Review of The Trip

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Meghan is a senior in high school. For her senior summer, she’s planned the journey of a lifetime with her two friends: they will take a cross-country bicycle trip from their small Massachusetts hometown to Seattle, Washington.

Joining Meghan on the trip are Dave, who secretly has a crush on Meghan; and Chris, who has recently been diagnosed HIV positive as the result of a bad decision. 

As they plan their journey, a previously unidentified flu breaks out in India, beginning a relentless march around the globe. By the time Meghan and her friends are halfway across the country, the horrible truth is known: this is not a flu virus. This disease turns its victims into flesh-eating zombies. And it’s here.

Scared, exhausted and alone, the three decide to head home in a desperate race through infected territory. Can they survive THE TRIP?This was a buddy read for a Goodreads group I’m in, and this is seriously the second dud from that group. Maybe I need to actually read into more reviews before picking books…ANYWAY.

I love a good zombie story. Comics, movies, you name it. I will say, though, that I hate The Walking Dead show. I tend to not really care about survival stories. I want the constant, nonstop fear. But season one was really good, and then I just stopped caring. I feel like zombies stopped being a big pop culture thing back in 2012, once the world didn’t end. But I still enjoy zombies.

I started out enjoying this story, I did. You can tell Tim Morgan kinda knows what he’s doing when writing action, because it read like a script. Honestly, that’s a huge thing for me. I like having a very clear image in my head of what’s happening. However, that was the only redeeming point in the story.

God, these characters were SO BAD. Meghan was I guess supposed to be tough? But she just came across as pretty two-dimensional to me. I know her and the boys had a pact that they wouldn’t argue about decisions made once they drew reflectors (like drawing straws), but god, some of those decisions NEEDED to be argued against! I trusted her to stand up to these dumb boys and use common sense. But NOPE! Dave was at least tolerable, and his “secret” crush on Meghan isn’t a secret. But good lord, he was just as bland and boring as Meghan. I get that there’s a zombie apocalypse and all, but after one scene, it’s never mentioned again how much he liked Meghan. At all. They’re 18. They’re gonna have hormones swirling like mad, even if they are fighting for their lives.

SPEAKING OF HORMONES! I have never read a more unlikable character than Chris. Yes, HIV is terrible and awful. But homie would not be presenting the worst symptoms as early as he did. It’s like all anyone had to do was wave a pair of boobs at him and he’s gonna bang whoever they’re attached to. He was dumb, stubborn in the worst ways, and just overall shitty. I’ve met guys like him in real life, and I hated them, too. He had no personality beyond, Oh why oh why did this happen to me, I can’t catch HIV from a girl! SPOILERS, KIDS: YA CAN. WRAP IT UP.

What makes zombie stories great is that the zombie virus is a symbol for something. In Romero’s movies and era, AIDS was horrifying and misunderstood and feared. In 28 Days Later, the increase of violence pretty much everywhere correlates with the rage virus. In The Trip, it stands for NOTHING.

I gave it two stars on Goodreads, but only because I couldn’t give it one and a half. I don’t understand how everyone else reviewing it on there loved it.

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