybe if this novel had a hint of romance, with a relationship arising in the sequel - at the same time giving the chance for some better characterization - it would have been more effectual. But at this rate it didn't lure me in.

For a zombie book it's really quite good and I was satisfied. It's exciting with some fantastic action scenes along with creative zombie details. Seeing as what's lacking is mostly due to how short the book is, I think the series as a whole could be excellent. If you're a zombie fan, I'd still recommend you get familiar with the world of The Weepers.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,851 reviews846 followers
February 1, 2012
I don't know what it is that makes me giddy when I hear the word zombie. Maybe it's the promise of the action, suspense, the running for your life, and trying to survive, that usually go along with any good zombie tale. This story has Weepers, which may not technically be zombies, as I'm not sure if they're actually dead or not. At any rate, to me they're in the same category so: me=giddy!

Fifteen-year old Sherry and her family have been in a safety bunker for the last three and a half years. The population Los Angeles has been overrun by a mutated version of the rabies virus. Any humans who were infected became something called Weepers. Any who were not infected were told to go into hiding for protection. Sherry's family planned for four years of food but somehow they miscalculated, and they've just run out. Sherry and her father make plans to go out and find food, there is no other option. Right away things go badly and Sherry loses her dad to one of the Weepers. Enter Joshua. He's a somehow immune the disease and has been surviving on the outside with a group of people at a place called Safe-haven. Joshua agrees to retrieve the rest of Sherry's family and bring them to their compound and then go after her father. It seems there's a chance he's still alive because sometimes these Weepers don't eat a person right away. They take them to one of their nests to save them for later. Ewww!! In the process of searching for Sherry's father, she and Joshua form a bond. I like the quote on the front of this book: "Danger isn't the only thing that makes your heart beat faster…" So, yes, there is a romance in here, and a very sweet one at that.

I really enjoyed this story. It had you on the edge of your seat from the beginning. Even at first, in the bunker, it's intense. Just reading about the grandma clickity-clacking those knitting needles while the rest of the family was imploding, made me want to take those needles and…..well, I don't know…..let's just say it wouldn't have been good. There are some pretty gruesome moments (as you would expect with a zombie book), so be warned if that kind of thing bothers you. I didn't think it was as bad as some though. I really admired both main characters. Sherry is a brave young girl who puts her family first. I love her relationship with her little sister Mia. Joshua, who's lost so much, is intent on helping others and ridding the world of these Weepers. While we’re not left on a horrible cliffhanger, this story seems like it has just begun when you get to the ending. We are left with unanswered questions, and the fate of one of the characters still hangs in the balance. I can't wait for the next book!

Profile Image for Sarah.
155 reviews88 followers
July 8, 2013
After 3 years of living in a bunker, they are out of food. With their family starving Sherry and her father have no choice but to leave the confinement of their bunker to find food. Once they emerge they find the devastating truth.

I really like my own space and I think being stuck in a bunker with my family for 3 long years would drive me up the wall crazy! (not that I don't love my family) (=

I say this all the time whenever I read a dystopian novel but I'll say again, I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian books.

I don't or I haven't read a lot of zombie books before but this was a real creepy book. Not technically zombies but humans contaminated with a mutated rabies virus, they 'cry' milky white fluid from their eyes, which is why they are called Weepers.

This book seemed short, but it was fast paced. I read it within an hour.

Sherry has a bit of a obsession, fascination or problem with numbers, but I guess there's nothing else for her to do other than count.

The romance between Sherry and Joshua was good, not instantly drawn toward each other, it developed over time.

Thank you NetGalley and Usborne for sending me a review copy!
Profile Image for Veronica Morfi.
Author 3 books400 followers
September 26, 2015
Rating: 4/5

Sherry and her family are in the middle of an apocalypse. For the past 3 years they've been living looked inside their bunker. But food has finally ran out and they have they have to come face to face with the new world, a world were a rabies virus has turned people to beasts (close to zombies). Sherry and her father decide to go out for a food run and they end up been attack by a bunch of Weepers, the infected humans. Sherry's father gets abducted and Sherry is saved by a mysterious guy with a gun a Lincoln, Joshua.

Almost ever since the rabies, Joshua has been living with a group of other survivors in a house called Safe-haven, where they have animals and a vegetable garden. To Sherry is seems like paradise but she still can't get the thoughts of her father out of her mind. So, Joshua and her leave Safe-haven on a crazy hunt for her father.

I really enjoyed this story. It was filled with action, as a good apocalypse story should be, also there were some cute moments between Joshua and Sherry that were adorable and didn't really draw my attention from the main story. The Weepers were very creepy at times and kept my heart racing. I think I wouldn't have made it a day in that world. Also the ending was great. I am so curious to see what will follow.

My only issue was that since being a fan of Winnacker's other series, Variants, I expected more of the characters. Because let me tell you Tessa from Variants is one of my favourite female characters ever. Otherwise this is a great thriller, post apocalyptic book.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
February 23, 2012
I am starting to get the feeling that if you’ve read one post-apoc YA book then you’ve likely read them all. In this one it’s a couple of years after the world’s been ravaged by a rabies-like virus and we see people holed up in bunkers because of infected zombie/cannibal like monsters. Circumstances lead her and her father out of their safe place into a place that barely resembles the place she used to call home.

I was expecting something more sinister. But things just progressed too conveniently, too much the way one would expect things to progress. Just imagine: what’s likely to happen when one goes out in search of necessities? Or imagine, what’s likely to happen when you know you’re not supposed go out? And then imagine what happens after the worse had come to pass… Why, hello tall, dark and mysterious. Where did you come from? And you see, even Joshua’s motivations once made clear, read standard (to me at least.) His story was heart ache-y. Yes, it was. But frankly it’s left me feeling a little of seen-it/read-it/heard-it before. So, old hat? Well, I’m sorry, but yes, most definitely.

Things are not helped when the one character who showed some promise and mystery (IMO) ends up wiping everything clear in one heartfelt speech moment. Again, that moment felt too convenient and too quick. Is the word formulaic too harsh? It is what I feel though.

Perhaps I’m being too picky, but his sudden appearance while much appreciated, seemed too pat. And again, he and his group had me imagining all sorts of sinister scary scenarios. Too bad, what was didn’t live up to what I was thinking. Or perhaps I was being too nitpicky in feeling cheated. They had it easy! Need something? Why don’t worry in safe haven, we have virtually everything you’d need: apple trees, IV’s or what not.

Some positives though. Those glimpses of her past for instance. Still, I’ll be honest: I’m divided on what I feel. Yes, those bits emphasized just how different things had become. Her ‘Other Life’ read so vastly different from her current one. Strangely though, instead of me feeling more for her loss of what was, those glimpses did not really add that much to the story. Some times in fact, I felt them a bit too out of place, almost like interruptions in me getting into the groove of her current life was.

My favorite part would have to be the Weepers. They read terrifying. Those few instances where they’re made to face off? Good golly, those one or two moments were the stuff of nightmares. Beyond the baddies though… this just has me feeling meh.

Profile Image for Eunice.
255 reviews527 followers
March 19, 2012
3.75 stars

I've always been a fan of zombies. Not that I'd loved them if they become real but I just like the thrill, excitement and nervousness they can make me feel. I've seen lots of zombie-themed movies and read some mangas of it. But I haven't really read any novel about it, I realized just after I finished reading this book (and I really wonder why I never thought of reading one. Hmm~). So basically, this is my first 'zombie' themed book and it went really well. Hurrah! It was good and I liked it. Though it may not be as gruesome and creepy as I had expected it was still a fun and enjoyable read.

The Other Life has an exciting and interesting plot with really great and cool characters. I love Sherry's voice. I immediately saw that she's a strong and determined heroine. She never pretends that she's not afraid and definitely has fears but she's a loyal and determined person especially when it comes to her family and to other people she loves. Joshua, driven by the awful things that happened to her family, had become a really tough and brave person. He's very caring and thoughtful and never think twice in helping other people. Whenever he could get someone to save he would always do it and I really admire that about him.

The premise may not have been super original - invented a virus that had gone wrong, infected the whole city, the government or some big freakin' organization being behind it - it was still able to surprise me by some of its twist. I just thought it could have been more sinister. I was really expecting more of actions, chasing and fighting. I was waiting for something that would make my heart pound from excitement and nervousness and make me cringe in all its gruesomeness. Well, the story delivered enough, I just wanted more. lol! (Yeah, I have twisted sense of humor and I am proud of it! lol!)

Anyway, it was still really a fascinating read and I'm very much curious on what's gonna happen next and how they will be facing those challenges. I hope the next book would be as good as this one or even better, more thrilling, gripping and heart-attack inducing.

This review is also posted at Book Overdose
Profile Image for Aly (Fantasy4eva).
240 reviews120 followers
September 8, 2011
Two minutes ago their last can of food ran out. With her family starving, there is no question that she is going along when her father says he is venturing outside the shelter for the first time in three years.

Three years ago it happened. Three years ago people became infected and Sherry, her family and others were forced to hide in sealed bunkers. No help has arrived and time is running out.

But when her father is taken by the Weepers - who were humans but have turned into - zombie like feral creatures due to the virus - she finds herself face to face with Joshua. A boy who saves her life and takes her to Safe Haven. A place where other survivors reside.

From there on we will follow - Sherry, Joshua and those living in Safe Haven trying to fight with their inner demons as well as keeping themselves and everyone else alive. It's a tough battle to win when it's just a group of you cooped into one house, when there's no other help coming anytime soon, and when the bad guys go way past yours in numbers.

THE OTHER LIFE was a very engrossing read and the pace was crazy fast. Although all the characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked, I was still glad that each, somewhat had their own distinctive voices. I'm pretty sure this is part of a series so I guess we'll be able to explore them more in future books. My one other concern was the world building. Not on point as I would have liked. I would have liked some more detail and more of an explanation, but perhaps it makes sense that things are fuzzy since our protagonist is pretty clueless about what is going on.

There are clearly things that need to be touched on in more detail. Hopefully I'll be seeing more developed characters and an improvement of world building - especially since it's so vital when it comes to a Dystopian world. Also, the whole romance that was going on, well, I just didn't buy it. I didn't think they were in love. Our MC is too naive and overwhelmed by everything to really know what she feels. In my opinion, times are tough and they just happen do find each other attractive. So love? I doubt it. More lust than anything else and comfort.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,179 followers
January 6, 2014
It's a If I were 20 years younger, I might like this book 2 stars.

In the fictional world of The Other Life, an USA Army's top secret experiment had backfired three years ago and a deadly virus was created as a result. Those who were influenced were either winded up dead or became man-eating, violent mutants called the 'Weepers'.

The main character is a 15 years old girl who had a strange habit of counting the passing of every second, minute, day, week, month in her thoughts, and her father was captured by the Weepers, and now it was up to her to rescue her father and relocate the rest of her family to a safe place.

But in such a grave situation, the 15 years old girl still has the time to fantasize about the boy who had saved her life.

And then rather conveniently, the boy led the girl and her family to a safe haven, and the other survivors who lived there just accepted the newcomers without complain and everyone willingly shared their food and medicine with said newcomers.

Plus, somehow after the society had broken down for three long years, the survivors still managed to have enough guns and bullets left to protect themselves; they still had enough gas to start their cars; and they still had enough water supply to run a shower and they had an almost perfectly reliable electrical supply, whenever they felt like it.

Supposedly, the MC and the other survivors are constantly in grave danger, but the author failed to make me feel through her writing, just how grave and impossible the situation has to be.

Last but not least, the final revelation at the ending part of the book makes me feel largely underwhelmed.

I, honestly can't take this book serious.
Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews185 followers
November 17, 2011
I can not express how much I love this book! How much I love dystopian books in general. I knew that once I started this book that I was a goner. There was no way I was going to put this book down.

So what did me fall in love with this book? The plot line. It is just filled with pure awesomeness that I was blinded by it. I loved that once I started this book, the reader is filled with what is happening with the world. Counting down time, the reader meets the family and see the struggles. I adored that the plot line is filled with page turning events that leave you reader faster. My heart raced as I gasped my way through the book.

The love interest is great in this book. I love reading characters when they are finding themselves in one another. So much lost, and so many people scared, to fall in love in such tragedy is beautiful! I loved that their love is not fake but strong.

One other thing that grabbed me is the title and how the book relates to it. I never thought that a title could be so molding to the book. I really loved that in spite of what is going on in the world, that people could sit back and well talk. Ms. Winnacker is an amazing writer. The way she capture the characters, the world, and the other life's, left me in love!

The Other Life is a book you want on your shelf. It is life changing, eye opening, amazing book. One that you will want to read over and over again!

Profile Image for Devon Ashley.
Author 23 books962 followers
May 9, 2012
Remember Will Smith in I Am Legend? Yeah, it's a lot like that.

Sherry and her family managed to live in their LA bunker for more than three years before they ran out of food. Their part of the country was ravaged by a new strain of rabies, one that only one in ten were immune to. The other nine? Well, if they were lucky, they died. But most turned into a rabid, intelligent version of a zombie (the infected actually remind me of those in I Am Legend).


Not gonna lie. I'd wet myself just thinking I'm gonna run into this guy. Hope it's some place dark so I won't see it coming!

So Sherry and her dad are forced to go topside. Not only do they need food but it's been a few months since they've managed to reach anyone on their transistor radio. They encounter a few Weepers in the local Wal-Mart and Sherry's dad does a disappearing act. The only reason Sherry survives the Weepers is because of Joshua. He takes her to a place outside of town called the Safe-Haven. Sounds safe, right? Heh heh. If I spent the past three plus years hiding out in a bunker, I'd be a little weary about sleeping in a bed all by myself with a window in a farm house in the middle of nowhere. I'm no fool - I'd be sleeping like this:


But hey, that's Sherry's mistake. I value my life and a decent night's sleep.

The rest of the novel is spent trying to move her family to a new location and searching the known Weeper nests for her father, who she hopes is still alive. There's a little romance brewing between Sherry and Joshua. Normally I would say relationships that begin under extreme circumstances never work out (yes, I'm quoting Speed here) but seeing how the population has pretty much dwindled to nothing, I'm thinking these two may find a way to make it work. As for the plot, there's not really much there in the way of sub-plots and the main plot is less than stellar and been done before. But I will say that The Weepers was a fast read that kept my attention, and I pretty much read it in one sitting.


ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Angela.
947 reviews50 followers
March 9, 2012

Reading the synopsis for The Weepers, it sounds like it should be exactly my type of book, but for me it did not live up to its expectations.

Post-apocalyptic, rabies infested humans (i.e. zombies), quarantined civilians, and a war ravaged Los Angeles. What’s not to love? Turns out a few things.

Sherry, the protagonist of this book, is a very one-dimensional and uninteresting character and shows little to no development throughout the course of the novel. She whinges that she is the one who has to behave like a grown-up whilst in the bunker because the parents keep arguing but then she contradicts herself by behaving like such a child. Her constant questioning (the unnecessary rhetorical questions) is unbelievably annoying. I understand that Winnacker adds these questions to enhance the atmosphere she is building but they only serve to distract from the story. The constant questioning also makes for very clunky sentence structure which is distracting.

Sherry is not only an annoying character with her incessant questioning, she is also very boring to the point that I felt absolutely no empathy towards her at all, and she is also portrayed as very naïve. I am not sure whether Winnacker intended Sherry to be perceived like this but that is how I read her. She makes rather silly choices, is far too trust-worthy and rushes into danger with no regards for others. She also seems rather selfish . She really is not a character I could identify with at all.

Although I had problems with the protagonist, the other characters were fairly stereotypical and one-dimensional as well. The parents are your typical argumentative ones but they also seemed very selfish expecting their teenager to fight their battles for them; the brother is a typical bratty adolescent; Joshua, the love interest, is your typical ‘hero’, and Geoffrey is your typical and very convenient scientist guy who can explain the progress of the rabies virus and the government involvement. The only character that seems really interesting is Tyler and I hope he is featured more in the next book so we can gain better insight to what happened to him.

Despite the stereotypical and lack of character development, and thin plot, Winnacker certainly knows how to write action sequences and keep the story flowing. Each encounter with the Weepers is very well written and she does portray these creatures as rather petrifying. It would be very interesting to see more of these in the next book .

The ending to this book is incredibly strong, and it is due to such the strong ending that makes me want to read the sequel when it is released. .

Not a particularly high-quality book but an enjoyable and quick read. The ending makes for a very good prospect to a sequel and Winnacker does write some excellent action scenes, it is just a shame her characterisations are not as well written.

An advance reader copy was kindly supplied by Netgalley.
Profile Image for Annmarie Ager.
264 reviews16 followers
November 1, 2011
Sherry has spent the last 3 years 1 month lock in a bunker with her family. They all believe that a bad strain of rabies had started making people crazy under orders from the military they stayed safe in the bunker everything changes when they run out of food. Sherry and her dad leave in search of food but what they find is the world has changed.
The story in this book is brilliant sherry family have been locked away for so long they have no idea what’s going on in the world outside of their own four walls. You get to understand the life within the bunker is not easy it’s like being trapped in prison. You have nothing to do except the same thing every day. The author makes shore you get to know sherry and the life before they leave the bunker.

Once Sherry has to leave the bunker the story takes on a dark and dangerous twist. While reading you were always on guard waiting for the next attack the weepers were such an amazing aspect of the book .while to start with the weepers reminded me of zombies I soon saw the truth the weepers are still very much alive and super intelligent completely different from the walking dead. There were also a lot of truths and lies packed into the book and everything really did fit well together and made for an enjoyable read.

One of my favourite things about this book was how the authors maintained the fear factor and also mixed in romance. Susanne really knows how to write and I can’t wait to see what happens next in this dark and completely absorbing series.
5 stars

Annmarie best books review
Profile Image for Marcia.
1,041 reviews104 followers
March 5, 2017
Vlot lezend zombieverhaal over een vijftienjarig meisje dat meer dan drie jaar in een ondergrondse bunker heeft gewoond met haar familie. Wanneer ze geen eten meer hebben, verlaat ze samen met haar vader de bunker. Algauw komen ze echter in aanraking met zombies, Weepers genoemd.
De schrijfstijl leest erg fijn, maar het plot laat hier en daar te wensen over. Heel lang gebeurt er weinig - pas op pagina 288 komt er een interessante plottwist. Maar dan is het al bijna tijd voor boek twee.. De flashbacks vond ik stiekem een beetje cheesy en weinig toevoegen aan het verhaal. Geen slecht boek, maar ik ben ook niet helemaal overtuigd.
Mijn complete recensie lees je op Oog op de Toekomst.
260 reviews104 followers
July 29, 2012
3.5 stars

When I saw this, what immediately caught my eye was the protag’s obsession with numbers. Having read Shatter Me, I couldn’t help but be apprehensive about how far the similarities might go between the two. Fortunately, that was as far as it went. The Other Life proved to be a quick read that, while not the most amazing of dystopias, certainly kept me reading.

Sherry has spent just over three years living in an underground bunker with her family. When a virus started turning people into ravenous zombie-esque creatures, everyone was told to get into a bunker and stay there until the military declared it safe to resurface. Now, however, Sherry’s family are out of food and it is up to her and her dad to leave the safety of their bunker and search for some. They very quickly run into trouble, with Sherry’s dad taken by the Weepers. Distraught, she sets out to find him with the help of the mysterious Joshua.

The Other Life is a pretty easy read. The plotline was for the most part basic and the pacing neither fast nor slow. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more action, a bit more intensity. Having said that, there was definitely enough to keep me engaged. Susanne Winnacker has a writing style that’s easy to follow and her use of contrast between flashback and present day was something I found worked really well. The flashbacks highlighted moment that would have been insignificant once upon a time but in light of circumstances now became a dream, remnants of a time too late appreciated. The fact that they were kept short and sweet emphasised this contrast and gave the memories almost an elusive feel.

Sherry’s voice was a curious one. To me she sounded older than her fifteen years and even now I can’t decide whether that’s a good thing because it reflects her circumstances, or a bad thing. Perhaps what would have worked for me is if that older voice had developed with her experience with the Weepers. Or maybe I’m just being too picky. There was definitely development in her character so that by the end, she was one tough girl. She lost any naivety that had been present at the beginning and was just generally really brave for her family. It wasn’t difficult to sympathise with her. I was very impressed with the opening, where Winnacker sets the scene in the bunker; the tension was palpable and I felt frustrated at how it was up to Sherry to be the mature one. I have to say, Grandma’s knitting made me feel crazy too. I dearly would have loved to snatch those needles from her; I probably would have if I’d been there. Something I wasn’t too sure about, however, was the likelihood of them all staying in there for three years without venturing once outside, especially with the lack of communication they’d suddenly been experiencing. It didn’t seem particularly realistic to me.

Joshua, on the other hand, was. He was tough and brave, and also vulnerable. I liked seeing those flashes where his inner turmoil was exposed and he became someone more scarred by his experiences than he let on. He was especially guarded when it came to Sherry but at the same time it was obvious he cared. I would have liked there to be a bit more focus on him at the beginning. Sherry hasn’t seen anyone outside of her family for three years and when she does, she doesn’t take a moment to really focus on him? Actually, I think that was an issue generally. Winnacker could have made this more detailed, and not just with Sherry – here dad didn’t seem fazed by stepping outside for the first time in three years either. Somehow, though, the author managed to just about pull it off and it wasn’t a hugely major issue.

The ending I thought was nicely done. There was no cliffhanger but a very good opening for the sequel. With enough action to keep me entertained and a big enough plot development to keep me intrigued I was more than satisfied with it. I was also glad to hear more from Tyler. He’d caught my interest from the beginning and I was amazed to hear his story. I look forward to see more from him or about him later on.

Overall,The Other Life is an engaging read with a diverse range of characters – from Tyler, the guy who’s taken the name of his dead twin, to Geoffrey, who freely and randomly admits to his contribution with the virus and its consequences, to Grandpa in the freezer. No way was I going to write this review without giving him a mention. Since he’s dead the whole way through, I guess strictly speaking he’s not an actual character, but that’s really a minor detail. I found the idea of moving him totally hilarious. For all its flaws, this book definitely deserves its fair share of reads, and I look forward to the sequel.

This review is also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for Book Whales .
238 reviews28 followers
February 22, 2012
Originally posted @ Book Whales

They’re called the Weepers, and you don’t weep for them.
You must kill them, or they will kill you...

When a dangerous type of rabies start spreading out, everyone was forced to hide in bunkers for their own safety. Now, 3 years have passed, and no one has ever heard anything from the government. Sherry’s family had been staying in their bunkers for that same number of years, and what they feared most happened. They’re running out of food. With six persons to feed, where are they going to find the food that they needed? Simple answer, they must get out of their bunker, and search for it outside. If, they can find one that is. But outside, they’re not safe as they used to be, because there the weepers crawl, and they’re out to prey on them.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s action-packed and fast-paced. Ever since Sherry and her dad went out of their bunkers, my heart continued hammering in my chest and I actually felt scared for them, knowing that “something” lurks around, just waiting for the right time to strike.
Sherry’s world was a mess, especially after the rabies broke out, plus the bombing. Their city was in ruins, and it wasn’t as beautiful as it used to be. It feels as though I was on the same adventure as Sherry, and sometimes I find myself looking behind me, to make sure that “nothing” is in there, and then I recall that I was only reading a book. I find it very exciting when I read books about zombies/monsters. I loved those kinds of things especially that I’m a big fan of Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
But what I didn’t liked here was the overused “virus” plot wherein the so-called virus spreads out, turning everyone into flesh-eating monsters. Another one is Sherry’s constant predicament whenever she’s facing a weeper wherein she constantly thinks whether she could kill a weeper, knowing that they’re once humans. If I were her, I won’t even think twice in killing them, because in their current state, survival of the fittest is of utmost importance. If you don’t kill them, they’ll kill you. It’s as simple as that. But no, she still stops to think. To kill or not to kill? As I kept on reading, I always say “just kill it already!” In my own opinion, it isn’t really hard to decide, knowing that what they’re facing is already a monster, not a human. I’ll probably let it go if her dilemma is the same as Joshua’s wherein the weeper used to be his sister. It’s fairly normal that you don’t want to kill it, knowing that she’s your sister.
The romance in the story is too fast for me. Knowing that this is a dystopian novel, and there are monsters out there, romance doesn’t easily come, especially when one’s survival is at risk. But despite all that, I still think their relationship is sweet. Although some of the characters weren’t explored much, each was still interesting. I’ve got my eye on the mysterious Tyler, and I’m hoping more about him will be revealed in the next book. I also enjoyed reading the parts wherein after every chapter we were given glimpses of Sherry’s life before the rabies broke out. It’s nice that were given a little bit of normalcy in the book.
Overall, The Other Life was a fun and light read. I loved the action parts where it made my heart race, and the parts where it made my chest tighten. The book ended in a cliffhanger, only making me crave more for the next book.


Profile Image for Rhi.
361 reviews138 followers
March 8, 2012
Well really this has all the things that I should love about a book.
*Dystopian setting.
*Zombies (who technically aren't zombies, but whatever, they are.)
*A potential kick ass female protagonist.

But it only managed two stars, and here are three reasons why.

1. I wanted more from the world. Granted it got there a little bit towards the end, but overall there are too many questions for me.
Why did the powers that be allow the radio's to work for 3 years? Only cutting them off 2 weeks previous to the action we witness?
Were the flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter supposed to be random? Or were we supposed to find hidden meaning within them?
Was that one particular flashback in which Sherry was really sick a foreshadowing? Is she actually immune from the rabies?

Am I reading too much into her chewing on her pen and ending up with a black mouth? Is this a metaphorical jibe at how death and disease will haunt and follow her everywhere? I THINK I AM!

2. Lord have mercy, there are grotesque, inhumane monsters chasing you but we still have time for romancin'. Which, I know, I know. This is YA. This is what YA does. Don't complain about a genre that is very open and honest about what it is.
But really? If we are going to have some romancin' can it at least be a little heart fluttering? Because Joshua cupping Sherry's face multiple times kind of doesn't do it for me.
Not only that. Where did it come from?! She kissed him on the cheek once and all of a sudden he likes her like that?
It felt contrived and too easy. I can cope with it only because it's not a triangle. But so help me God, if that dude from her past happens to saunter back in and cause havoc for the romancin', I might choke.

(As a side note. I really liked Joshua's character. I think he was the better developed of the bunch, showing a range of emotions and reactions over the course of the novel. Sure, he was clunky at times, and some of the time we were told how he was feeling because Sherry amazingly read it on his face. But I think he was interesting. Sue me.)

3. Sherry herself. I'm actually waiting for the follow up novels before I fully decide. But right now it feels as though Winnacker is trying too hard at making her the kick ass female she wants her to be.
Sherry didn't play with dolls growing up, she preferred building blocks! She was a bit of a fighter in her past life, beating up bullies and learning to shoot! She takes care of her parents, because she is so mature!
I just don't know. I need to be shown this stuff, not told it. And what I was shown was a female character, who despite hoards of Weepers wanting to kill her, was still concerned about killing these things that had once been human.
Her constant moralising on whether it was wrong or right to kill the insane beasts chasing you down, just didn't cut it for me. These aren't ducks we're talking about! You're not out shooting for sport with your father! You're trying to rescue your father!
Get with the programme and shoot some zombies in the head already! That would have made her a little more bad ass for me.

Overall I think the biggest twist was left till the end, where it was info dumped on us by the previously voiceless character. It is this twist alone that will keep me reading the series. It won't be because I found anything deep and meaningful and clever in this novel. Because in general, I think it was zombie killing interspersed with romancin'.

It was a quick, mostly enjoyable read. It didn't annoy me greatly and I think there are even a few glimpses of greatness in some of the flashbacks to Sherry's literal other life.
But I was kinda' hoping for more.
Profile Image for Casey Ann Books.
125 reviews417 followers
September 4, 2011
Imagen being stuck stuck in a bunker for 3 years 1 month, 1 week and 6 days in a deserted ghost town LA. Hiding from a deadly virus. Something that isn't so nice and could drive you crazy. Its not somewhere I would love to be but Susanne has made this story so insanely good I never wanted to leave. There are a lot of Dystopian novels coming out lately. Some I Like some I don't like and some I absolutely love like this one.

As soon as I opened this novel it pulls you in. So much is going on is just the first few pages. From the beginning till the end I was on edge turning each page. Its was like a time bomb waiting to happen it was so fantastic. Susanne has been able to describe deserted L.A in such a spine chilling way that had my heart racing. It was so descriptive that I could literally feel like I was there with them.

The flash backs are really beautiful in this novel. Even though they are so small its nice to see some of the life of Sherry before this horrible ordeal happened. It gives the book some sense of normality even if its a small amount. Their really effective and defiantly add to the ambiance in this novel.

The story is beautiful yet horrifying in so many ways. A plot that can be that scary but yet romantic is amazing. I love the use of numbers in this book. "3 years 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I'd seen daylight" I think it made the story a lot more suspenseful in the way the numbers were used.

The characters are fascinating in this book. Joshua, Sherry's night in shining armour and love interest. He's a really brave character that I am sure people will fall in love with him and his antics. Then there's Sherry the brave kick ass girl I think a lot of girls with relate to her. I would be here all day if I talked about the characters but I will say this. If you like heroic, nice, challenging, attractive witty characters then this is the book for you.

The plot was so amazing memorable and gory. And with shocking twist at the end that had my jaw hanging open as well as praying I had the sequel in my hands, The Other Life is a Spine Chilling, gory entrancing Dystopian novel that I didn't want to end. Bring on The Life beyond. Don't close your eyes. Watch out for the Weepers!
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews331 followers
May 2, 2012
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

Actual rating: 3.5

The Other Life falls into a category that I am finding very popular lately, it was a book that I wasn't enjoying too much but about halfway through I got sucked right into it. The novel starts out rather sluggishly as we meet Sherry and her family who have been contained in a bunker for 3 years following a rabies outbreak. The mood that is set inside the bunker had even me feeling claustrophobic, tensions were at an all time high and I totally believed that these people had been secluded for a ridiculous amount of time. For me it just took a while for the action to start, which may very well be because this is the first book in a series.

The characters Susan Winnacker has weaved together are really quite good. The little reflections at the beginning of each chapter are perfect in showing us how Sherry has grown and just how much a young woman's life has changed. Sherry was a great MC, her desperation and worthy attempt at being someone much her senior was totally believable and I felt for her. The love interest that she meets, Joshua, is also someone that I thoroughly enjoyed and found myself rooting for. He wasn't just brawn and a love interest, he was pretty complex and as the layers get pulled away throughout the story you really connect with him. My only issue with these characters was that at times I found their dialogue to be not believable for the ages they were presented as being.

The writing is very descriptive, the action scenes are so intense that they left knots in my stomach. The human mutations (zombies?) that are brought to life in The Other Life are scary! The Weepers are not only blood hungry but they are smart, they work together and horde their food. For me, that added to the intensity of it all, the villains actually had a method to their madness.

This was a solid, dark read that really picked up in it's second wind. It ends quite abruptly and perfectly sets the scene for a smashing follow-up.
Profile Image for Tara.
94 reviews7 followers
February 26, 2012
2.5 stars.

The Other Life had an interesting premise; people forced to go 'underground' due to an outbreak of the rabies virus. I enjoyed how the main character, Sherry, used numbers to show how long it had been since she'd seen the ocean, eaten chocolate, etc. Instead of 3 months, she would use 90 days, or ____ number of minutes. I thought it was fun.

The first 2/3 of the book was slow and I kept stopping because of words that, in my mind, were misspelled. It bugged the crap out of me. However, the pace and plot definitely picked up in the last fifty or so pages. The ending was excellent and I will probably read the next one because of it.

The reason I gave it such a low rating is because of the slow plot, thrown in romance, and annoying, one dimensional characters. I did see some excellent writing and think that Ms. Winnacker will get better as she goes along. She just needs to work on giving her characters depth. Sherry was annoying...the only one that mildly interested me was Geoffrey. His story was interesting...
Profile Image for Lynne.
195 reviews25 followers
June 1, 2012
I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, so I was thrilled when I found out I had won a copy of The Weepers: The Other Life through a recent contest I had entered on the authors website. The author, Susanne Winnacker, was kind enough to personalize and autograph my copy for me. So I’m pretty stoked about that as well.

I first spotted The Other Life here on Goodreads first reads giveaways last December. The very first thing that caught my attention with this book was the bright red butterfly on the cover. I was like, "oooh, the book must be about butterflies." Then I read the synopsis and thought "uhm, this doesn't sound like it's about butterflies at all." And believe me, it's not. at all. I wasn’t sure what the butterfly was all about, but the book sounded reeeally good regardless, so I added it to my to-read list and have been reeeally wanting to read it ever since.

The hardback edition I received arrived with a wholly different book cover/jacket. It’s the one with the girl in the foreground and a burnt out cityscape in the background with a boy running down the middle of the road. I like the sorta weird, off-greenish tint. It really casts an unsettling feeling of doom and despair on the whole scene. Now, having read this book, while I still gravitate toward the pretty butterfly cover, this newer cover really makes far more sense to what’s inside, so I think I actually prefer it over the original artwork.

I was so looking forward to reading this book, and over the months I had really built it up in my mind as to how awesome it was going to be, so much so that when I was finally holding a copy in my hands I was suddenly worried it wasn't going to live up to my own hopes and hype.
I began reading and quickly discovered myself immersed in the story being laid out for me. I had nothing to be worried about at all. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing this book was going to live up to my expectations. (it did, and then some!)

We first meet the main character, Sherry, a sixteen year old girl who has been living in an underground bunker with six members of her family for the last 3.5 years.
They were directed by the government to seek refuge from a pandemic outbreak of human rabies - which caused humans to mutate into rabid zombie-like creatures aka The Weepers.
The entire west coast of North America had been instructed to stay underground until the military was able to isolate and control the disease and give them the signal it was safe to return above ground.
That signal never came, in fact they had lost all contact with the outside world months ago and Sherry and her family have just run out of their storage of food. So she and her dad decide to leave the bunker in search of food and other people.

As soon as they step out of the bunker, Sherry and her dad discover their home covered in dust and soot and find that in the last 3.5 years that they’ve been hiding underground Los Angeles has been transformed into a burnt out, bombed out, dilapidated mess of dismal isolation and destruction. They continue their search for food and signs of any other survivors.

Soon things go from bad to horrific. Sherry and her dad are attacked by the Weepers and during the bloody battle they are separated from one another. Sherry is running for her life when she is amazingly rescued by a young guy (Joshua – main character #2). He pushes her into his car and they speed away from Los Angeles and the Weepers and toward a place Joshua calls the Safe-haven, where a handful of others have established a colony of survivors.

I’ll stop the storyline here because I don’t want to be all spoilery. Just know that you have to read this book! And be ready for a rollercoaster ride of excitement - complete with tires squealing and guns blazing.

I love what the author has done here. The dystopian world she has created is SO believable. I can picture the desolation of what used to be a beautiful city and smell the rotting and fetid wastelands it has become. The Weepers are hideous creatures straight out my worst nightmares.
Before each chapter, the author has included flashbacks of memories Sherry had of her life before the bunker. It gave her character a lot of depth and helped you realize how she felt about the things in life, like the warmth of sunlight on your face or the smell of cut grass in the summer or the sweet taste of apples in the fall ... the moments that become more important to you when you no longer have them.
The cliffhanger ending was NOT expected. Loved it!

If you liked The Hunger Games, then you NEED to read this book. Just don’t expect it to be anything like the Hunger Games. Other than the fact it’s just as completely absorbing and well written and all around fantastic.
There’s a strong female heroine, who stands her ground in the face of extreme adversity .. and a cute (non-mutant) guy she is fortunate enough to find in all of Los Angeles, who has been top-side long enough to know the ropes in searching out and fighting off the killer creatures.
There is lots of action, chase scenes, and hunting, as well as being preyed on … and oh yeah, there’s just a slight smidgen of a budding romance too. But not too much or too mushy, just enough. Mostly there’s heroic gun fighting, with a side of scoop of teenaged blushing and the tingly-ness of butterflies in the stomach as the main characters search for answers, atonement and ultimately revenge.(hey! wait a minute! maybe the butterflies fluttering in her tummy is what the red butterfly on the original bookcover was about) :D

But seriously, I CAN NOT WAIT for book two of this series. The Life Beyond, due out sometime in 2013. I hope to see many of the great characters we’ve met in this book again. The secondary characters were very intriguing (especially Tyler and Geoffery) and I think they will each play crucial roles in the future of this colony of survivors.
I would love to get a deeper look into their backgrounds and I definitely want to understand more about what makes Joshua tick. Sherry is a really likeable character. She’s strong minded and capable of standing on her own two feet yet still benefits from having a great guy on her side.
All I can say (to the author) is “Write faster Pussycat! Write faster!”

Also, while I was reading this, I kept wondering if this world could actually happen. Are we just an evil, epidemic disease away from the ‘Other Life’?
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