The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"The End of All Things" has everything: action, suspense, heartache, romance, and humor, expertly blended into a compelling, cohesive, and wholly enjoyable story that leaves you thirsting for the sequel.
But for all it has, its most prized possession is its heart, a stubborn, courageous, tender heart so large it needs be divided among a man, a woman, a horse, a wolf, and a cat.
No, that's not a typo.
But rest assured: this is no wacked-out Animal Farm-esque traveling roadshow. This is a story about survival, about finding the will to rebuild as the world you knew crumbles around you in virus-riddled heaps on the side of abandoned roads. It’s about following your instincts and developing new ones as the old ones fail. And it’s about discovering the true definitions of society, freedom, life, and love.
In a more concrete sense, the story is about Carly and Justin—a dutiful daughter and former solider—who meet outside Carly’s apartment despite her resistance. She is content to hole up there, venturing out only to care for her wolf (who she thinks is a dog) and forage in the local supermarket for goods, going so far as to leave payment for everything she takes. Her good intentions notwithstanding, Justin convinces her she cannot survive an Alaskan winter alone, and she decides to join his trek to Florida’s warmer climate, hoping to arrive before winter sets in.
Their journey is anything but simple, but Bryan’s easy prose well captures its highs and lows. With beautiful dexterity, she keeps a steady eye on both the looming external dangers and the subtle intimacies blossoming between her leading man and woman, and what results will have you smiling one minute and gasping in shock the next.
But this is the world Carly and Justin inhabit, and their struggles to adjust become ours. We want them to stay healthy and reach Florida, but more than anything, we want them to reach a place of internal peace, a place where they can see themselves and each other clearly, and maybe see a path toward a new way of living as well.
Whatever they find, however they find it, with Lissa Bryan at the helm, you can bet it will be worth the trip. And having relished this book, I can promise that it is.
View all my reviews