Author: Lex Thomas
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.
So there has been many many many dystopia type books out as you all know. I would put this book into that category even though it only focuses on the world inside the school. As as far as dystopia goes, I found it a good addition to the genre. It had enough unique points that set it apart from other books.
What I really liked was how the author (authors actually - if you didn't know it's written by two guys Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies) used the cliques of high school to create the gangs that form in the school. Being a teacher it was very easy for me to envision something like that actually happening. And the fact that gang formed instead of them all working together seemed much more realistic to me. I don't think I would've bought the story if the kids would've joined all together and made some orderly world where everyone is safe and taken care of. The chaos in the school was way more what I'd except - sadly so! I also liked that it dealt less with the reason for the quarantine and more with the effects of it on the kids. Watching them trying to survive was a great focus instead of them trying to figure out the disease in them.
As for the main characters - David and Will. I liked them both. They were both flawed and very imperfect but in different ways. That again added into my ability to buy into the story. They were boys I could see as real and reacted in ways that seemed very real as well. Now beyond these two there is a huge cast of secondary characters. I did at points have a hard time keeping track of these characters. Every once in a while I would confuse them just because they played small parts and you would only meet them for a short bit. At points I kinda wished for a character guide. A page with the gangs and their colors listed as well as maybe their leader would've been a bit helpful.
The tension in the story is huge. It is a fight for survival from page one, and it never lets up even til the end. I had to take breaks once in a while because the tension was so intense! But it definitely kept the story moving. I never ever got bored! I think this is great for those readers that are more reluctant or struggle to stay with a book.
Final Thought: Enjoyed it and will pick up the sequel Quarantine: The Saints.
Ages: 14+ (upper YA for sure)