Realizing the Layers of Reality in Fiction

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Vestige by Caroline George a book review on Reading List

Who remembers I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (or even the Will Smith movie adaptation)? Or what about The Road by Cormac McCarthy- that's more recent...?  Are these the kind of books you would pick up?

Well, I'll be honest, I tend to avoid these stories like the plague... I just allow the stories into my mind and fear haunts me long after I have finished the story.  So maybe I should have looked into this story a bit more before I agreed to read it... but hey when an author is chatting with you on social media, and you realize you like her purpose for the story... well anyway... this book is vastly different than the books I typically share....



The Vestige by Caroline George a book review on Reading List


The Vestige 

Caroline George




Story Overview


Life hasn't been easy for Julie Stryker... Yet she continues to live as the days bring healing and a new normal to her.  She dreams of the future, and what life could be like while she works at a small coffeehouse.  Even though he dreams of the future, she doesn't pay close attention to the details of life day to day.  

When she meets a handsome guy at the coffee house one day, her eyes slowly open to the strangeness of her small town in South Carolina. Maybe life isn't as normal as she thought.  After a horrible accident - or rather what she thinks is an accident- she finds out that the end of the world has already happened... and the surviving humans are completely unaware. 

Everything she knows to be real changes in a blink as she finds a new purpose. 

Personal Likes


I mostly appreciated the uniqueness of this story - it's clearly science fiction. Yet there is a level to that could fit into the horror genre I mentioned earlier as the end of the world isn't pretty at all here.  Caroline George has a fresh take on the YA sci-fi genre that could grab a ton of readers.

Then there is the real family of the Strykers - they were dealt some tough hits. Julie's mom and dad acted like actual people and crumbled - yet time moved forward, and healing comes with time whether we want it to or not.  And in this George did an excellent job.

Another plus, there are a ton of different kinds of characters. Sure there are typical stereotypes, yet there is a more complex nature to each character which allows for the story to bloom in a way many YA sci-fi books never do.


The Vestige by Caroline George a book review on Reading List


Personal Dislikes


Let me first say this is just not my kind of story... I don't like to think of some of the possibilities that are brought up in this piece of fiction because I don't like to be scared by books.  The news takes care of that just fine on its own.  So there's that.

And because I was a little leery of the genre once I figured out the details... I started to see too many flaws in keeping the pace up.  In order to allow for the quick pace of the book, recoveries were rushed, especially mentally.

Another issue with the need to keep up the pace were some plot holes... when the main character is acting on an idea that every character in the story knows about the reader is clueless... well that doesn't read well to me.  Again this is a genre thing - which is why I would say this book reaches into the horror category at least a bit...


Reading List Rating


So I'm giving this book a three heart rating because my issues with it were because this isn't my kind of genre or story - not really.  I wanted to love it because I'm a huge fan of George now... and she did an excellent job at setting up the story and making the world & characters come to life... but in the end, it just wasn't my kind of story.  Me and zombies or aliens or any of the like tend not to go too well.





My Suggested Audience

This book is categorized as a teen book - and I would agree. The character is a teen girl living her life like most American teenagers... dreaming of the future while holding down a part-time job and thinking about the next steps for school.  I would probably say since the topic is a bit gruesome this could be for older teens - maybe 16+. There are possible triggers for those who have lost a family member to a serious illness, and connections to the military that might be a little rough.  And then there is the whole end of the world, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse side that can be a little gruesome... As far as romance... there is a love story, it's not as prominent in the need to be warned against especially if the audience is 16+.

As far as this book for adult audiences, it's clearly a YA book - but if this is the kind of story that you enjoy, you will probably find it a fun read. It is certainly a change of pace from most books out for YA right now. 






Wondering Questions to Consider

In case you didn't know, Caroline George works with creative minds to help share God's word to a new generation - more specifically she hopes to help get stories out to the mainstream that help tear about the stereotypes of what it is to be a Christ-follower.  So with that in mind, we can read her words with a different understanding...  She is telling a story about the end of the world... and what that could mean... and how lives would be changed...

What kind of Truth is there to the end of the world? What would you do if you realized the end of the world was upon you?




The Vestige by Caroline George a book review on Reading List



Are you a fan of the apocalyptic storytelling? Would you be willing to read a story that isn't your kind of story because you agreed with the goals of the writer? If you are a fan of the end of the world story, what was last one you read and enjoyed?


I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!




Marissa @ Reading List








***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Evernight Teen. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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16 comments

  1. Love your analysis and honesty about what draws you to certain stories, and I think I have a similar appetite...when I do read fiction, that is, which is, rarely! I'm a nonfiction girl. The quote at the end is interesting...I don't believe it's our job to fix anyone, but in fact, my confession is that the one thing I know for sure is: I am broken, but enough. :)

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    1. Thank Michelle - I know this book is going to really be perfect some readers, and she brings up some interesting points about our responsibility as people to look out for each other... I went through a few years where I read mostly nonfiction... I go in cycles... and I love finding quotes that are interesting and worth talking about. Thanks for stopping over!

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  2. What a great book review. I'm not sure if it sounds like one I would enjoy, but I know someone who would enjoy this and will pass it along. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. That is completely fair... not all books are for all people... but it's great that you will be able to pass this one along to someone else. Thank you!

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  3. I personally really enjoy sci-fi fiction and end of the world stories. I really appreciate the author's intention behind her work! What an awesome mission. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion instead of praising a book that just wasn't your style. I appreciate honesty over false flattery.

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    1. Thank you Amanda. I know books are not always for everyone, but we can still appreciate it and share it those who will enjoy it. I hope you have a chance to check this book out.

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  4. Really liked this post :) I LOVE apocalyptic stories! Have you read Frank Schätzing The Swarm?

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    1. I'm glad I am sharing a genre you enjoy! I have not... this isn't really my genre... I have a friend who loves these kinds of books though and she talks about it often

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  5. This sounds like a book that I would enjoy! We are going on vacation this weekend and while I'm going to really try to unplug (not sure that will happen but hey!) I will totally pick this up and bring it along!

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    1. It is releasing tomorrow! So perfect! Grab it and enjoy

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  6. Great book review! It sounds like a book I'd enjoy, depending on my mood. I go through phases with genres. I'll have to keep this one in mind. :)

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    1. Yes, this is a different kind of book for sure... but changing up the genre is one of the best parts of books

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  7. Marissa,
    Thanks for sharing openly about your book interests. You made it clear a few times that this isn't your type of book; how'd you end up reading it if you don't mind me asking? One other question about the book: I like movies/books with these sorts of stories, but after becoming a Christian it obviously became difficult to find many that are spiritually appropriate. It sounds like you're saying the author wants to share God's Word, so was this a sort of Christian horror or end of world account?

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    1. I read many books that don't always fit my preferred genres, because that is how we grow as readers. This particular one was given to me from the author herself as we chatted often on Instagram.

      This is an end of the world story - it will force readers to ask questions about what will happen when their lives end... so while there is no real Christian points in the story, it allows for a conversation that is worth more than a sentence about faith in a book.

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  8. I enjoy light hearted stories like this. I know it doesn't seem like a light-hearted topic, but it depends on the way the topic is handled. I don't like anything too serious.

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    1. I get what you're saying... the fantasy aspect of it allows us to know it's not real, and therefore the seriousness isn't there.

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