Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quarantine: The Loners

I won this book in a giveaway awhile back.  I wasn't quite sure if it was more of a zombie, post-apocalyptic, etc. type of book. Well, no zombies.  But that was okay. I have to say this was one of the most original stories I've read in awhile!  I really enjoyed it.  In fact, I think last night my dreams were all about figuring out a place to live and stay safe in case of a zombie apocalypse or whatever.  This was a page turner, I mean once I picked it up, I had trouble putting it down to do anything else.  At work last night on break, it was really hard to put the book away when I had to go back to work.  This would be a great book for boys, I know a lot of dystopian/post-apocalyptic are often with female main characters, but not this one, it is really from two boys, brothers' points of view.
The main characters are David and his brother Will.  David used to be a star athlete at his high school.  Until his mother died in a car accident and his life changed.  Sports and parties just didn't seem so important.  That is until he checks his girlfriend Hilary's phone.  And there is a text from one of his teammates.  So he shows up at a party, his first one in months, only to see Hilary standing with Sam, very close, hands all over each other.  He gets so upset that he punches Sam, and basically his former teammates drag him away and out of the party.  Then the first day back to school, he is already being ostracized by the athletes.  Which he hates for the sake of his younger brother Will, since it is his first day in high school and he doesn't want to ruin his high school career.  But shortly after school starts, it doesn't really matter, there is a huge explosion in the east wing of the school.  The teacher that Matt is talking to at the time begins to die, coughing up blood, and very quickly is gone.  As Matt runs to find Will, Will finds him, and they run to the entrance to leave the school.  But as they run out, there are soldiers there, and as students try to flee, the soldiers shoot them.  They yell for them to go back into the building.  The students who haven't been shot, or didn't escape into the wooded area on the sides of the school go back in and wait.  Soon they find out that a teen escaped from a nearby lab and came to the school.  This teen had a virus that was highly contagious, as with the teachers, it would immediately kill any adults or young children.  So their attempt was to stop it by blowing up the part of the school they'd seen him enter.  Meanwhile they are making the students stay in the school because this virus is so dangerous, all the students are now infected.  The powers that be have created a machine that can tell the students when it is safe for them to leave, and also dangerous for them to stay because they will no longer be immune to the virus.  The students call this their graduation date.  And it is close to the time when they would be a senior and able to graduate.  The scientists put a giant tent around the building, as well as sealing all but that front door shut, and even that can only open when a student passes the graduation check.  Inside the school, gangs form.  Food is dropped off, I think it is every two weeks, and there is always a stampede to get the food, as well as other supplies, such as clothing, cleaning, hygeine products.  And soon students join together to help get what they need.  But some people aren't able to join groups, they are the Loners.  Now your biggest group is the Varsity, made of all the male athletes in the school, except David, as he is on the outs because of what happened with Sam, who becomes the leader of the Varsity.  There are the Pretty Ones, all the pretty girls.  The Nerds, the Geeks, the Sluts, the Freaks, the Skaters, and I think those are the main groups.  They've all staked out places for their groups to live, and protect each other. They also offer services in order to trade for things they want.  You can guess some of the trades by their names.  David and Will are kind of on their own at first.  And David finds a way to survive by washing the blood out of the other people's clothes.  Will is very unhappy that his life has been reduced to this, and that he can't find a group because of David.  Sam still seems to have it out for David, and it gets worse when David accidentally kills one of the athletes when he saves Lucy.  Lucy was a Pretty One, but got kicked out for not being the "girlfriend" to a guy as she was expected to.  So David and Will take her in.  Not that they have much room for her in the elevator where they're living.  But news of David's feat spreads, and the other Loners think that maybe together they could form their own gang and offer protection for each other that way.  At first David doesn't want to, but soon he sees that this is a good idea, and so a new gang is formed.  The whole time Sam continues to go after David.  And David and Will continue to have issues, now about the girl, Lucy.  And it all comes to a big head when suddenly the food/supply drops stop and people stop getting to graduate.  Because if they don't graduate, they will die, and it happens to a few students.  It's up to Will and David to overcome their differences, as well as their obstacles with the other gangs and their environment, to try to save themselves as well as their friends.
Again, this is so original.  And interesting to see what happens, and how these teens turn on each other.  In a way, I saw it compared to The Hunger Games, and I would say to combine that with Lord of the Flies, and you've got a bit of an idea on this.  Great story, and I can't wait to read on in the series.  The 2nd book came out this summer I think, so I'll probably put it on my list for September is for Sequels challenge.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting. There are lots of great 'apocalypse' books out at the moment! :-)

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    1. Yeah, I was really impressed with the originality, to me anyway, in this book.

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  2. I'd seen this one around via the goodreads ads. I've never read Lord of the Flies, but I do like the idea of all the different groups and how that factors into the apocalypse story. It sounds like a very interesting mix--you're lucky to have won that copy!

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    1. You should read Lord of the Flies. It is such a good book! Or maybe see the movie that came out in the 80's I think, that was a really good movie too.

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  3. Hm, confined to their school due to a zombie attack? That sounds pretty interesting. :) Definitely a book I should keep a lookout for.

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    1. Not actually zombies, like I kind of thought. Just a virus that makes their hair fall out, then when it grows back in it is white.

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  4. I just read the first two Quarantine books, and I've enjoyed them more than I originally thought I would ---- they turned out to be real page-turners! :)

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    1. That's the way I was too! But the first one was so good! Can't wait to read the 2nd one.

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  5. Thanks for your thoughts! It is refreshing to find a new apocalyptic/dytopian story. I look forward to reading this!

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    1. The first was mostly apocalyptic, we'll see how the second one goes, but definitely a great read!

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  6. I keep seeing this book pop up and I really want to read it! I love apocalyptic/dystopian stories. In fact, no matter how much he jokes, I think the Hubby is actually making plans in his head for how to survive...

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    1. Well, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I do occasionally think about those things. I've even picked some buildings in my city that I think would be safe to go to and stay in case of a zombie outbreak!

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  7. I posted your Quarantine: Loners review to to my Apocalypse! blog hop page. And I added the book to my TBR list. I look forward to reading it.

    http://aliterarymafia.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/apocalypse-blog-hop/

    Tallulah A. @ A. Literary Mafia

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    1. That's cool! Thanks for that, and for stopping by!

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  8. I need to read these books - I picked them up at YA Fest at Anderson's bookshop last year, but still haven't read them. Now that I see you loved them so much, I'm more motivated!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. You definitely should! They are pretty good!

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