Title: Quarantine: The Loners
Author: Lex Thomas
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Quarantine (Book 1)
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
ISBN-10: 160684329X (EgmontUSA)
ISBN-13: 978-1606843291 (EgmontUSA)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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.
Quick & Dirty: This was an action packed book full of interesting characters, survival and violence. It was a little bit to unrealistic and gruesome for me, but overall it was a good read.
Opening Sentence: Someone must have bitten off her nose.
In just one day the world turned upside down for all the students attending McKinley High. There was a massive outbreak of a deadly virus, but it only seems to affect adults. All the teachers die quickly and the students are left to fend for themselves. Since they are all carriers of the virus and the vaccine won’t work until they become adults, the government has put the school under military quarantine to avoid spreading the disease. When the students turn 18 they are allowed to leave through a guarded exit and are given a vaccine for the virus.
It has been a whole year since that fateful day and McKinley has become a very dangerous war zone. Gangs have formed based on high school cliques and things have turned deadly. There is a struggle for power and food going on constantly and anyone without a gang is as good as dead. David has avoided being part of a gang, but things are starting to get even more out of hand. He decides that it is time to form a new game made up of all the loners that have managed to survive. Everyone just wants to make it out alive, but with the stakes higher than ever there are no guarantees.
David is the main voice you get to hear throughout the book. Life before the quarantine for David was hard. He lost his mother in a terrible accident and his life fell apart after that. He left the football team, stopped hanging out with his friends and his girlfriend cheated on him. Now that he is stuck in the school, he just wants to stay unnoticed and keep an eye on his younger brother. Then things start to escalate and the other kids need a leader they can trust. David finally steps up and tries to make a difference. At first I didn’t really like David, I felt that he was a coward, but as the book goes on he earned my loyalty. He grew so much as a character and I found that by the end I really liked him.
There is a really large cast of secondary characters in the book and you get to see most of their POV’s at one point or another. Thomas does an amazing job vilifying a lot of the characters. Sam is the leader of the jocks and he is basically a dictator. He is violent, creepy, and feared by all the students. Hillary is the leader of the Pretty ones and she is also dating Sam. She is beautiful, and cunning, but she also is very scared. Will is David’s little brother and he has always felt inferior. He wants to prove that he belongs and can survive on his own. Lucy got kicked out of the Pretty Ones and has now become a loner. She is beautiful and both David and Will find themselves falling for her. The whole cast of characters were very interesting and Thomas did a great job making them all feel important to the story.
From the first page you are thrown into chaos and things never slow down. The amazing cast of characters are engaging and written very well. The plot was intriguing and kept me guessing for most of the book. On the down side of things, the story was pretty gruesome and gory. There is a lot of violence, which for the situation is understandable, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Also, I felt that the idea was slightly unrealistic, and I had a hard time connecting fully with the story because of that. Overall, this was a good book that was hard to put down once you got into the story. I would recommend this to anyone that likes a good action packed book, as long as you don’t mind some violence and a lot of gore.
Will hurried into the foyer, “What’s going on?” He dashed over to the girl, who was still on the floor, and grabbed her by the shoulder. “Lucy, are you okay?” Will said.
Will shook her when she didn’t answer.
The girl wasn’t listening. She was staring right through Will, up at David. Tears were swelling in her eyes.
David floundered, trying to catch his breath. A voice floated in from what seemed like an ocean away. He couldn’t hear the words exactly. David turned to see one of the Freaks who had been hiding in the shadows. He was kneeling over Brad.
“What’d you say?” David asked.
FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Quarantine: The Loners. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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