The Outside by Laura Bickle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Most of this reads different with its combination of Amish girl in the outside world that’s been knocked down by some mysterious vampire making pathogen. But OUTSIDE’s whole thing is actually faith, yet not one bit of it had me feeling ‘preached at.’ It’s this that had me enjoying the story more. It’s dark, for sure, with them cast out as they were, struggling to find a safe place, and them encountering the odd, the miraculous, the maybe insane, and the obviously dangerous.
So I enjoyed this mainly because in the face of all that, there he was with each bit of knowledge shared about this religion or that article of faith or that particular belief/ myth/ notion, to which his Bonnet Girl was questioning things, wondering over things, and how they’d compare toher truth. So that I came away with one clear thing: the girl’s an absolute rock. At least for the most part especially about who she is, what she wants to be, and where she wants to be. Her world’s gone insane, but not her.
Now, there’s a cutesy bonus of animal sidekick here… a bonus that I, maybe, could have done without because it felt almost trite to me. But darn it, this was a good story over all. The mismatched pair that she and her anthropologist made: him doubting the role he was to perform, and her weighing things and seeing things through (though, maybe they weren’t completely mismatched?) Each thing/ person they’d encounter as well as and each place they’d make a stop in had them seeing who they were to each other and what they brought to the table. And I liked them both even more because there’s a truthful way to the way they see each other. It’s not a love conquer all thing between them but a connection borne out of necessity. And while there’s truth to that last, it’s happily not the only thing between them. Point is I like that they’re not blind to anything about the person they’re with.
Then the whole end of the world thing… it doesn’t change them… or does it? Heh. The way things are resolved felt almost easy. Only as I later saw, nothing comes easy in this one.
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