Winter was the only season every Lake-Lander feared...
In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there's nothing to stop them from crossing the ice.
Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he's forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he's always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over.
But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary's secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they've ever known.
I can always rely on the Red Eye books from Stripes for brilliant writing and gripping plots. Wranglestone is another amazing YA horror and it ticks all of my boxes: it pulls together elements from my favourite genres, has a great cast of characters and a sinister setting.
The genre elements were probably my favourite part. Wranglestone has the feel of a western, with its remote setting and characters a lot like cowboys, but also has truly terrifying horror and the sweetest romance at its core. The book executes all of those elements really well, so that the action is balanced out by lovely (and sometimes heartbreaking) moments between characters.
That leads me another thing I really loved: Peter and Cooper. They're great characters as individuals and I rooted for them so much as a couple! All of the characters are well-drawn and I think that's what engaged my emotions so much – I cared what happened to them.
I also have to talk about that location. A remote national park is the perfect setting for this novel, with the zombies lingering on the fringes of the community and the cold descending upon them.
I loved everything about this book and I'm so glad it's the first in a series!