Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't?
The virus has a voice, and it doesn't sound very happy.
Since the story is told via Kaelyn's letters/diary entries, hers is the only perspective that we have on the situation, and as a narrator, she's not too bad. She's determined and loyal yet naive and flawed--characteristics that made her all the more realistic to me.Sure, there are points when she felt a little...slow or behind, but I thought that given the situation and her personality it seemed to fit. The relationships that kaelyn developed with Tessa and Gav also never felt forced or unnatural, which I totally liked. I appreciated that it wasn't love at first sight with Kae and Gav and it had to spend a little time simmering. Sometimes these relationships can fall into the trap of "it's the end of the world so who cares and let's go fast" but this one didn't.
Nature doesn't have feelings or morals; it's just a bunch of random chance that sometimes work in the favor of this pack or that herd, and sometimes wipe one out. Some random chance gave this on virus the ability to infect our brains and spread itself by making itcs victims want other people's company. And as far as nature's concerned, whether we win or the virus does, it's all the same.
This story really pulled me in but I have to admit that it took a few letters/entries before I was really hooked. It wasn't until the disease really started spreading that the book created a sense of urgency that kept me reading. Once we got to that point however, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down because I felt like I really needed my questions answered. And on that note, the cliffhanger ending was not my favorite. By that point, I felt like I had fully committed to this book and almost deserved a little more resolution. And beyond the cliffhanger, there were a lot of questions that I still had concerning basic interpersonal relationships, such as what happened (in the past) with Leo and Kaelyn?
We're on a cliff, all of us, and surviving isn't about who's the best or the brightest. It's about holding on as long as we can, and trying, and failing, and trying again until we've inched a little closer to getting through this.
While I had my own issues with this book, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to lots of different readers. It's got a vibe to it that will appeal to readers who enjoy dystopias and post-apocalyptic stories. It's got a "light" feel to it as well, if that makes sense. It's not overly heavy on the drama or message or what-have-you. While there's some romance and some violence, it's nothing over the top that would stop me from recommending it to a younger crowd. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I'll definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out if for no other reason than to have some questions answered!