I’m starting to see results from all those copies of What We Need to Survive I’ve been sending out to reviewers through TBRH. Yeah, okay, one of them was just a two-star, but that’s going to happen–not everyone is going to like my work, and that’s okay!
But I got a pretty glowing one just this past weekend that I wanted to share. This is the sort of quality reviewer you can find through TBRH, which is such a great resource for indie authors!
The world got infected with a mysterious disease, which killed off most of the population in a short period of time. Everything’s changed: there’s no electricity, no working factories, no way to connect with other people other than in person. Those who survived either prefer to stay in one place or to walk from town to town, trying to find food and supplies they need to stay alive. Paul belongs to the second group and he’s used to traveling alone, but one day he meets a group of strangers and decides to join them. As they walk through deserted areas together, Paul starts to notice the advantages of not being alone anymore. He’s especially interested in quiet and introverted Nina, whom he can’t quite figure out. Will traveling together bring them closer? And what are the odds to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where every person you meet might be your enemy?
‘What We Need to Survive’ is the first book in the What We Need trilogy, written by the American author Elena Johansen. I’m glad there are two more books to read, because I’m definitely not ready to part with Paul and Nina yet!
From a post-apocalyptic story you’d probably expect a lot of action, battles, zombies or governmental conspiracies – that’s what other PA books and movies are usually about. I’m not into those things, so I’m glad this book is nothing like that. It focuses on everyday life of those who survived the plague and try to stay alive in this new reality. It’s about human relations, learning to trust and help each other, about friendship and love, which make it easier to live day by day, when the future is so uncertain.
The author created a group of well-constructed, three-dimensional characters with great dynamics between them. My favourites are definitely Paul and Nina. Paul is a strong, tough man with a tender, caring heart, always ready to help the others. He’s also musically talented and I have to admit I have a weak spot for fictional guys who can sing and play instruments. Nina is more withdrawn, she doesn’t let her emotions show and it’s not easy to earn her trust, but she cares deeply about her little group.
The romance between Paul and Nina is one of the main threads of the book, but thankfully it’s free from clichés like insta-love or ‘we survived so let’s live like there’s no tomorrow’. It’s a delicious, slow-burn romance – there’s no rushing into things, just because they both survived the plague. They’re slowly getting to know each other, gaining mutual trust, and one of them needs to work hard to let their guards down and open up for the possibility of falling in love and building a relationship.
‘What We Need to Survive’ is a very well-written, captivating novel you won’t be able to put down. It conveys a message that there’s always hope, and love and friendship can grow even on the ashes of the world as we know it.