by Mari Mancusi
Published March 8th 2012 by NLA Digital
Can true love survive the end of the world?
Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family--and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind.
All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why.
Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgramage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all while attempting to save what's left of the human race?
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Publication Date: March 8th 2012
Publisher: NLA Digital
Format: eARC, ? pages
It's the year of 2030, and fifteen-year-old Peyton Anderson wouldn't go out with Chris Parker if he was the last guy on Earth. She's also not very happy about her crackpot of a father, who will tell anyone who'll listen about how The End of Days is coming soon and how dangerous the government is. Oh, and he won't let her have any of the advanced technology that everybody else has because he's so afraid the government might be monitoring them. And he most certainly won't allow her to get her LTF, a License to Fu--, well, you get the idea. Its real name is the Copulation Conditional and nobody can have sex without this license, and it's only given to those who have taken their AIDS vaccine. But, like with everything else, her father doesn't trust this vaccine... and this time his craziness just might be right.
All of a sudden people start falling sick. First it's just a few isolated cases, quickly covered by the government... but then the disease starts to quickly spread. The first sign of Super Flu is people coughing blood. After that they might die...or not. If they don't die, they become 'zombies'. At the beginning it only happens to those who have taken the AIDS vaccine, that is, all the adults and a handful of teens. But then the virus seems to evolve, becoming airborne. And that's when 'The End of Days' Dr.Anderson has been talking about all this time really makes an appearance.
Peyton is slowly starting to warm up to Chris, she might even be falling in love, but the evident Apocalypse threatens to separate them. Chris and a few other kids decided to run to the mountains to scape the disease and 'the Others' (zombies), and Peyton had every plan to go with them... but after being experienced on and cybernetically enhanced by her father, she is forced to enter an underground shelter, equipped with every necessary provisions, with her mother. Her father assures her it would open in four years, after which she would have one mission. To find her father and save the world.
It's 2034 and the world is a very different place. Peyton is a very different person. She doesn't know what has been happening these last four years, who has survived and who hasn't... the only thing she does know is that she must join her father in California. To be more exact, she needs to go to DisneyWorld. That's where he told her a group of his scientists friends would be, working on a cure. So that's where she's going... until she meets him again. Chris Parker, who might as well be the last guy on Earth.
I expected Tomorrow Land to have a completely different story... and to be much better. Honestly, Peyton sort of pissed me off AND confused me. One moment she's saying how much she can't stand Chris and how he has been stalking her since they were kids and all... and the next she just can't believe how great a guy he is and oh, she just might be falling for him. Seriously, it all changed radically in just a matter of a few days. Sorry, but I couldn't swallow that.
And when they were finally reunited four years later, things still didn't go very smoothly with me. Or with them. There was waaaaay too much drama. Oh, she stood me up four years ago, I can't just forgive her. Oh, I can't explain to him why I stood him up four years ago, so I'll just be cold. Oh, I need to be strong, so I'll ignore her and push her away. Oh, I need to save the world and be on my own, so I'll just ignore him and push him away. Oh, he's a lying junky, I can't trust him. Oh, she just won't trust me, so I'll give up on her. Oh, I've been bitten by a zombie, so I'll be cold and push her away yet again for no apparent reason. Jeez! Drama much?? O.o I was like: WAKE UP, you two losers! It's the freaking end of the world, you have half a dozen kids to take care of (kids that are not well explained or well utilized as they should), tons os zombies to kill and hundreds of miles to cover til Florida, and all they can think of is stupid reasons not to be together. Either just break up or not. It was like the zombies were getting smarter and the main characters were getting more stupid...
The book felt like it was too long and it dragged quite a bit. It seems to me like there were lots of unnecessary things and pages and many issues that could have been better developed. The ending, by itself, wasn't surprising. But its abruptness was. The whole thing was very brusque. Too much description, not enough action. I believe the whole 'phantom city with zombie fights' could have been completely deleted to make room for a more decent ending.
But even with all those many things that bothered me, I still couldn't put the book down. I read the whole thing, because I really wanted to see what would happen. Strange, but true. I guess that's why there are so many 5 star reviews of it.
If you like apocalyptic YAs with lots of zombies and difficult romances, then you might enjoy Tomorrow Land.
* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*