Quarantine: The Loners was Brutal & Gruesome

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High―until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

I was sold when Quarantine: The Loners was sold to me as The Hunger Games in high school. I was excited, really excited. When I started the book, I was immersed into this ‘post apocalyptic’ image of high school, with these (all white) students, tearing each other apart. They built a hierarchy, one that was very complicated to me. Then you had some dust ups and some carnage here and there and then the book finished. 

  • THE IMAGERY – I mean the writing in the beginning of the book was A+ guys. Some of the scenes were very intense and were described so well. I swear I could have fainted at some of the stuff described in the book. It was disgustingly great.
  • WILL – He was basically the only character I was rooting for. The kid was second best, all the damn time, that just drove me crazy. Will mastered so many talents, he could sneak around the whole high school without anyone knowing. This guy was a legend in my eyes. The kid also had epilepsy, which made his survival in high school even harder, because in the book, his brother states that all his medication had finished and now his seizures were unpredictable.
  • YOUNG LOVE – I kind of have a love hate relationship with all the love interests in the book, but it was nice to have something in the book that wasn’t gruesome.
  • David, Lucy, Hilary, I think every character ever. I just never really cared. I mean I cared about David, our protagonist, but that all went out the window after the second half of the book. Lucy wasn’t even interesting and Hilary was a wreck of confusion.
  • Sam – Like yeah, he was suppose to be the evil guy in the book, but I just didn’t get his motivation because there really wasn’t any. His characters thoughts and impulses were really pointless, to an extent. I just didn’t know how to read the book and not yell at the fool to show his true intentions. He was a question mark the whole book.
  • ALL THE SIDE CHARACTERS were all unimportant. They just… existed. They had no real purpose. A minority only existed just to be killed off.
  • WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE KIDS INFECTED WITH? We NEVER learn about how these kids are immune, what the hell is happening outside of the high school, how did they get contained so quickly and so much more. So many loose ends. At the start of the book we get a explanation but it’s really vague.
  • POINTLESS DEATHS were scattered throughout the book. Like yeah, I understand most of you (the students) don’t have morals anymore and don’t really care about anyone, but I just don’t get it. Why kill for no reason?
  • SOME GRUESOME STUFF were described in the book. I mean, yeah this is kind of a good thing, because the authors really pulled off the descriptions, but some of the scenes were cringey to read.
  • I DIDN’T CARE what happened at the end of the book, even though it wasn’t even a good ending. I had zero cares if David was going to die, or Will (even though he was my fav) or anyone else. Like, I really didn’t care.
  • TOOK ME FOREVER TO READ. Like 3 months. Just because it was that boring after I hit the halfway point. Like, it just went down hill. I could have DNF it but I wanted to find out if Will would end up with all his limbs and happy.
  • JUST A TERRIBLE DISASTER of trying to be like Lord of the Flies and terribly failing. Like yeah, you nailed the gruesome and brutal bits, however, you forgot to make us fall in love with the cast of characters.
  • ALL WHITE SCHOOL? Like, that’s not weird. *Note: There was one brief character who may have been a PoC, but who knows, because I sure as hell don’t*
A great read at the beginning but goes down hill pretty fast. I’ll probably pick up the next book, in ten years, I give this book 2.5 stars because of how good it was at the beginning.

Thanks Walker Books Australia for the review copy!
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