Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nothing Stops the Pandemic

Are any of us prepared for a true pandemic? If a plague hit us, how would we survive it? Those are the questions you are going to ask yourself and are going to keep you up at night as you read Yvonne Vontresca's Pandemic

No one knows what happened to Lil except her parents and her two friends. Well, the one who believed her is still her friend. The other? Let's just say she didn't believe Lil's big secret. Since everything happened, Liz has broken up with her boyfriend, doesn't go out, and certainly doesn't want her parents to see her grades. She has also started slipping into "Prepper" habits. With her father working for Disease Control, it isn't hard to imagine what could happen to everyone if there was any kind of pandemic. She hides her supplies in a closet, and doesn't tell anyone about her disaster monitoring, but her mom finds out anyway. While her father is less disturbed by the behavior than her mother, it is clear they are both worried about what has happened to Lil. 

When Lil sees a strange flu that is hitting south of their NJ home, she decides to keep an eye on it. Her mother is heading out of town, which means she doesn't have to keep such a careful check on her concerns, but when her father is called to a conference that is focusing on the disease, she becomes concerned. He tries to soothe her worries, but at the same time, they both know the flu seems to be spreading, and its deadly. When her father gets quarantined at his hotel, it is clear the pandemic isn't a figment of Lil's imagination. Now she is alone, she is terrified of the flu that has hit her home state, and out there is the man who changed her life not too long ago. 

There are two stories in this book: the pandemic, and Lil's big secret. They are both interesting, both are handled well, but it still seemed weird to me to have both in the same book. Not sure why, it just didn't seem like they belonged together in the same story. Still, both were very interesting, so I got over my weirdness and just enjoyed the story. I like disaster/pandemic stories, so this was right up my alley. As disaster stories go, this is a fairly tame one, so feel free to use this story for your middle school through high school students. As for the big secret? It isn't graphic, and it is rarely dealt with once the pandemic starts, so it shouldn't be too distracting. 

As for Lil? I actually really, really liked her. She was quirky, and I loved the little prepper in her, but when push came to shove and she should have been locking her windows and doors and pretending she wasn't around, instead, her worry for her friends and neighbors overcame her need to stay safe and control her surroundings. It was a good display of how we can overcome our own demons in the wake of a tragedy, and I really enjoyed watching her transformation. Like all disaster books, there are obvious losses, and it was sad watching Lil deal with them, but she is a tough girl. This was a great first novel, and I am interested to see what Vontresca does next!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read Pandemic and for writing such a detailed review. I'm glad you liked Lil. :)