Book Review: The Outside by Laura Bickle (3 stars)
The Outside by Laura Bickle
Genre: YA Horror, Vampires
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Published: September 3rd, 2013
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…
After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.
And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?
In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?
I was not blown away from THE OUTSIDE like I was with THE HALLOWED ONES. The novelty part about the first book with the blend of vampires and the Amish community is non-existent in this book. Besides Katie’s ignorance of modern movies and prudish behavior, she isn’t much different than the average heroine. Because of the dissapointment, I originally wanted to rate this book much lower. However, the book itself is not bad. It just wasn’t at all what I hoped for after loving THE HALLOWED ONES.
Katie, Alex, and Ginger are on the run from vampires that act so much like zombies that I keep wanting to call them that instead. They travel by day and rely on their religious protection during the night (Katie has her paper and Alex has his tattoos). The interactions between Katie and Alex highlight their fundamental differences and leaves no room for chemistry. Sorry romance fans!
I felt like the science aspect of the novel lacked credibility. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to explain without revealing major spoilers. Plus, the minor characters in the last couple chapters felt paper-thin and relied heavily on stereotypes. The ending made sense, but didn’t leave me satisfied. I’m actually relieved that there doesn’t seem to be a third book in the series.
In defense of Laura Bickle, her writing and scenes were fantastically written and the three main characters alive with personality. My favorite scenes were the ones inside the church with the pastor and his “pets”. LOVED the atmosphere of those scenes. If you are a fan of THE HALLOWED ONES, there is a good chance that you’d love THE OUTSIDE too. It just didn’t click with me.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)