“It could be her mantra. Something she could say with every step. A walking prayer. Just. Get. Home. Each word a footfall.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and MIRA in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I admit that it was hook, line, and sinker as soon as I read the blurb of Just Get Home. Between the earthquake and the promise of an action-packed disaster thriller with an almost dystopian feel, I knew I simply HAD to read this story. And my instinct didn’t lead me astray, as Just Get Home turned out to be an absolutely fanastic story that I was unable to put down until I reached that final page. It’s a story that crosses genre boundaries to create a plot that is both unique, intense and basically an emotional rollercoaster.
As I already mentioned, it is really hard to place Just Get Home into just one neat little genre box. Is it a disaster thriller? Yes. Is it an action thriller where the main characters have to face one dangerous situation after the other? Yes. Does it have a dystopian feel about it? Absolutely. But does it also focus on the background of the characters and include a variety of different elements including (child)abuse, foster homes, cheating and difficult family situations? Without a doubt. What might seem like a simple story that focuses on the aftermath of an enormous earthquake ended up being so much more, and Just Get Home will offer you so many different layers to unwrap along the way… Trust me, this book isn’t just pure adrenaline, but offers so much more!
Talking about the earthquake: I think the descriptions of both the event and the aftermath are very well done and are used perfectly to show human nature and how people might react in similar situations. Sure, certain parts of the plot might feel a bit farfetched, but somehow I personally didn’t mind as it only helped shaping that image of human turned monster once disaster strikes. This lack of compasion, survival instinct and violence also returns in the tragic home situation of Beegie, which was likewise heartbreaking to read about. Just Get Home is most definitely not a happy read, and while it has moments of hope shine through, as a whole it is the dystopian feel and disaster thriller that set the tone for the story.
The two main characters are total strangers that are suddenly pushed together as they try to survive. Both teenage Beegie and single mom Dessa have complicated backgrounds; especially Beegie has a tragic past and trigger warnings are in place for (child) abuse and rape. The character development is realistically done and it was fascinating to see the two interact and react to the things happening to them. They were definitely part of the reason this story ended up working this well, and I really liked how the plot was wrapped up in the end.
In short, Just Get Home turned out to be an absolutely fascinating story that defies genre boundaries. It offers us a disaster thriller with an almost dystopian feel, a lot of action and a lot of dept as well as a range of further elements… If you are looking for a little something different that will keep you on your toes and on the edge of your seat the whole time, Just Get Home is an excellent choice.