After The Ending (The Ending #1)
by Lindsey Fairleigh, Lindsey Pogue
After the Ending is the first book about a post-apocalyptic United States, and two best friends who manage to stay in contact with each other, even as the world changes from what they know to After.
Dani and Zoe have been best friends since 4th grade. Now in their mid-20's, and living in different parts of the country, they see everyone they know getting sick around them. This great flu epidemic has taken out almost everyone they know. Zoe's brother, Jason (and Dani's crush for most of her life) warns Zoe to get to Colorado-that's where they will be safe and where survivors are going. Zoe passes this info to Dani, but Dani almost dies from the sickness. Luckily, Jason and his crew arrive just in time to save her, but it was too late for Dani's boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Zoe ends up with another crew on the other side of the country-safety in numbers is important. Droves of people who have survived the virus have gone insane-Zoe and Dani call them "Crazies"-and while some of the Crazies are slow and twitchy, others are violent, angry, and fast. Something else happens-people who survived the virus start to display psychic Abilities. Some use their Abilities for good, some for evil, and some become mad with power. Zoe and Dani manage to stay in contact through spotty internet connections, and through their emails to each other we learn about the deceptions, deaths, and toll After the Ending has on them.
It's worth mentioning that the apocalypse has been kind to both young ladies, as they have some real hotties in both of their camps-Dani has the womanizing Jason, of course, and in Zoe's camp the enigmatic and stoic Jake appears. There is also MG, aka Mystery Guy, who uses his Ability to contact Dani in her dreams to help her learn to use her Ability better.
This book was a page turner, and while some of the angst was a tad adolescent, it was a mostly welcome speck of innocence as the world around Zoe and Dani went from cosmopolitan to frontier in the blink of an eye. The book ends on a cliffhanger, but not one that makes you throw your Kindle across the room. I'm in for the next installment.