Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mini Review: Please Remain Calm

Please Remain Calm
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: January 20th, 2015
Kindle Edition, 96 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

In this gripping sequel to This is Not a Test, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more - people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can hold on long enough.

Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he's lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways.

In case you aren't aware yet, Courtney Summers is my favourite author. She writes broke characters who always seem to end up helping others or doing good things. This is what stood out in This is Not a Test. Sloane was suicidal, but ended up helping keep her classmates safe and falling for Rhys, in a world where zombies roam and lurk. The ending of This is Not a Test left everything open and scary. Rhys and Sloane had escaped the school and were in a car trying to get to a safe haven. Please Remain Calm picks up right where it left off, this time with Rhys narrating the story.

Rhys isn't sure if he can trust that Sloane will keep herself alive. He's afraid she'll throw herself at the zombies like she's done before and he's determined to get her to a safe spot before she can pull it off. With a beat up car and not enough gas, they set out in hopes of outrunning the undead. From the start, I was on edge. Rhys and Sloane out on their own with only a car and a baseball bat, not very promising. Every time they encountered zombies, I feared for their lives, hoping above all hope that they would make it out alive. When they got to the house, I relaxed, eager for a soft moment between the two of them. I didn't get one, but I can't say I was surprised. Sloane was going through so much that after seeing her sister die that it would be wrong for a romantic moment, but I can't say I didn't want it. The house was only the beginning and this short story threw me into a tailspin of emotions. When Rhys and Sloane get separated, I wasn't ready for what was to come. Rhys meets a family on their way to their own safe haven and he quickly becomes an important part to their survival. So much happens in such a short time and I don't want to ruin any of it, but there was no telling how this story would end and boy do I wish there was one more page!

Summers is a master story telling. She's taken a world we've seen on TV or read all about before and put her own spin on it, her own mark in the zombie genre. She puts her characters through hell and gives them. There was always an ounce of hope in the moments of darkness and even when I feared the worst, I somehow had faith it would be okay. Though I'm still not quite sure about that last page...

"I wonder if all hearts are made with the same pockets for fear and pain and sadness. They must not be, or if they are, maybe we all don't know how to use them. Because otherwise so many of our stories would have ended differently."

"Do you have a credit car or something?" I ask because who wouldn't have a credit card handy during the zombie fucking apocalypse."

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