Quarantine: The Loners
By: Lex Thomas
Published: July 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads description—It was just another ordinary day at McKinley Hight—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.
Quarantine: The Loners definitely hooked me. It took probably less than 15 pages to reel me in. David’s the kind of hero you can root for. His mother died recently, his girlfriend cheated on him with someone she said was “going places,” and his little brother has epilepsy. He’s got a lot on his plate. Unfortunately, David made the mistake of attacking the guy his girlfriend broke up with him for, Sam, the weekend before everything goes to pot. And this single fact puts him in the most dangerous place he could be in during the aftermath of the school quarantine—alone.
Will, on the other hand, desperately got on my nerves. He whined, he complained, for a large portion of the book he generally did nothing but cause trouble. He ticked me off. Selfish, jealous, idiotic, delusional, and ungrateful. He blames David for pretty much everything, and I struggled through his parts because I just wanted to slap him.
Will was nothing compared to Sam though. Sam was pure evil. Demented and paranoid. Why can’t people understand that if your adversary is winning because they’re being noble, then you’re tactics of general-evilry (yes, I made that up), aren’t going to win you any support?
Lex Thomas did a great job creating characters and a world that you could feel in your bones. The fear and desperation that the characters feel drives you forward. While at the same time, I know we can’t predict how we would behave until we’re in such desperate situations ourselves, and I pray we never are. But the sheer hatred coming off some of these kids for no reason other than being in a different clique. I guess that’s commentary on how bad high school cliques can be, and maybe I was lucky, but my school wasn’t THAT bad. Either way, the extremes of wanting to see someone executed for the simple sake of some tough guy in a different group hates him for something that happened before the quarantine, I just find it hard to believe. I know that some would definitely revert to savage behavior, but will all common decency take flight in these times? It’s possible, I suppose.
Regardless, I rooted for David the entire way. And I’ll definitely be checking out book 2. 4 Stars for Quarantine: The Loners. Check it out and let me know what you think.