The Outside by Laura Bickle

October 25th, 2013 Kimberly Review 90 Comments

25th Oct
The Outside by Laura Bickle
The Outside
by Laura Bickle
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation. And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

Last year I read The Hallowed Ones and loved the tale Laura Bickle gave us. It was one of my favorite reads, and I was on pins and needles to begin The Outside. Bickle continued Katie’s journey and kept me on the edge of my seat, as we faced danger, death and a freaky solution in this dystopian world. Mini review: brilliant, captivating and a wonderful conclusion.

At the end of book one, Katie shunned by her Amish community leaves with Alex and Ginger. They decide to travel north towards Alex’s family in Canada and the tale that unfolds has them facing down vampires, enjoying a few romantic moments and discovering a possible solution regarding the dark beasts. I could not set this book down and read it in just two sittings.

Bickle did an excellent job with character development as she allowed them to grow and evolve along with this world. Katie is so strong and brave. Her faith is sorely tested and watching her grow, accept and look  beyond her teachings was captivating. Some of my favorite scenes involve Katie holding firm to her beliefs and doing either the stupidest things I have ever seen or the bravest. They are always the right choice, but there aren’t many people brave enough to stand up like that. Alex was brave, protective and said some of the sweetest things to Katie. It is quite clear that he loves and respects her. He is a man of science and history, and she tries to view everything through her faith. The relationship felt genuine, and I enjoyed watching it progress. Ginger and other characters along the way added to this dark tale, sometimes bringing sadness, danger and even offering us hope. Along the way they make new friends both human and of the fur variety, and I enjoyed these threads.

The Outside blended different faiths, myths, and beliefs regarding the end of times, and I loved how Bickle shared them with us. Each offered a lesson and hope. We never learn how the vampires developed, but theories were made, somewhere outlandish, and others made me shiver. Given the environment they were in and the lack of communication this aspect was eerily surreal. The author shows man’s unwillingness to change and our astounding fight to survive. As the group traveled, they came to a town untouched by the vampires with strange humans dwelling within; I found the answers there fascinating, and I am not sure how scientific it was, but it was an exciting twist and completely unique. Katie’s transformation from a mindful child to kick-ass woman was an incredible one. She remained true to her God but lost some of the close-minded ways of her religion. The tale ended realistically, and I offered closure.

Fans of the Hallowed Ones need to grab a copy of The Outside, and for those who haven’t tried this dark, dystopian; Laura Bickle offers a refreshing tale in this saturated genre. I have added Bickle to my auto-buy list and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

90 Responses to “The Outside by Laura Bickle”

  1. Lily B

    I actually have not yet read this series. But I know so many bloggers that I follow that loved it <3 it makes me giddy.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Layla, I agree the covers are awesome! Good luck 🙂

  2. Leeanna

    I freaking love this series. My reviews of both are a lot less coherent than yours, because I was just fangirling all over the place because I liked them so much. I agree with everything you said 🙂

  3. Jana Leah

    I like the idea of combining Amish with vampires. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Katie

    I have Hallowed Ones in my stacks, but haven’t started it yet, it sounds really interesting, and your reviews made me read it even more. Thank you for it and this giveaway!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you dig it out soon, but I have books like that, and then when I do read them I kick myself for waiting so long 🙂

  5. Gayle Pace

    From the review it sounds like a great read and what I really like is the Amish added in. I love anything to read that has Amish in it.Would love to win it. Good luck everyone.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The Amish and religious elements (not preachy) made the tale very interesting. 🙂

  6. Bube

    After reading this review,I really want to read this and previous book,thank you very much for the recommendation! 🙂

    Great review 🙂

    Thanks for the amazing opportunity 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Bube I am glad I have sparked your interest in this series and author. Good luck!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was really well done, and the Amish aspect added to the tale. Good luck Daniel 🙂

  7. sharonda

    I love her Anya Kalinczyk series. She does have a way with telling stories…great review Kim 🙂

  8. Ashfa

    I’m really intrigued by all the Amish culture in this book. Have been dying to get my hands on this book for a while now. Hope I win, thanks fir the giveaway!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! I will be happy to put October behind me..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were awesome, and so well done. I hope you get to read them 🙂

  9. Pamela D

    I read another review of this book recently, and it sounds really interesting. This is a very different perspective for the zombie apocalypse.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were so good Pamela and the focus wasn’t really on these vampire type creatures but on the characters themselves.

  10. January

    This sounds intriguing! I’ve been hearing about the series for ages. I’ll definitely have to check it out!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were so good, I cannot wait to see what the author does next. Thanks Diana!

  11. Christine

    I’ve been so intrigued by this series since I first heard about it, and I’ve been wanting to read it! I mean, Amish vampire horror story?! That’s beyond awesome.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Good Luck Christine and I hope you get a chance to read these 🙂

  12. Kimberly

    I’ve got the first book in the series on my November tbr pile 🙂 I’ve heard some really great things about the author’s writing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you get a chance to experience Bickle’s work Maria 🙂

  13. Mary Preston

    I have this series on my wish list. I’ve heard only great things about it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you get to them and enjoy it as much as I did Mary 🙂

  14. Christy

    Agreed! I loved the mixture of different beliefs and science. And of course, I love getting my creep on. lol

    • kimbacaffeinate

      oh yeah getting your creep on is always a good thing! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You are so welcome Ginny, I really enjoyed these. Good luck!

  15. Giselle

    Ooh I have had the first book in this series since the ARC on netgalley and never got to it. But I did see so many great reviews of how people said it was really creepy I’m glad the sequel is great,t oo! That will motivate me more to start reading it maybe soon since Halloween is just around the corner (OMG where has 2013 gone!!). I love how unique it sounds in a really overloaded genre it’s awesome that there can still be some originality in what’s one of my fav genres to read! great review, Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you do, and I love that this wrapped up in two books. Enjoy and yes this year is just flying by!

  16. Michele

    I’m sitting here nodding my head with every line of your terrific review! I just ADORE this series, and you have me wanting to give it a re-read! So happy you enjoyed this one, too. Have a fabulous weekend and happy reading 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad you loved them too, it was refreshing and unique and I cannot wait to see what she does next. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  17. Adriana C

    I still haven’t read The Hallowed Ones but so far I´ve read only great reviews about it, yours included. I hope to read it soon.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo I hope you read this, did you enter? maybe you will win book one! 🙂

  18. Heidi

    I loved this one as well. I liked the discussion involving religion and science and watching Katie grow. Laura is such a sweetheart and I will be reading anything writes in the future.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked the different religions as well, and agree I will buy her next book regardless of genre.

  19. Pabkins

    Ok ok so I might have to cave and read these afterall. I just don’t know I think the whole setting with the quaker like cover just threw me off completely.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I thought both were fantastic, dark and unique, plus it is only the two books, and in a sea of trilogies and series it is such a refreshing change!

  20. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Heard such great things about this series. Looks like the second book rocks as well. I’m so curious about this world. I really like how the character grew in her religious beliefs. Oh that makes me more curious! Sounds fab and thanks for the giveaway!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Excellent reads Melissa, good luck and I hope you get to read them!

  21. Hillary R.

    I like that this series is on vampires and that it’s overall just a different world. Usually vampires stories are on a strong girl that lives in the city or town that’s big enough to maybe be a city but this sounds more country. I definitely want to read this book at some point 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were unique and I love that the series was only two books in length 🙂 Good luck!

  22. Lori H

    I’m still new to the YA genre however I’ve read a few and have liked them. I wouldn’t have picked this up but given your review I will add it to my TBR stack.

  23. sarah c.

    I havent read the first book but have been wanting to.. It sounds good- thanks for the giveaway!!!

  24. Nick

    I bought this right after it released, but I still haven’t read it though. I’ll be reading it soon after I’m done reading a few review books I have. This sounds absolutely wonderful and you already know how much I loved the first book as well.
    I’m so glad to hear that there’s lots of character development. I’m definitely looking forward to it now.
    Lovely review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, enjoy it when you finally get to it Nick 🙂 Happy Weekend 🙂

  25. Jenea

    I keep checking my library for this one, and they haven’t even ordered it yet. UGH! I want to read it so badly too. I am glad that is really good and you enjoyed it.

  26. Candace

    I always wrote these off as too scary but I’ve read a few YA horror books and I tend to handle them okay. Maybe I need to reconsider and give the first a try. I think you’ve convinced me!

  27. kindlemom1

    Yes! I really loved this one too. Such a fabulous sequel that I might even have loved more than the first.
    Bickle is an amazing writer and one that will be on my auto buy list from now on.

    Wonderful review Kim!! Have a nice weekend. 🙂

  28. Mary

    Oh, now that’s a unique twist on a vampire tale! Poor wee Amish chick, kicked out of her community! Good for Katie for sticking to her beliefs, though, and still surviving the evil that surrounds her. Very intriguing…

  29. Silvia

    This one got me veeeery intrigued! I haven’t read the first instalment, but from what I get it’s something I could really enjoy. Great review, Kimberly and thanks for the chance to win a copy of book 1! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well maybe you will win it, and I love that it is only 2 books.