Quarantine: The Loners (Quarantine #1)
by Lex Thomas
Published 7/10/2012 by EgmontUSA
It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—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.
“Take Michael Grant’s Gone and Veronica Roth’s Divergent, rattle them in a cage until they’re ready to fight to the death, and you’ll have something like this nightmarish debut…Thomas’ whirlwind pace, painful details, simmering sexual content, and moments of truly shocking ultra-violence thrust this movie-ready high school thriller to the head of the class.” - Booklist (starred review)
The Bookish Brunette thought:
“Now she looked like an old sewer rat. The tip of her nose was gone […] Her arms were spindly, and her honey joints jutted out like thorns.”
It’s safe to say that I was sucked into Quarantine IMMEDIATELY as the old, sewer rat that David is describing happens to br a classmate that he once had a crush on!
Before the Quarantine…
His girlfriend dumps him, his ex-football teammates are shunning him, David figures the first day of school can’t get much worse… Shhhhyea… Until a HUGE explosion rips apart half the school, his English teacher vomits blood all over him, then up and freaking DIES in his arms!
That’s when the military promptly shows up and starts shooting at anyone trying to leave the school campus, then puts a dome over the top of the entire area and LEAVES them there! Seriously. That’s all she wrote folks. (well… That’s NOT all HE wrote… But you know what I mean.)
ALL the adults are dead, the students are breaking off into packs and the seniors are dying… one by one. Until one day the soldiers come back, toting machine guns and erecting a booth with a video screen and scanner!
A man appears on the screen and proceeds to tell them that they are carriers of a highly dangerous, and HIGHLY contagious virus. A virus that only survives in the bodies of pubescent teenagers, and as a side effect makes anyone infected to be fatally poisonous to EVERYONE else. Any adult or child an infected carrier comes within a few feet of- DIES, and obviously any other teenager would just become infected and carriers of this disease.
I KNOW RIGHT?!
BUT, if they manage to make it OUT of puberty without being in contact with a carrier- then you survive… No harm, no foul. (Thus why the seniors… Who are obviously in the last stages of puberty are DYING.)
The booth the military set up came equipped with a thumb scanner, that would tell each of them if they were in the end stages of puberty. If they WERE, the scanner would give them an estimated time of when the doors would open for them and they would be free to LEAVE.
Dave and his brother leave the packs of rabid students to brawl by the scanners and doors, and go dream about the day they will leave this horrid Quarantine…
One Year Later…
They’re still there.
“The multi-colored battle in front of him looked like a blood soaked Skittles commercial.”
After the school was quarantined, all the groups broke into “gangs”… Much as you’d expect them too really. If you put THAT many people together- they’ll naturally flock to their “similarities”. Each gang had their signature color hair and when their monthly food drop came, it was a free for all.
Sluts: red hair, Freaks: blue hair, Loners: White Hair and so on…
Dave and Will are Loners, scraping to survive on what little they’re able to scavenge. Dave, already on the wrong side of The Jock’s fury – enrages them further by defending one of The Pretty Ones. Weeks before he should be released, the tides turn… Some would say in Dave and Will’s favor. Others, not so much.
In a frenzy of modern day “Lord of the Flies” type awesome, Lex Thomas delivers a fresh, furious, action-packed, relentlessly exciting read in Quarantine!