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Posted March 25, 2013
Must Read Series!
There are quite a few sophomore series books releasing this year, but this was one that I was so looking forward to reading! I loved the first book in the series, The Way We Fall, so much that I had to pre-order this one. In this second book, the story focuses on Kaelyn finding samples of a possible vaccine that her father had created and venturing off the island with her friends to find someone who can reproduce it. Then hopefully the vaccine can be administered to those that have survived thus far. An innumerable amount of people have suffered the effects of the virus and eventually succumbed to their deaths. So while they are trying to find a scientist, doctor, or researcher who could do this - among the vicious population of people that are left doing what they can to survive - Kaelyn and her crew are doing what they can, themselves, to survive and avoid contracting the virus. This is all happening during the winter by the way. They're freezing cold, constantly having to find shelter and food, avoid marauders, and trek countless miles in the snow. Oh and also another thing - Kae has to ensure that the vaccine is kept at an optimum temperature in its cold storage box. It can't get too warm or too cold (that it freezes) or it could be worthless and their efforts would have been for nothing.
Talk about a survival story! I thought the amount of overwhelming challenges and obstacles they met were realistic and was glad that they weren't often presented with lucky breaks. I think their bit of naiveté in the beginning was necessary for them to quickly learn the nature of their situation and the behaviors of their fellow survivors. It hardened them and helped them to become extremely cautious, but they were still able to retain their sense of humanity. I think if you haven't read the first book in this series, you wouldn't be too lost just reading this story, but you would definitely have to read the third book if you want to know what happens in the end with Kae and the gang. I read the first book right after it came out about a year ago, so I forgot some things, but this second book had just the right amount of recap to refresh my memory and put me back into Kae's world. I would recommend that you do read the first book though since you will have more sense of the relationship between them all - Kaelyn, Leo, Gavin, Meredith, and Tessa. I freaking love the book cover. I also love the first and (pending) third book covers for this series and love how pronounced, consistent, but different they are. I love this series and I'm impatiently awaiting book three to be released!
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Posted July 18, 2014
Posted June 24, 2013
Nobody is more surprised by how much I enjoyed this book than I am. I’m not sure what changed between the first book and this one, but it made all the difference for me. The second book in the trilogy finds Kaelyn and her small group of survivors-Gav, Meredith, Tess and Leo, leaving the island to take the cure Kaelyn has found to the mainland. Cue a grand roadtrippy adventure through a desolate Canada-in the heart of winter-and once I started the book I couldn’t put it down.
The first thing I noticed was that the journal style narration of the first book was gone, and while I didn’t mind it much I definitely preferred this more straightforward narration. The writing continued to be excellent. I always struggle with visualizing while I read, but Crewe’s descriptions of the scenery and the danger surrounding this group made it easy for me to put myself there and see it all happening almost as if I were watching a movie. The development of the characters and their relationships is very well done. With a few exceptions the decisions they make felt realistic and understandable for me. I found myself finally able to connect to and care about them, which was my primary issue while reading the first book.
I am particularly fond of Gav, who is charming and probably the bravest of them all. The development of his and Kaelyn’s relationship is completely organic and as normal as any relationship between two teenagers can be in the middle of an apocalypse. The friendship between Kaelyn and Tess is also a particular favorite of mine. It’s so quietly beautiful and brought out more emotion in my than any of the other dynamics in the novel. What didn’t work for me was the rough beginnings of a love triangle between Kaelyn, Gav and Leo. I found this completely unnecessary. We know that Kaelyn had a crush on Leo before he left the island, and him returning to the island and revealing that he had the same feelings for her all along felt very forced and predictable.
This book was also completely void of the slow as molasses pace of the first. Instead each page is filled with plot development, intense action and some truly terrifying moments. I found myself curious about the mystery person chasing after the group and the cure and whether they might have played a role in the development of the virus, or whether they are just taking advantage of the situation. The developments in the last few chapters left me worried and anxious. I know I’ll definitely be reading the last book
Posted April 22, 2013
Posted April 5, 2013
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The Lives We Lost was just as captivating as [[ASIN:142314631X Way We Fall, The (Fallen World trilogy, The)]]. If you haven't read The Way We Fall yet, stop reading this right now and go order a copy of that book first. This isn't a series that I would suggest jumping into in the middle of it. From the moment I read the synopsis of TWWF I knew I wanted to read it. I am fascinated by the spread of deadly viruses and I enjoy reading nonfiction books like [[ASIN:0385495226 The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story]] and [[ASIN:0316763063 Virus X: Tracking the New Killer Plagues]], so I was incredibly interested in reading a YA fiction book with the same topic. This series is much more realistic than many other YA books in this genre because no one turns into a zombie or monster from this disease and it could really happen. Viruses like this have taken hold of the world in the not-so-distant past, which makes these books scarier to me than any fiction horror story.
The Lives We Lost starts off right where TWWF ended. Kaelyn and her handful of friends (and her cousin) from the island that have survived the virus has also torn across the country, and probably the entire world. She finds her dad's key to the research center and discovers a vaccine he was in the process of testing when he was killed. Since there is only one doctor on the island and she is unable to test and duplicate the virus, Kaelyn and her friends decide to leave the island in search of a doctor who can help her replicate the virus. They encounter many horrific situations along the way and the worse it got, the more I found myself cheering them on and hoping that they would find the person that could help them.
Kaelyn is one of my favorite heroines. She is not naturally an outgoing person, but she is caring, selfless, and brave even when she is afraid. I have read so many books with wimpy, whiny female main characters lately so Kaelyn was an absolute breath of fresh air. She has been through so much and never gave up, not when she felt she could possibly help others out.
I waited until The Lives We Lost were out to read The Way We Fall so that I could read straight through to the second book, but now I have to wait almost a year until the third book is out! I am so bummed, I can't wait to read the third installment of this series! I would recommend this series to everyone. :)
Posted March 21, 2013
Posted March 20, 2013
It's not often I'm this impressed with the middle book of a series. Especially since the for
The sequel begins with Kaelyn finding a vaccine her father created before he died and she knows she must find a way to get it to the people that can duplicate it and help the world. She thought the virus was contained to the island, but the whole world is infected and she knows it's up to her to get to Ottawa and give the government the vaccine. Suddenly Kaelyn is living on a deadly planet, holding the vaccine close and trying to survive every day. With her small group of friends, they start across the country, risking their lives to save others. This is one of the most realistic apocalypse books I've erad. Everything our group encounters feels so real. Whenever they ran into someone on the street I was scared for what would happen next. People act crazy when it comes down to only one surviving. It's not just about getting to Ottawa, it's about staying alive.
Kaelyn is one of the bravest protagonists I've seen in awhile. No one is forcing her to take this vaccine anywhere. She could keep it for herself and live on her small island with her boyfriend, Gav, and her other friends. But she risks everything to do something about it and not a lot of people would do that. There are times when she thinks about giving up, like she did in the first book, but she finds the strength to keep going, and it's amazing. I don't know if I would be able to hold up as long as she does, especially with the group following her when she knows she can give in and just do as they want. Everything she does feels so believable. Her actions, her reactions and how she deals with what comes her way. She's smart and never puts herself above others. She's the perfect role model for the teenagers reading this series.
Crewe's writing stands out in a subtle way. She doesn't go out of her way to write pretty prose or extreme scenes. She writes so real that it's hard to imagine that the friendly flu isn't a real virus. Her sentences blend together perfectly and softly, lingering after you've read the words and leaving you craving more. The pacing is perfection. The end of every chapter made me read the next and so on until I just had to keep going until I was finished the book. Her characters jump off the page and stay with you even when you've closed the book. I can't get over the intensity I felt reading this, an intensity I haven't felt in awhile. After certain events happened, I had no idea where she would end this book, how far she'd go before giving us a break from the madness, so of course she ends it too soon as usual, and I'm stuck waiting a year for the final chapter, The Worlds We Make, and needing to know what happens to Kaelyn and her vaccine.
The real world is scary, with or without a virus spreading and Crewe has captured the brutality of the human race exquistly. I can only hope I've done this book justice with this review and that I too can create a world within a world as well as she has.
Posted March 17, 2013
Posted February 18, 2013
I'm loving the way sequels are getting better and better. For me, there is just much more added depth to the story.
The virus is spreading faster and wider than what originally thought. Diving right back into the plot, Kaelyn is running out of time. She is trying to survive as well as find a cure. The adventure of taking a possible cure to trustable scientist is great. She is faced with people who want to kill her, people who want to steal it, and people who want to help. Which is hard to know giving what is going in her present time. Not to mention, the virus is sneaking up on her loved one fast!
Now, the love interest certainly had aspects I did not think would happen. Thankfully, there is not "love triangle" but really just "the one who got away." I like that Kaelyn emotions where not swept away by this hasty decisions but her loyalty never wavered. She knew who she loved and she made it clear.
The ending of the book gets so intense that it actually made my hands hurt (Yes, I was gripping the book that tight). Once I read the few last lines I felt immensely sad and angry. It ended on a questionable note that makes me want more.
The Lives We Lost is brilliant told story. With amazing footsteps to follow end, I can assure you that you will not get bored. Instead, your mind will be filled with action, love and the fighting to survive.
Posted February 14, 2013
The Lives we Lost is the second book in The Fallen World Series and picks up where book one leaves off. Kaelyn and her friends live at ground zero, a small Canadian island that has been quarantined as a result of the "friendly flu virus," a virus that is deadly and has no cure. Kaelyn has lost family, friends, and loved ones as a result of the virus, and has somehow manged to be one of the only ones who survived a less potent strain of it, leaving her immune. Her little cousin Meredith is also immune after contracting the flu and being treated with some of Kaelyn's blood. Cut off from the outside world, they assume that their island is the only place that has been devastated by the illness, but when her best friend Leo returns to the island after making his way there from New York, they soon find out that the the virus has spread world wide and everything is in a state of total chaos.
It is Kaelyn's 17th birthday. Not knowing where to go from here or what to do next, she is going through some of her father's things when she discovers a key, a key that was missed before, a key that just happens to be to his lab. She sneaks into the lab and discovers her father's journal and a vaccine that he has been working on, a vaccine that he had tested on himself before he died. Kaelyn know she has to get the vaccine to someone who can replicate it and make enough to treat everyone left alive, putting a stop to the virus. Not willing to let her go alone, her boyfriend Gavin insists on going with her, while the others stay behind on the island. Before they are able to leave a military strike by some rogue soldiers forces all of them to evacuate sooner than anticipated in order to save their lives. Warned and rescued by one the soldiers that deserted this rogue group, Tobias, they make plans to together travel towards Ottawa, to find someone who can replicate the vaccine.
This is their story, the story of their journey in a world ravaged by illness where people are just trying to survive by any means possible. Not only do they have to stay away from those who are sick, they also have to constantly face the threat of danger from those who want what they have and are willing to take it by any means necessary. They meet friend and foe along the way, and face some of the hardest choices that they have ever had to make in the process of the journey, finding themselves hunted by those who say they want to help, not knowing who they can trust. When illness threatens one of their own, they are faced with a whole other set of trials, which tests their character and their resolve. Can they find help before it's too late, not only for the world, but also for one of their own?
I enjoyed this novel. The concept and premise of the story, while not unique, is still very intriguing and sobering, as it is easy to foresee something like this happening for real, especially since those contracting the virus don't turn into zombies, which leaves this fictional novel having more of a nonfictional feel to it. I like Kaelyn's character. She is a strong heroine and truly cares about those she's with, knows, and loves, and also those she has never met, all of whom she is trying to save. She and Gavin are in a relationship, as are Leo and Tessa. Leo is Kaelyn's best friend, who she loves dearly, but also wonders if those feelings are all just rooted in friendship, and she's not the only one who is wondering this. Two new characters are introduced into their close-knit group in this installment, Tobias and Justin, who is young and a bit of a loose cannon. There is not a lot of closure on anything in this installment, but more of a building up to the third book. I did like it, but it does still leaves you with some really "I need to know what's going to happen" type of questions. We get a glimpse of Kaeyln's brother Drew, but hopefully he will play a bigger role in the next book. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, though not a killer one, but more of a hopeful, rooting for the best type of situation.
One of the things I found intriguing was the title itself. At face value, you would just think it centers around all who have died because of the virus. Actually, Kaelyn is pondering upon the past, about how everything has changed, and how no matter what they do, things will never be the same again. The lives they once knew that were happy, carefree, and normal, no longer exist......becoming the lives they lost. I thought that was a very creative concept. This apocalyptic novel also has a dystopian feel, along with some romance, and some intense situations. If you enjoy this type of novel, then The Fallen World series series is something you might want to check out.
Posted April 5, 2013
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