Monday, July 27, 2015

Pandemic | Yvonne Ventresca

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 Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn't about to get any better.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. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Yvonne Ventresca in December during the YABookFest in Princeton. I got her book personally signed, and I finally got the chance to pick it up and read it. I will say that this book picked me up out of my reading slump. It was the first book I read in a long time that reminded me why I enjoy reading.

Personally I really enjoyed Lilianna's and Jay's character and how they developed throughout the novel, Lilianna in particular. While Lilanna's past incidents may seem irrelevant, I think it was crucial in changing her character and developing it further. It's what made her so paranoid and probably what saved her life in this crisis. But we also got the chance to see Lilianna finally open up to the people around her.

While this book wasn't action-packed, I think more of the action is in the character development and the relationships between them. I love dystopians and this is yet another book to add to the list.

The premise of this book closely resembled that of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, so if you enjoyed that, I definitely recommend this book.