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.
Sometimes I wonder if some reviewers don’t think about what they’re saying. The reason I say that is claims like these:
“As original as The Hunger Games, set within the walls of a high school exactly like yours.” – Kami Garcia, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels
Wow, just wow. Original? Sure. Maybe. In a big picture, this book starts out as just a bunch of books shoved together. Let’s see. All the adults disappearing? Gone by Michael Grant. All the kids breaking down and going crazy and forming gangs? Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. Action and adventure notes in here? Divergent by Veronica Roth. A dash of zombie books to throw in an element of sickness and health. As you get into the book, I admit that it does get farther and farther from other books, but the premise of the story is one that’s been told many times–but by different voices. And although I’ve read many books like this, very few of them struck me quite as much as the Lex Thomas duo debut.
You know, on Goodreads I hate the question, “Why do you want to be my friend?” I dunno! It’s the feeling you get when you pull a book off the shelf, read the synopsis and even if you thought the book was nothing special, you end up not being able to put it back anyway. You just want to be friends! Sometimes I actually do have a reason though… This was one of those books that I couldn’t put back on the shelf.
And this was a great story. I had a real love/hate relationship with Will, though I thought David was pretty cool. The thing with Will is that I feel bad and I can totally sympathize with him when it’s his narration, but then–when I hear about some of the stuff he does and how the whole time I feel like he’s going to betray David in some horrible way, I just can’t bring myself to like the guy.
Then there’s the thing with stereotypes. Don’t get me wrong when I say this–I’ve read plenty of male author work where they were able to write interesting, well-written, well-done female characters, but I just can’t shake this feeling that Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies don’t get around to practicing writing female characters very much. It just seems like they’ve written a frame for all of their female character and then filled in small differences. In the end though, they just all felt like the same person. The change in Hilary piqued my interest, but I felt that Lex Thomas could’ve built more on that.
Don’t even get me started on Lucy. At first, I liked the girl. And then she got stuck in that stupid love triangle. And then she made that amazingly clever move at the very end.
Other than that, I actually thought this book was great. 4 stars. I loved the intensity and thriller themes to this book, Dare I say it? I think this book will be great for fans of Divergent. Although I thought I wouldn’t like this book when I checked it out from the library, I admit that I ended up enjoying it a lot. I had a brief moment of horror thinking Lex Thomas was going to mess it all up with Lucy, but I actually liked how the book ended. A very nice cliffhanger, gentlemen. I think it has a lot of ways to go, and I look forward to reading the newly-released sequel to this novel.
pg count for the hardback: 416
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