The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

11:08 AM

Title: The Lives We Lost (Fallen World #2)
Author: Megan Crewe
Release Date: February 12, 2013 (hardcover)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 288
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 5 Stars

First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends. Then, her family. Now it’s taken away her home.

But she can't look back—the life she once had is gone forever.

A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?

Megan Crewe's second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.

My Thoughts:  
Any hope I regained after the sudden appearance of Kaelyn's childhood best friend, Leo, at the end of The Way We Fall was quickly smothered once I began reading The Lives We Lost. Cut off from the rest of the world, Kaelyn and her friends thought their quarantined island was the only place affected by the deadly virus, but Leo's arrival changes everything. They were wrong. So. Very. Wrong. The epidemic which spread through her community in Nova Scotia has spread across North America.

Unlike The Way We Fall, the novel isn't narrated in journal format, but The Lives We Lost doesn't lose its very personal touch. We still learn Kaelyn's fears and regrets, and admire her determination to live when it could be easier just to simply give up. Leo may be back, but it's not the reunion Kaelyn would have ever imagined. He's haunted by the past and the terrible things he went through just to get back to the island all the way from New York. And he's not the only one scarred and hurt. Kaelyn, her boyfriend Gav, her friend Tessa, and younger cousin Meredith have also each lost so much in such a short time. It broke my heart in The Way We Fall to see them in such pain, and I was sad all over again while I read The Lives We Lost.

When Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she immediately understands just how important it is to find a way to replicate it. The only known cure to the virus which may very well save humanity is in her hands. Kaelyn must leave the island and venture to Toronto, where she's sure she'll find more advanced labs and hospitals, but the journey will be fraught with danger. There are people with less than honourable intentions who would do anything to have the cure for themselves.

What terrifies me most about these post-apocalyptic novels is that it's not too difficult to imagine the events coming true in reality. Megan Crewe's The Lives We Lost is a continued test of survival, difficult choices, and what we're willing to sacrifice for the sake of another. I'm highly anticipating The Worlds We Make, the conclusion to the Fallen World trilogy.

Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! If you missed is before, you can also read Megan Crewe's guest post with pandemic survival tips during the blog tour for The Lives We Lost! You can also learn more about the novel on Disney-Hyperion's unRequired Reading website, and if you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow HBG Canada on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page!

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