Welcome to Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi, a YA dystopian with zombies!
The Story- Peyton is a typical teenager living in a world of technological advances. Advances she doesn’t get to use because her father is a mad scientist and conspiracy theorist. Every day after school she is forced to train with her dad to survive “the end of the world.”
And surprise, surprise, a horrible plaque comes along and wipes out 90% of the population, leaving the rest either alive or a zombie. Peyton is safe in her father’s bunker and lives there for four years, preparing to face whatever is left of the world. When she emerges, the world is different, but she still has the task her father gave her before sealing her in the bunker -Find him at Disney World in Florida, where he is building a safe haven.
Her father has surgically enhanced her with razorblade fingernails and cyber nano’s that let her face off against the zombies. Early in her journey she runs into an old boyfriend, who is taking care of a bunch of rag tag children. Together they all travel thousands of miles to find Peyton’s father and the hope of a more normal life. Too bad the lies are even bigger than Peyton can imagine.
My Thoughts- I enjoyed the book, though wish there had been more zombie action. Overall, the plot is fun. The chapters switch back and forth between before the plague and then after when Peyton is traveling. I found the most exciting part actually the pre plague stuff. Watching normal life tumble out of control and people trying to deal with things had me turning the pages. I really liked when Peyton and Chase secretly go to the local hospital and discover the “truth” about the plague. There is a great scene with a trash compactor.
I wish there had been more obstacles in the way as the group traveled south to Florida. It seemed to me they should have run into a lot more problems. They really only run into one. But, this scene does have a great Mad Max Thunder dome theme going on.
Something I found well done was the issue of Chase’s drug dependency. It made perfect sense to me that a teenager left in a world of zombies, might not be able to handle things, and would turn to drugs. His dependency is not severe, but it does place his group into danger a couple times and he has to learn to overcome his addiction for the benefit of Peyton and the children they are sheltering.
Also, I love the twist at the end when Peyton finally makes it to Disney World. You’ll have to read the book to find out.