For those of you who don’t know, Netgalley is a source of review books for bloggers and librarians. The problem that I have is that my eyes are always bigger than my… library? No, that’s not the right saying. Anyway, I always have the intention of reading all these amazing books, but I never seem to have the time. Or maybe I just get distracted by shiny things. *shrug* So, this year, I’ve set myself a quest to try and get through some of these books that I’ve requested over the years. It’s time to play catch-up!
Feel free to check out my Netgalley TBR –>HERE<– and let me know in the comments which one I should read next!
by Tom Leveen
published on October 1, 2013
Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.
Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.
The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.
I had a turbulent month and only managed to get through one backlogged Netgalley book, but it’s keeping the challenge alive! This one is actually SO old that I even picked up a hard copy, which has ALSO been sitting on my bookshelf for years, staring at me with its judging metaphorical eyes. I was actually really glad to read it in paper copy because there’s a whole visual aspect to the story. The pages are edged with increasing amounts of gore as you travel through the book, and with each chapter, you’re given a glimpse at the approaching horde.
I hadn’t actually read a zombie book is ages, because I suspect I overdid it a little. That’s what happens when you start a blog almost entirely centered on zombies and horror books. Sick was a great way to return to the genre, with plenty of action, gore, and a unique premise. Though, having said that, the zombies in Sick aren’t really zombies, not in the classic walking undead sense. They’re simply infected with a kind of bacterial arthritis. And because of this, they’re driven mad, but are actually still alive. It added a whole moral dilemma to survival at any cost. So often in this kind of book, all the characters pull out their weapons and start massacring their family and friends, when really, I don’t think it would ever feel as easy as that (in a hypothetical world where the zombie apocalypse actually happens). So I found it really refreshing to have the characters hesitate to kill their friends. Since they’re not technically dead, maybe a cure could still be found.
Part of that hesitation may also be because all of the characters are teens, and I’d like to believe they’re old enough to understand consequences but aren’t yet entirely jaded by life. The story largely takes place on their school grounds. Without adult supervision, and in extreme survival mode, I was anticipating a kind of Lord of the Flies scenario. (Break out the conch!) Surprisingly, barring a little bit of internal violence within their group, they managed to keep their wits about them. Color me impressed!
Even though the characters are all teenagers, and the writing style is kept quite simplistic, I have a hard time recommending this book for teens. There is a lot of language, obviously violence and gore. Quite honestly, I started seeing all the characters as nothing more than fodder. You have all your stereotypical cliques: the jocks, the drama kids, the punks, the druggies. It felt very black-and-white, as far as drawing lines between the groups. There was a fair bit of racism, though the characters do work through it. I need to go on record as saying my school was nothing like this. At all. And to be honest, it all made me uncomfortable. Are there actually schools out there like this?! I did appreciate that there is some discussion of severe anxiety and medication as well, but I’m still on the fence about whether or not it was handled fairly.
Overall, glad I read it, but it’s not my favorite book in this genre. Anyone else want to weigh in?