Humanity by J.D. Knutson

Five gunshots were all it took to end everything Candace had ever cared about; now, falling in love with her parents’ killer might give her everything she never knew she needed.

Candace has been raped more times than she cares to remember –this is a normal lifestyle for a pretty eighteen-year-old girl surviving the expiration of the United States. When her parents are shot before her eyes, the deer that would have sustained them stolen, she knows their deaths would have come eventually – that’s simply how life is lived. This doesn’t keep her from plotting the murder of the man who shot them. As soon as she gets the chance, she opens fire on him – running out of bullets after only two shots. But Gideon’s not going to make things too easy on himself; he refuses to kill her until she’s a true threat. Paradoxically, she can’t leave his side for fear that he might disappear in her absence; she insists on following him until provided with an occasion to kill him.

Circumstances change when Candace’s opportunity is almost stolen from her; three travelers shoot Gideon. She rescues him out of the supreme aspiration that it be HER who ends his life. However, him being injured and unable to defend himself isn’t exactly what she had in mind. As a result, she finds herself getting to know him better than she had planned. What surfaces is a poignant statement on love, forgiveness, and humanity.

HUMANITY is a romantic survivalist novel for new/young adults. Topics such as rape and sexual abuse are involved, amidst lighter but also serious matters.


This book is set about 30 years after the collapse of the United States government. It seems the rest of the world is fine, but what used to be the United States is now a cruel, harsh environment that had me nearly in tears several times. While it is described beautifully:

The foliage of the city was dense, with plants covering buildings, and trees growing where there had once been nothing but grass. Abandoned as the city was, wildlife came and went as they pleased; the city was nothing more than a part of their forest now.

The reality of it is anything but. After Gideon kills her parents, she tries to kill him without success. At that point, she insists on traveling with him so that she may kill him at her earliest opportunity. She has no one and neither does he.

While the premise of the story sounds crazy. Seriously, who would allow a girl that wanted you dead to travel with you? You can feel the emotions that Candace is grappling with as she travels with this man that she hates. You can feel it as her emotions slowly evolve from hate to dislike, and eventually love. He teaches her to live and survive in their world.

“Candace, you’ve been with me, unarmed, for weeks. You close your eyes all the time – you’ve been sleeping very soundly every night, ever since you started thinking about nothing. Now, close your eyes.”

I rolled them before I closed them.

I literally got butterflies in my stomach from him simply holding her hand. Really, I couldn’t put this book down. I kept on reading until the early hours of the morning and my only disappointment was that the book had an ending. I wanted it to keep on going for a book or two more.



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