Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Release Day Review: The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2) by Laura Bickle



Title: The Outside 
Series:  The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle
Publisher: Harcourt 
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Source: Publisher via Netgalley 
Purchase:  Amazon  |  B&N

One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

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“The hard part about the end of the world is surviving it, 
surviving when no angels scoop you up to fly you away to heaven.  
God doesn’t speak.  But I kept asking.”

The Outside was one of my most anticipated sequels for 2013, but I couldn’t imagine it being quite the thrill ride that The Hallowed Ones most assuredly was.   I can genuinely say that not only did this amazing sequel meet all of my expectations, but I found it to be even more captivating than its predecessor. I tried to pace myself, but this book demanded to be inhaled – and that is exactly what I did.  I could not put it down.  This book gave me all the feelings that I so dearly love and crave in this genre: racing heart, sweaty palms, and – most importantly – all the swooning I can handle.

“You’re beautiful when you’re covered up to your neck in Plain clothes.  
You’re beautiful when you’re plucking a chicken.  
You’re beautiful when you’re caked with mud.  
You’re beautiful when you’re praying. 
When you’re soaking wet.  And when you’re lying awake, fretting,
 thinking no one is watching… You’re beautiful when you’re powerful.  
And especially when you let your guard down.  When you trust.”

Like the first book, my favorite part of Katie’s story is her faith.  Whether she is struggling with it, defending it, questioning it, or trusting in it entirely – it is touching and poignant, and it speaks to me on so many levels.  I adore Katie – she has quickly become one of my favorite characters, due not only to her incredible strength but also to her infinite compassion.  Katie’s words and actions make me want to be the best person I can be, and I think that is the most unique and positive message a book can give to its readers.

This is such a difficult review to write because it’s killing me to hold back – I have SO much to say, so many quotes I wish I could share, and so many feelings about this amazing story that my review would be entirely too long and turn into one giant, spoilery novel.  To say more would spoil the very details that need to be explored firsthand by the reader.  With that being said, I cannot express enough how exciting and how moving this book is. I loved it from beginning to end, and it will be a series that I will revisit time and time again.  Laura Bickle is a must-read author, and I truly believe that every reader will find something to love in her Hallowed Ones series. 

“This time, when I walked away from him,
 it was without love and without hate. 
It was a profound sense of peace
 that I knew didn’t come from my own heart.
 It came from God.”

My Rating:

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  Quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change. 

chelesiggy

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