Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Tomorrow Land - Mari Mancusi

I have to admit, I umm’d & ahh’d over what rating to give this one. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it because I believe I did to a certain degree. Maybe it’s down to the fact this is my first zombie novel.
I mean, I’ve read dystopia novels, but not with zombies–and this book almost felt like a mishmash of every one the zombie movies I’ve seen stuck into a blender with little bits of each making a predominant appearance as they smack against the glass. I don’t think there was a part in the book that I couldn’t relate to one film or another–apart from the ending, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
At around 50% through, I paused to ponder over whether or not I was bored or wanted to read on.
I did read on, obviously, but I can’t help but wonder if that was more due to a curiosity as to if Peyton and Chase would succeed, rather than because I couldn’t walk away from it.
Plus, it was a review copy, which always makes me try a little harder to plough on through.
My lack of excitement over it might have been that the two main character’s weren’t too easy to connect with, despite Peynton having great potential. I mean, she had ‘superhuman’ implants that made her stronger and more resilient and her acts always seemed to be an act of selflessness.
But I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ it.
Then there was Chase (or Chris). I liked him a lot more (liked his brother the author killed off even better). But even his feelings toward Peyton seemed forced, and he’d spent a lot longer developing his for her than she had for him. Maybe the fact he suddenly announced he was in love, when love should take a lot longer to develop than that for it to be as sustainable as the author portrayed it–and I can’t quite buy his infatuation with a girl who initially refused to acknowledge his presence as the catalyst or the beginning of that love.
Perhaps the lack of action in what could have been a constant-kick-a$$ of a book bothered me a little, too. Then there were the couple of twists I enjoyed, which would have made it more interesting had they not been something I’d already seen overdone before.
And the ending I mentioned. I didn’t see the deal with her dad coming. I really didn’t. But what I saw as the strongest plus of the book was then dressed down and skimmed over in a flash. We had a real opportunity to be ‘shown’ the conflict, to be made to ‘feel’ the emotions inflicted in Peyton over this deal, but it fell short of the mark by quite a long distance, I’m afraid.
Yet, despite all of my gripes, I still read on–because the one thing I totally 100% liked about this book was the alternating chapters from present to past, which seemed not only unique but a great way for portraying everything the reader needed to know without bogging them down in back story.
So, as you can see, I’m somewhat undecided. It seems a lot easier to state what bugged me about the book than what kept me reading. For that reason, I’ve decided to leave this one un-rated.