Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: January 2012
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Horror, Apocalypse
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Kaelyn writes letters to her best friend, Leo about what he’s missing on the island. Thinking that she will never see him again, she details the fall from a normal island town into something dark when a virus spreads through the residents, driving people mad before they eventually die. And it’s not just the virus the survivors have to worry about…
I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Crewe did her research; in her acknowledgements she thanks, among others, The Hot Zone which is by far one of my favorite non-fiction accounts of disease. (And a very frightening read).
The plot is good, unfolding slowly as the disease gains speed. The events are very life life, the quarantine, the dropping of of supplies, and very sadly, the human reaction of hoarding food and taking the law into their own hands. No one is safe and a lot of questions are left unanswered by the end of the book (intentional because this is a trilogy).
Kaelyn’s story is a good middle of the road narration of the quarantine. I enjoyed the new friendships that were forged during the epidemic, how people are shown banning together for the greater good and trying to do the right thing. It’s light on the romance, which is okay by me. It isn’t the most believable part of the story and took me out of the tension and panic of the situation. While Kaeylyn doesn’t bother me, I don’t have any emotional attachment to her either or any of the other characters in the book. I felt rather detached from the whole thing. Maybe this is because the entire story is told through letters she wishes to send to her ex-best friend. Whatever the case, while the plot is interesting and moves along, there wasn’t a lot of human connection for me.
Overall, the story moves quickly and I found myself invested in the plot, the nature of the disease and what happens to the island and the mainland.
Rating 6 Good