Sherry and her family have spent over 3 years living in their underground bunker and it has been months since they last had any contact with the outside world. They were sent into hiding by a rabies outbreak that infected most of the population of LA. Sherry's family have run out of food and they're getting desperate, forced to go in search of supplies she leaves the safety of the bunker with her father. They had no idea what to expect but they find a very different city to the one they left behind - deserted and practically destroyed there appear to be no survivors. But then they come under attack and Sherry's father is taken. Sherry is rescued by Joshua who explains that the people infected by the virus were turned into Weepers - frightening zombie like creatures who are intent on death and destruction and who can't be reasoned with despite their obvious intelligence. With Joshua's help can Sherry track down her father and get the rest of her family to safety?
The Other Life is one of those books that had me gripped from the moment I picked it up, Sherry has a great voice and you can see how hard it has been for her whole family being stuck in their tiny bunker. I could feel her desperation just for a change of scenery and I thought that the tension between family members was captured really well. No matter how close you are to your family just imagine spending 24 hours a day 7 days a week with them, stuck in close quarters and with no other company. Yes, that's my idea of a nightmare too and it's a wonder they haven't killed each other! Apart from the fact that I don't have a bunker hidden away in my garden what struck me most about the story was how realistic it felt, it was easy to imagine these events actually occurring and that is what makes it even more scary to read.
Sherry shows incredible bravery in her determination to find her father and the more contact she has with the Weepers the more you fear for her safety. This really is quite a creepy book and there are a few heart in mouth moments while you're reading it. Once the action gets started it is pretty non-stop but I also enjoyed the sections showing Sherry's life before the virus hit. I liked the slowly developing relationship between Sherry and Joshua, this is no case of insta love and the romance doesn't overshadow the main story line but is a nice added extra.
The Other Life was a fast paced read that I didn't want to put down and is a great debut from Susanne Winnacker. Although the story doesn't end with a major cliff hanger I'm really looking forward to the sequel, especially after developments at the end of the book! This is definitely a story I'll be recommending to fans of dystopian or post apocalyptic fiction and zombies.