Shandy L. Kurth began writing at a very young age and completed her first manuscript length piece when she was twelve. Her writing has grown and evolved since then and she is known for taking her readers on a 'roller coaster ride' of emotion. She writes in the Young Adult and New Adult genre.
"When I am writing, I just can't wait to see whats going to happen next! If you don't like my characters don't blame me, blame them! They have a mind of their own. Happy Reading." ~Shandy L. Kurth
I won "Devastation" in a contest held by Shandy. I knew this book was a dystopian so there was no doubt I would like it, but OH MY GOD!!!! I was blown away. Right from the beginning it captured my attention. The action, the violence, the pulse pounding hope that these characters wouldn't be caught was never ending. The chapters are short and begin with where each set of characters is located as they make their way to the `Safe Zone'. I loved all the characters, they each had such strength and courage that I found myself urging them to continue on. Fallon is by far my favorite though; his bravery and leadership were impressive. He takes on the responsibility of getting this group of left behind kids to safety when no one else bothers. I want to put this book into the hands of all the youth who play war video games and think it would be cool to be a part of (dearest nephew Kaleb, I'm talking about you) I swear this book would put those games to shame. The most unbelievable aspect of the book was who was causing the destruction. I have never wanted to give a book a 6 star rating but "Devastation" gets it. With most dystopians, while they're great reads, I always have the thought that the plot is highly unlikely to come true. This is an undeniably possible portrayal of a future I hope to never witness. Spectacular, phenomenal, mind blowing!!!!!!! Give me the next book please.
"Devastation" is set in 2032, and it follows a group of kids and a soldier as they try to escape from the war raging around them, a war between the U.S. and a very unlikely foe. Some of the children are related, and they are trying to save what little family they have left; others meet each other along the way and work to protect one another from the hazards of war, the elements, and just plain dehydration and exhaustion.
This book really pulled me in. As an American, I kept trying to put myself in the children's shoes, asking, "What would I do if this really happened?" (Answer: Probably die.) The opposing country is somewhat out of left field (for me anyway), but I think that really added to the story, just the simple fact that a country many Americans wouldn't dream of going to war with is attacking the U.S., and winning. Aside from that aspect, the relationships between the characters was very life-like, as they're just kids (the oldest is seventeen) trying to stay alive and help one another get to The Safe Zone in the South.
Meanwhile, we also get the perspective of a soldier from the opposing army, who is starting to wonder whether or not his side is right. His inner dilemma was very intriguing for me, as I know several soldiers who are overseas now, and they've often discussed feeling that dichotomy between what your country's asked of you and how you truly feel about the situation around you.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian stories, thrillers, action/adventure, and/or anybody who just wants to know who the other country is and why they've declared war against the U.S.!
5 stars, and I can't wait for "Isolation," the continuation of this dynamic story.
Imagine......The life you once had and everything and I DO mean everything in it has been destroyed, and you could be the ONLY survivor......You search high and low for shelter, saftey, and food, and ending up finding none of it......That's what happens in this book. Survivor's trying to survive after a military attack. Very fast paced and easy read!! I LOVEd this book and in my opinion, it is a MUST read!! Thank you, Author Shandy L Kurth for such a heart pounding, eye awakening story!! This could be us someday!!(less)
Wow what an intense book. Zombies, aliens, monster don't bring down civilization, people do. This book was an emotional roller coaster. I cried for these brave kids and just wanted them to find safety. The things they went thru not only on the run and when they where in the hands of the enemy but also the torture they endured by the ones who are supposed to keep them safe. Great book that just pulls you in and has you hoping and wishing that something like this never happens.
This story is fast paced, constantly changing and keeps you on your toes. I love the characters and their adventure. I cried so hard because you start to care for each of them. Shandy takes you on a journey through a new war, a devastated America and a fight for survival from several different characters eyes by way of continually changing groups. It broke my heart how people can lose their humanity and all their morals due to hunger, violence and fear but Shandy truly wrote a believable story line and events that could truly transpire when people lose hope. Although I really enjoyed this page turning read I did not feel it really had an ending or maybe it just didn't tie up all the loose ends as I felt it should. (I have since learned that there is a second book.)I also feel that readers need to know that there is a lot of religious parts, references, prayers, scripture, etc. I think it tied in nicely and added to the strength of the characters by showing how their beliefs contributed to their strength and morals but I know there are a lot of readers who might not be open to it and should be aware of it prior to choosing to read Devastation.