Audiobook Junkie, Sporadic book blogger, occasional master chef, soccer mom, wearer of pajamas, teller of tales, cool aunt, beloved wife, and loyal friend.
I would rate the first 25% of this book a 5. Cassie, from the very beginning, paints a vivid portrait of a desolate and devastated world overrun by aliens masquerading as human. The complete annihilation of the world and everyone in it by wave after wave of catastrophe, disease, and despair was graphically conveyed through Cassie's anguished voice. I could almost feel the raw emotion and her utter hopelessness as she thought she might truly be the very last human being on earth and her sadness that even if she wasn't, she would likely never know because she couldn't trust anyone long enough to find out if they were human or "other." It was kill or be killed, react completely on instinct alone, and this type of existence had hardened her almost to the point that she was unable to feel at all. But she had promised her little brother that she would come for him and she held onto this promise even though there was no reason to believe he was still alive. She let this promise motivate her to continue on until she found him one way or another.
I am always drawn to this kind of survival story, how the human spirit can persevere and overcome in even the most horrific situations. Whether it be natural disaster, or zombies, or in this case aliens, the way people will find the inner strength to endure and even prevail is always fascinating for me. This was no different, and that powerful beginning had me absolutely hooked.
However, by midway into the book I was beginning to become somewhat bored and recognized that, while this story is undeniably well-written, it is not what I had been hoping for. I quickly recognized the typical kind of YA romance. I can't really complain since this is a YA book so those who are looking for YA romance will not be disappointed. Other aspects left me less than thrilled as well, such as a confusing and weirdly paced plot that didn't always seem logical to me. After finishing the book, I'm still unsure what exactly it is the aliens were trying to accomplish or why they were trying to accomplish it. This was somewhat explained, but not in a way that made any kind of sense to me.
To be fair, I am not a fan of sci fi and usually would have never looked twice at this book had it not received such amazing reviews from person after person on my Goodreads list. And I can definitely see why they loved it. The writing, especially in the beginning, was amazing. There is plenty of action and the characters are likable, particularly Cassie. The things that didn't work for me might be what someone else may love. I would rate this a 3 and recommend it to fans of action packed YA.