Sunday, June 3, 2012

No Safety in Malls

No Safety In Numbers
As a person who hates malls with every ounce of her being, I can honestly say the idea of being trapped in a mall with tons of other people and no way out might be my idea of the seventh layer of hell! Now add a possible biochemical weapon, and I am terrified by Dayna Lorentz's No Safety in Numbers!

As Marco was running for his life in the mall parking garage from the beefy jerk from school, he had no idea his hiding spot was also the hiding spot of something a lot more sinister. A bomb. Lexi's mom, The Senator, thought a family outing was going to make up for all the time she has to work, but she couldn't have predicted how wrong she would be as the mall had to be quarantined. Now tons of people are locked down in the mall with no idea what is happening.

At first it seems like a slight inconvenience for most, and maybe even a fun sleepover for others, but the novelty of being held captive in a mall wears off quickly. The bathrooms quickly become filthy, food starts to run out, and riots break out when people realize just how trapped they really are. When people start getting sick and the government agencies require everyone to submit to a blood test, people begin to realize there is something even scarier than being trapped in a mall- being trapped in a mall with a deadly virus rampaging through its halls.

This was an interesting story and one a lot of kids would not be able to stop thinking about. The mall is a place of fun, a haven for kids to shop and goof around and just be kids. So when it becomes a nightmare, it makes everyone reevaluate their previous beliefs. The story also does a good job of showing the progression of such a situation. People aren't panicked at first. They are bored and making the best of the situation. But when things go south, they really get ugly. Looting, violence, and every other manner of human nature when people are scared and determined. 

Although the story was good, it had some huge holes. First, I can't imagine it would take people 6 whole days to panic. I think a day, maybe two, and everything would just implode. People don't just accept a quarantine, and especially not when there is the threat of a deadly virus. I know FEMA and the other government agencies would be relatively good about locking things down, but no force could control tat many scared people. And why didn't anyone question the store that was taken over as a command center until the very end? And why did the credit card machines still work when the phones and internet lines were taken down? There were definitely some holes in the story, but it was still entertaining, which is all you can really ask for.  It would be appropriate for any manner of student and has an average reading level. But be forewarned, it is apparently a trilogy, so there is no resolution at ALL at the end of the book.

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