Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca
Posted by Caitie F on May 6, 2014
Summary from pub:
Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time.
Unfortunately, Lilianna’s circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn doomsayer she has become, but her situation isn’t about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized.
With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak—her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey—Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she’s more alone than she’s been since the “incident” at her school months ago.
With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door.
This is such an emotional read. I used about a third of a box of tissues when I was reading it. While it is incredibly sad, it is also moving and manages to have some hope.
Lilianna is such an incredibly complex character. She is so smart and caring, but something happened at the end of last year and it shook her confidence and her core. I am glad young adult authors are showing that when certain things happen to you, it is hard to just go on with your life. Some things change you and it is not easy to just get back to normal, especially when you have one of your best friends abandon you in your moment of need. There were so many deaths and sudden illnesses that made me cry and hurt, but the things people did to each other hurt just as much.
One thing that makes this book a little terrifying is that it could easily happen. This is the “worst case scenario” for diseases like H1N1. Most people who get it die. There are refrigerated trucks that are used to hold bodies. There are looters everywhere. It is terrifying because it could happen. So if you are a hypochondriac, do not read this book.
But there are also people doing good. There are high schoolers bringing in orphaned children and babies. Some are finding the abandoned animals. The health care professionals are working around the clock to save those they can. Disasters can bring out the best and the worst, and this shows how there can be hope in even the darkest times.
This is a really great book, my only issue was the romance. I liked their relationship, but I thought the story about them becoming friends was much more interesting. It felt a little unnecessary, like there was a romance because this is young adult and we need one.
This is still a great book that feels very realistic from the characters to the situations. Unless you are a hypochondriac, you should read this.