First of all, I couldn't believe she did that. As you can imagine that's a pretty foolhardy thing to do, given the nature of the world at this point. But we wouldn't have a story if she hadn't! It turns out the stranger, Jax, is on the run from people who will do anything to catch him- and the reasons why have to do with the flu pandemic that devastated the world after the nuclear apocalypse. Needles to say her family are not happy about this turn of events, but they all have to come together when the proverbial you know what hits the fan.
Like I said earlier, I thought this was going to be a more literary read but as it progressed it felt more like a YA to me. That's not a criticism though, I liked this book a lot. It's a standalone, so there's no cliffhanger or continuing story, which I liked. Lynn though I had a hard time with at times, just because she's so impulsive and makes very bad decisions. But at the same time I liked her. I also liked her family, especially her uncle Jeryl, who kind of takes care of everyone since her father's death. The story starts out as a fairly plausible dystopian, but as it progresses it does get perhaps a little less realistic? I can't say more without spoilers, but I will say in spite of that I highly recommend this one. The intensity and action really pick up towards the end too, and I liked the choices they had to make. All in all this is a book I took a chance on, and I'm so glad I did.
FURTHER DISCUSSION/ SPOILERS
In spite of these things though it still worked for me. I loved the imagery, the sense of place- deep in the wilderness, where snow and the cold and even the loneliness are the enemy. I liked the ambiguity of Braylen as well- whose side is she on? She dies trying to save Lynn, and her advice for Lynn to go to Vancouver and seek out someone she doesn't know- can Lynn really trust her? That's up to the reader to decide. I liked Jeryl too, although the way his story ended- I was not a fan. But overall, this was a great read.