Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Title: Red Hill
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Adult, Horror
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.05 out of 5.00 (2,000+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
Review by Nara

Admittedly, I really disliked Beautiful Disaster, so I have to say that I didn't have particularly high expectations for this book. To be honest, I hadn't even read the synopsis and therefore didn't realise this book was going to be a zombie book. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I liked this book much more than McGuire's other novels- although it still wasn't particularly amazing.

While I did like the book overall, there were definitely quite a few flaws that I could pick up on. One in particular is that there really is nothing new about this novel. The plotline is a rather typical zombie novel- weird virus infecting people, sudden outbreak of people all zombie-like, BRAIIIIINS! In terms of the romance aspect, which was surprisingly not really the focus of the novel, I've read a couple of reviews where people have said that the romances aren't typical ones, but they kinda's the whole people getting bonded by escaping together from danger cliche. Also, despite the imminent danger of being devoured by zombies and what not, the book is actually pretty slow.

I really didn't like the reason behind how the zombie apocalypse started- the flu vaccine?! Seriously?! (Sorry in advance, inner medical student is about to emerge) It's difficult enough to get people to get the vaccine already, but writing a book saying that you'll be zombified by getting the vaccine?! GAHHHHHHHH! Hopefully the people reading the book will be sensible enough to realise that it's pretty unlikely for that to actually happen. Also a rather unbelievable fact was that the ENTIRE apocalypse started at the same time in one day in the US. I mean, seriously, what happened? Despite everyone being inoculated at different times, did the vaccine/virus magically activate itself in everyone at the exact same time? PLOT HOLE.

For some reason, I felt really invested in Nathan's story. I don't even know why. I mean, he was okay as a character but I wouldn't say that he's particularly engaging or original. I guess I really liked the relationship he had with his daughter. In fact most of the family type relationships were quite interesting- and they were the main reason why I continued reading the book. They were a lot more interesting than the various romances or action or whatever.

The ending was pretty unsatisfying. I mean, I get that it's difficult to solve the problem of the apocalypse in one book, but the ending was just THE WORST KIND OF ENDING. Basically it was one of those "we must rebuild humanity in the wake of destruction" cliches.

I can really only recommend this book to people who have never read any zombie novels or watched any zombie movies. That way you won't be smacked in the face by the countless cliches.

It was okay

Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5


  1. I read and watch zombie-related things, so I would probably have the same opinion as you about this book. I will, however, try to read this, since it is on my TBR pile. Fab review, Nara!

    1. Yeah, it's definitely nothing new. But I suppose if you're expecting the cliches, it might not be a bad book :)

  2. Thanks for your review Nara, it's a shame it wasn't amazing! I can't wait to read this book because I love zombies and I have it on my shelf. Haha, I thought what you said about the flu vaccine was hilarious though! Ah wells, thanks for your honest thoughts.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. I wouldn't say it's a bad book, it's just very cliched haha. I would definitely still give it a go :)

  3. Jamie McGuire just got taken to med school

  4. This book definitely sounds problematic. I would have thrown the book across the room, if I read a book that suggested that the zombie outbreak was related to the flu shot. Ugh. Lovely review!

    1. Yeah the flu vaccine thing was stupid. Sigh.

  5. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Thank you for taking the time in explaining the finer details of the flu vaccine, Nara. It seems that Jamie didn't do her assignment well. Teehee. I've never been a zombie book fan. I just don't feel reading about them.

    On the other hand, I love PVZ and watching Zombie movies (esp. Brad Pitt's World War Z).

    And an OPEN ENDING? AHHH NO! I don't think I could stand another Lauren Oliverish like disaster. I want my endings to be nicely wrapped up. If they don't , I'm going to take a lot of stars.

    Thanks for the review, Nara!

    1. I actually really like both zombie books and movies! WORLD WAR Z WAS AWESOME! I did feel like the ending was a little bit too easy, but still, it was a great movie.

      Yep, open ending! Not quite as bad as Requiem, but still nothing satisfying. I guess it would have been difficult to not have an open ending in this book though haha. It's not as if all the problems could have been solved within the timeline of the book.

  6. I'm going to take out a lot of stars*

    1. haha yep got your meaning the first time :P

  7. I was really looking forward to reading this one, but a slow book? Not for me.
    And cliche stuff? Totally not for me either. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and me didn't get along because of that main reason.
    Ha ha, that is definitely a plot hole! It'll work a lot better if people didn't know zombies already existed, etc. etc. instead of the vaccine turning them all at the same time.
    Oh no, is the open ending another Requiem? -shudders-
    Great review Nara! (:

    1. Yeah, it's funny how it was so slow even though everyone was supposed to be running for their lives etc etc.
      It was definitely a bit silly how the virus somehow activated in everyone at the exact same time all over the world...
      Not quite as bad as Requiem, but still pretty open. God, Requiem's was horrible.