Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire


Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Atria Books (October 1, 2013)

Rating: C+
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Scarlet – Mother, Trying to Find Her Children
Hero: Nathan – Father, Trying to Find Safety for Daughter






Red Hill is told in three points-of-view.

Scarlet is a mom of two girls and recently divorced. When the outbreak hits, her only goal is to reach her girls, Jenna and Halle. She'll stop at nothing—and let no one—get in her way. Alive or dead.

Nathan is a dad of one girl and, though still married, has been estranged from his wife for years. When he hears about the outbreak on the radio, he rushes to his daughter’s school. His only goal is to find someplace safe for him and his daughter, Zoe.

Miranda, the daughter of one Scarlet’s co-workers, is traveling to her dad's farmhouse for a weekend getaway with her boyfriend, Bryce, and her sister Ashley and Ashley’s boyfriend, Cooper. When they hear about the outbreak, all she wants is to get to her dad. She knows he’ll keep them safe.

Three lives become interconnected by the outbreak. Each character has different, separate journeys that eventually interweave in dramatic ways. And all of them have only one goal: survival. No one is safe in this new world… and I do mean no one. Each character goes through hell. People are tested, bonds are made or broken, and many, many lives are lost.

The first 60% felt slow at times, following them as they tried to get to safety. It was interesting, don't get me wrong, but repetitive. The journey was the main focus—getting from Point A to Point B. The emotional aspect, where I became truly invested in each individual character, didn't hit me until later. Around the time they all reach Red Hill. And, even then, I was expecting more romance to come through. After reading the all-consuming romance that is Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy (Beautiful Disaster), I expected some element of deep, heart-melting love. Which, in my opinion, there just isn’t. With a tagline like "When the world ends, can love survive?", I expected more romance.

One of my biggest complaints is a major spoiler, so I can’t really touch on it at all. It made me question everything to do with one particular character… and it seemed like a bid for emotional turmoil that simply made me angry. I reread the scene twice to make sure it truly happened and then found myself going, “Why? Why? Why?!” I didn’t get that storyline at all.

Red Hill is, without a doubt, both absorbing and fascinating. It drew me in quickly and kept me turning the pages. Scarlet, Nathan, Miranda and the other survivors go through so much: panic, fear, desperation, loss, heartache... with brief moments of joy, happiness, and love. Though I definitely wouldn't classify this as a romance, there are moments of it. I also genuinely appreciated that all of the characters had watched a zombie flick or two and kind of knew what to do or not do. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was missing, except to say it needed… more. More struggle once they got to Red Hill, more drama that didn’t always involve a death, and – since I am a romance junkie – more love.


  1. Great review I have wanted to read this book because I loved that the author was taking a different approach. Its not on my immediate TBR after reading reviews but it will be interesting to see

    1. Thanks, Juewelz! <3

      I think it was great that the author wrote something different and is expanding herself as an author... but I also think this shouldn't have been marketed as a romance. And, really, the part I can't mention - I'm surprised it didn't tick more people off. :-/

      Still, I did enjoy it. Let me know what you think if/when you read it!


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