This is my stop during the blog tour for Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 30 July till 12 August. See the tour schedule here.
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.
Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
You can find Everything Under the Sun on Goodreads
You can buy Everything Under the Sun here on Amazon
Thais Fenwick and her family has been living in a small community tucked into the mountains of Kentucky ever since civilization ended with The Sickness. After The Fall, there were no more hospitals, police, or stores where you could shop. Electricity along with clean water was gone. The new world they were living in was harsh with barely enough food to feed their community. Their community was safe for the past few years from the harsh realities of the big cities, but there time being free became short lived when they were found by raiders. Thais escaped with her sister, only to be captured later by a scouting party and brought to the Capital East-Central Territory where her fate rests solely in the hands of Atticus Hunt.
Atticus is a soldier filling in as Overseer for the Capital East-Central Territory. His life too has been altered by The Fall. He has done things he is not proud of to survive in the new world. He was once a good and caring man with honor and integrity, but that all changed with the loss of his family and his new role as a soldier to an Overlord with a cruel streak intent with ruling over the territories with an iron fist. Atticus does what he has to do to survive, dying a little inside the longer he stays in the Capital East-Central Territory. When Thais arrives along with other bound women, he can’t help the protective streak he feels for her.
With nothing to live for, can Atticus be the man he once was and help Thais escape a life of servitude?
I must admit, I was a bit shocked when I first looked at this book and realized it was over 600 pages long. Thinking it would take me days to read, I buckled down intent on at least starting with the first quarter of the book. After reading the first few pages, I was completely hooked and that quarter of the way reading I slotted in slowly started turning into reading half the book and before I realized it hours had passed and I could not even put it down. Nothing and I do mean nothing was going to pull me away! Everything Under the Sun is absolutely phenomenal. It is everything I envision a Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic book to be. Throw in a romance between the two main characters and now I think I am in love…..with the author! Like seriously, this book is game changing. Jessica Redmerski just completely dominated the Dystopian genre.
I don’t even know where to start with what I liked about the story. So, let’s start with the characters first. Thais is such a sweet innocent girl. She is kind, loves her family, would do anything to protect them, but you get glimpses of the fierceness that she doesn’t even know she possesses. She has a lot of heart and forgiveness in her heart as well especially when it comes to Atticus. She should hate him, but she doesn’t. Atticus makes decisions in the beginning when they first meet that completely shatter Thais’ world. But, yet she is drawn to him and shows him compassion. Atticus deep down is a good guy who has done bad things in order to survive. He hates himself. Atticus feels as if all of the goodness in him has been destroyed and buried so far deep that there is no way he could ever be the man he once was. Yet, Thais does something to him and he fights for her survival and safety. In a way, fate through tragedy brought them together as no one else has the power to heal Atticus like Thais. Their romance was realistically done and was a slow buildup throughout the story which I felt added more believability through their long journey.
The plot follows along smoothly through the transitions and it is filled with not only action, but a road romance weaved in. I enjoyed Thais and Atticus getting to know each other while he is doing his best to get her to safety. Their trip is filled with a lot of ups and downs with people they come across along the way. I never felt like the story lulled at all for me. I found myself just as engrossed the entire way through and to be honest I think anything less than the 600 plus pages would not have been as satisfying or would have allowed for the character growth of both Thais and Atticus. You can see how they both change along the way, both for the better. However, the story does end on a major cliffhanger.
Everything Under the Sun is a complex and exhilarating Dystopian/Romance with heartwarming and flawed characters and a story with intricate layers that simply moved me. This story is by far my top Dystopian read of the year! I am highly anticipating the second installment and pray that it comes out soon. I am just that hooked! I do admit this is my first read by Jessica Redmerski and I am kicking myself for not finding this author sooner. Redmerski writes with such passion and feeling. Her words completely melt me. I am in complete awe of her writing and the way she weaves a story. Do not let the page count scare you away. Every single page is well worth the read and deserving of way more than 5 stars.
Excerpt: “AND YOU ASK WHY?”
“Why are you so angry, Atticus?” My voice was soft and concerned now.
He blinked, but offered no response.
“I’ve seen men fight before,” I went on, “but I’ve never seen a man as angry at the world as you are. The way you beat that man in your room”—I shook my head with despondency—“the one just now; Atticus, you’re just so full of rage and hate. Why?”
He snorted, as if he’d found my question ridiculous.
“Why?” he mocked incredulously, holding out his hands, palms up. “I’ll tell you why, Thais: at every turn someone wants to rob or maim or kill us; we can’t sleep, night or day, without the thought in our heads as we close our fucking eyes that we might not wake up.” He gestured his arms wildly, his features constricted with indignation. “We’re covering our shit up like animals, sleeping in ditches, watching over our shoulder every second of every day for the chaos to grab us by the ankles and pull us down with it—and you ask why?”
I sat against my quilt, unable to stand to hear this truth. And as if his movements depended on mine, Atticus fell into a crouch in front of me, bouncing on the toes of his boots. I never looked away from the pull of his gaze, trapped by the intensity of it.
“I haven’t slept since you arrived in Lexington City,” he went on. “When I saw you that day, clutching your sister as she was ripped away from you; when you lay on the sidewalk, begging me to help you—it did two things to me, Thais”—he held up two fingers, and then dropped them between his legs—“it fucking killed me; the things I had to do, the part I had to play in not only your fate, but the fate of every girl in those ropes—it fucking killed me! It killed what little was left of my humanity!” His voice had risen with his heated words, his memories, but then he paused to calm himself, lowering his head but for a moment.
I remained motionless, speechless, but my heart began to ache and fill up at the same time. I listened raptly to every word, my heart breaking as he spoke them.
“It killed me,” he repeated. “But then something reached into Hell, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back. I died that day in the street, Thais Fenwick; I died and then there I was, looking down at you with the eyes of the man I used to be, and I wanted to help you. I still fought with myself after that, but I wasn’t going to let you die or be raped or forced to marry a man you didn’t love—I didn’t know what to do, but I was going to do something, goddammit.”
I sighed. I wanted to hold him, but all I could do was sigh.
About the Author:
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.
She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Everything Under the Sun. 3 winners will each win a signed paperback copies of Everything Under the Sun, along with signed bookmarks and postcards (United States and Canada only).
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