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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Juneau is living is a close-knit community of survivors after World War III decimated the majority of the planet. They pulled together and made a community, connecting to mother nature to survive. One day she returns from her hunting trip to find all of her people missing. Determined to find them, she begins searching and what she finds brings her world crashing down around her. There was no World War III. The human population is fine and living life normally. Even though every adult in her life has lied to her, she is still determined to find and rescue her family. She soon realizes she is being hunted and must outsmart her pursuers, dragging a modern teenage boy along for the ride. Can she find her family or will a faceless enemy get their hands on her as well?
I must admit that Juneau held up much better in her situation than I ever could have. She pushes onward and keeps fighting to find her family even in moment when she knows in no unclear terms that every adult in her life has lied to her for years. She's so strong and confident and exactly the type of role model young girls need these days. She's so sure of herself and she doesn't base her life or her future happiness on whether or not this particular guy likes her. We all hope he does because everyone wants that happily ever after (myself included) but her life doesn't hinge on that fact. It's awesome and refreshing. It was also kinda cool how this starts as a dystopian and then changes.
Miles is a normal dickheaded teenage boy. He's done some stupid things and is altogether too cocky for his own good, but he's a good guy, hiding deep (very deep) under that asshole exterior. He's obviously in this for his own gain, but he still helps Juneau when no one else would and he eventually deviates from his planned path for her.
When I first saw this cover, one main thought ran through my mind: Those dogs better not die! And they don't, for any other animal lovers out there with the same worry. My other worry was that a cliffhanger was imminent because Plum ended Until I Die on a horrid cliffhanger. I'm sad to say that prediction did come true. The ending of this was eerily similar to Until I Die ****SPOILER****What with the main guy's life hanging in the balance and all****END SPOILER**** I loved the slow romance between Juneau and Miles, with that whole I can't really stand up thing slowly morphing into attraction. Their relationship develops faster than I would have liked, but it's acceptable because they spend so much time together that pushes things along quicker.
I am still a bit nervous about this series. Though I really enjoyed the first book in Plum's Die For Me series, I didn't love it as a whole and I wasn't satisfied with the ending. So while I enjoyed this immensely, I can't say that I loved it because for me it all hinges on the ending and a cliffhanger always prevents my full love. I know you aren't going to kill off your lead character because that's preposterous, but you could shock me like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did and I have to keep reading to find out for sure. If you aren't like me and you have no problems with cliffhangers, I'm sure you'll love it to pieces while I anxiously await the next book.
****Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****