Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,
Thistle
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2014 book: Quarantine

Quarantine #1: The Loners by Lex Thomas
Rating: 1/hated (1-5/hated-loved)



Want to read a book about a group of awful teens doing awful things in an awful situation, yet the results of their awful acts are random? Written with awful poor writing skill? Then this book is for you!

The first problem was that I didn't buy the story's basic premise. Oh, I could roll with a genetech company being built right next to a high school, the company working on a secret biotech weapon (virus), that teenage humans are a carrier of, that is 100% fatal to adults and pre-teen kids. What I couldn't buy was the whole setup of the main character: After the death of his mother, he (football team captain/star, dating the prettiest girl in the school) withdrew a little (quit the team). His girlfriend cheated on him with the new captain of the football team. When main character found this out, seeing the new captain and his girlfriend making out, he punched the guy. For that, he became an outcast at school. Because he punched another teen. A teen who took his captainship and girlfriend.

That sort of lack in logic continued through the book. That same main character saved another character from being raped by punching someone (that someone, drunk, was knocked down by it, hit his head, and died). So now, because he was so ~evil~ as to kill someone, the whole school was trying to kill him. Nevermind people had been killed previous to this. (Which is also a plot hole. These kids have been trapped in a school for a year or more, the army drops food in weekly, how in the world are they getting drunk? If they're making it themselves, there's zero mention of it.)

Let me back up a step. The plot. So of course, you don't write a biotech company making a virus that infects teens next to a high school unless you intend one to infect the other. The virus escaped into the school, the army put a dome over the school, trapping the kids inside. The book takes place a year into that. All the kids have formed gangs based on high school cliques: The jocks, the "pretty ones", the "sluts", the geeks, whatever. That's their actual gang names. The Pretty Ones. The Sluts. (For some disturbing reason, all female characters not in the Pretty Ones are in the Sluts...)

So blah blah, ex-captain of the football team is trying to survive because he's such an ~awful person~. I got through 38% of the book before giving up. It was just too unreasonable and poorly written.

The odd thing was the first chapter was so good, almost like someone else wrote it. "...as she rocked her hips back and forth slower than pouring honey" is a nice image. Later in the book, not so much:

One Varsity echoed Sam. "We'll get our blood in the morning!" The chant caught on. "WE'LL GET OUR BLOOD IN THE MORNING!"

I'm sorry, but that's the worst chant ever. I could see "We'll get blood!" being chanted or "Blood in the morning!", but that whole line?

I've been out of high school for a long time, but somehow I don't think lockers were this big:

[Teenager who went through a growth spurt and works out daily] stuffed himself into the locker [with the corpse of a dead teacher], closing the door behind him.

This was the last straw. (Haha, see what I did there?) She backed up with a startled whinny. I think I've heard whinny used that way before, but man, all I can think of is a horse. It was an overweight girl.

Then an awful teenage romance subplot started and I was out of there. I didn't reach the 50% point, so I can't count this book.
Tags: 2014 books, book review, book: quarantine
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