Thursday, August 14, 2014

REVIEW--The Loners

I have been booktalking all know, I've been describing books to students to help them pick out something that they'll like.  And it was so. much. fun.  I love that "oh wow!" moment when I tell them something special about a book or surprise them when something they know they'll love.  And speaking of a book that I love...

Let's talk about The Loners.  It's the first in a series called Quarantine, and wow!  Just wow!  One of the most action-packed, surprising, and even violent books that I've read in a while.  Let's jump right in!

  • First in the Quarantine series
  • Dystopian
The Gist:
On the first day of school, David is mostly concerned with making sure his brother, Will, has a good day as a new freshman.  Oh, and he's trying to avoid the football team who thinks he deserted them (which he kind of did) and his ex-girlfriend who left him for a teammate.  But there won't be any avoidance for long, because a virus hits the school, killing off all the adults and putting the building under military quarantine.  And for over a year now, David and his entire school's student body have been trapped inside, fighting for food, power, and their lives.  And for David and Will, who have no outside friends, they have to fight the most.

What I Loved:
  • Oh my goodness!  This was such a fast-paced, action-packed, shocking, exhilarating,  crazy read!  I kept thinking "how will they ever get out of this?!" and was constantly surprised by the characters and their actions.  
  • This book takes Lord of the Flies to a whole new level, and I know my students will eat it up!  The fight for power and the strength in alliances speak VOLUMES in this book.
  • So much thought went in to how students of all backgrounds would react to such a crisis.  From where they station themselves to how they make use of their time, they were grouped in fairly accurate ways. 
What I Didn't Love:
  • Once the virus hits, the military quarantines the school within minutes, and I found this immediate reaction to be highly unlikely.  And the military seemed so cold against the students, only dropping down food.  Wouldn't they have wanted to establish a communicative effort?  Work to reunite conversation between families?
  • And speaking of this virus, the fact that it hit everyone at once is also so unlikely.  I can see it spreading, sure, but a kid runs into the building and then all of a sudden everyone has it? 

Despite having a few things I didn't like, I LOVED this book.  So creative and creepy all at the same time!  I'll definitely be jumping on the sequel!  And I'll also be designing an outfit based on one of the student groups.  Now go read The Loners!

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