Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 164
Hearts Still Beating
(Updated: May 02, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked: Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance where not even a plague can stop love. This story had me glued right from the start. Fifteen-year-old Rory and Mara shared a kiss. Then hours later the plague hits. In this case, those bitten by the deadly virus become 'Ticks'. It's kind of like zombies. The story starts with Mara in a facility being treated with a daily injected drug Dyebucetin, that suppresses the urge to kill but doesn't bring Ticks back to life. To Mara's surprise, she's told she'll be sent to her godparent's place on an island outside of San Diego, California. Unfortunately, they are Rory's parents. Mara fears seeing Rory again, especially after what she did.

Rory is now hardened and is angry that her parents have accepted Mara into their home. Everyone has lost someone, including Rory. Not all are happy at Mara and the Altered(Ticks who have been rehabilitated) coming to their town. This includes Mal, the leader of the island.

Action-packed scenes include the 'pit' where Rory is thrown in with Ticks. The story is told in both Mara and Rory's POV. Each carries their pain and regrets. Add to this Mara's older sister Carter who refuses to forgive Mara after she slaughtered their parents.

Sapphic romance set behind a world gone mad with violence, hatred, and the walking undead. The major plus of this novel has to be the chemistry that sizzles between Rory and Mara. You can't help but hope that Mara gets cured and they get back together again.

Warm Bodies meets queer romance set in a world-turned-topsy turvy and a love that survives all odds.
Good Points
1. Great chemistry
2. Post apocalyptic romance
3. GLBTQ representation
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