Thursday, July 11, 2013
"Quarantine: The Loners" by Lex Thomas
From Goodreads: "It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.
A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.
In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive."
When I was offered this book to read and review I jumped at the chance to do so- why? Because, being a big reader of dystopian/ post-apocalyptic books, it sounded quite unlike any other book I have ever read before (plus, I think that all of us have those fantasies as children, about what we'd do if we were to ever be locked down in our local school or mall during some apocalyptic event). However, I found that excitement waning, becoming almost non-existent, the more and more I read.
My largest complaint about this book is that I feel like much of the plot was simply thrown in for the shock value, rather than for any plot development (and there was just SO MUCH of it going on, to me, it felt akin to Michael Grant's "Gone" series, in my opinion). Furthermore, as a reader of fiction, I know that oftentimes we have to suspend disbelief about what is happening in a storyline, but there were just so many times while reading this book I couldn't help but roll my eyes thinking, "Really? REALLY? You're going to go there/ You really think that that would happen?" Last, I am fine with gore, it doesn't bother me, however, even I, found that there was an excessive amount in this book.
That being said, it becomes evident that the duo that is Lex Thomas have imaginations like no other- as mentioned, their writing style is not unlike Michael Grant, arguably one of YA's current most popular male authors. Furthermore, I obviously liked the book enough to finish it (however, I won't be rereading it, it's going on my "to give away" pile).
All in all, while this book didn't quite "do it" for me, much of the plot being too "out there" or "cracked out for my liking, I do think that it will appeal to a lot of other YA readers- especially as it is quite inclusive, appealing to both male and female readers, of all ages, equally. Furthermore, despite my criticisms, I am curious to continue on with the series, if only to see how it wraps up (or to see how even crazier the authors can take the storyline).
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.