I really liked The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker! Right from the very first page, the story and the characters really grabbed me, especially the main character, Sherry. I found it really interesting seeing this new world from her perspective, seeing the way in which her family copes and watching as Sherry adjusts to this new environment. And at the same time, the beginning of each chapter is laid out as a snippet of the other life, the one that Sherry used to lead.
A life that no longer exists, as for the past 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days, Sherry and her family have been living in a bunker away from the world and away from the disease that has swept across Los Angeles. It began as a strain of rabies which has turned its victims into Weepers - deadly monsters whose aim it is to hunt and kill.
When Sherry's family is forced out of the bunker when their food runs out, Sherry is confronted with a whole new world. A Los Angeles that is nearly empty and lifeless. And as she sees sunlight and rain for the first time, Sherry also has to deal with the fact that her father has been captured and the only person that can help save him is Joshua, a troubled boy on a mission to destroy every last Weeper.
I really enjoyed this story, I found Sherry and Joshua to be interesting characters who I wanted to find out more about. I found this population-free LA to be an image that has stayed with me, the Weepers to be suitably horrifying and creepy and dangerous. And while at times, things felt a little convenient - in that Sherry meets this bad-ass Weeper killer at the exact right moment who happens to also live with a knowledgeable scientist who knows plenty about the rabies epidemic and is able to answer questions about Weepers - I was still able to move past that quickly and connect to the story. I liked the tenuous beginning to this relationship between Sherry and Joshua, I found it to be quite sweet. There was plenty of danger and edge-of-my-seat action that had me furiously turning the pages!
The ending to The Other Life is especially surprising and makes me feel very differently about everything. This is a fun and interesting debut novel and a good start to a new zombie series!