Monday, August 19, 2013

Quarantine: The Loners

Quarantine: The Loners
Lex Thomas
404 pages
Released: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Egmont
Source: purchased

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

It's supposed to be a normal day in David's life when he and his younger brother head off for the first day of school in their brand new high school building.  But things go dramatically wrong when the east wing of the school explodes and the remaining parts of the school are welded shut and blocked off by troops.  Thanks to biological warfare, a virus had attacked the school, infected all the students.  All the adults perished immediately, leaving a high school full of students to their own devices, closed off from the world save the occasional supply drop via helicopter.

Quarantine has been described in so many ways.  The blurb on the book says "A Modern-Day Lord of the Flies," a quote on the back cover compares to Divergent, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear people comparing it to the Hunger Games, either.  I mean, if you had to pick I'd go with Lord of the Flies, but let's skip the comparisons.  Quarantine simply is Quarantine - a kickass, edge of your seat, "holy crap did that really just happen!?" thriller.

Going into the book I knew some sort of adult-less society would be forming in the high school, but I imagined it completely different than it played out.  I thought the kids would get together and form some sort of democratic society and sure, I expected violence to ensue as well as some other teenaged antics, but what I got was a lot different.  No government formed, instead social groups started banding together to form gangs - you had your jocks, your cheerleader types, the nerds, the artsy kids, and so on.  And while I'd love to say, that's so stereotypical, let's give teenagers these days some credit, I can't. My high school was like that, and I'm sure yours was too to some extent.

The dynamics of these gangs really intrigued me, though.  They had each others backs and did want anyone messing with their groups.  So when supply drops happened, they had plans and fought for food.  A rudimentary trading a monetary system developed in the school.  It was a bit like a society, but certainly a lawless one.  As I mentioned before, I expected violence in this book, but certainly not to the extent I witnessed.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little shocked at some of the things I read!  Shocked in a good way, I don't want to give away specifics, but I think you too will be in awe of what these gangs were capable of.

Four stars!  Quarantine was just as good as I was hoping it would be, even if it was a completely unexpected experience.  I loved every minute and the book only loses one star from me based on the arbitrary nature of the disease, which we don't really learn about as much as I would have liked.  Still, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!  If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic craziness, Quarantine is a book for you!

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