Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca


Pandemic 
Pandemic by 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 Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn't about to get any better.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.


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Publishes in US: May 6th 2014 by Sky Pony Press
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Source: Sky Pony via Edelweiss
Series? No

Buy it: Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog

 
    I wanted to read Pandemic because I am interesting in illnesses and if there is an epidemic what the backlash would be. I wanted to see a teen in this situation and how she would survive. 
    Lil has changed in the last few months, and we come in right before the illness starts to spread. She is smoking and stockpiling things in case something happens. Her dad is in the field of viruses and illnesses and her mom is a health watch dog. So, she has insight into preparation and prevention against pandemics. She channels her helplessness from what happened to her into trying to be prepared for a disaster. Its her coping mechanism. And of course, as in novels, her knowledge and research and family ties as well as hoarding supplies is going to come in handy as the plot progressed. 
    I can relate with Lil because she feels so down and that bad things are always going to happen. But she takes that to the extreme where with my past trauma and issues, I just focus on one day at a time. She's been skipping class, can't concentrate and would rather read her google alerts for unexplained illness than study for history. 
    One thing that I didn't like was the kinda forced love triangle. There is Ethan, who she used to date before the devastating event, but she never confided in him. But to me, he was never a good choice, because he is so hover-y.  Then all of the sudden he is coming around again, and asking her to hang out. As for the second guy, she bumps into him several times before and they had some conversations and chemistry. Jay is a great listener, and they work together and combine resources once the virus hits. Things are intense, and so is their romance. I liked Jay though and their vibe and how they can be open and non-judgemental.
    Lil and Megs, her best friend, had such a strong friendship. I loved reading about that in the beginning, when life was "normal." Megs nudges her to go to class and study, and is worried about her. They get to spend time together and Lil trusted her enough to confide what happened.  Not only friendship in this one, I love the family ties. Although Lil's parents aren't able to get home, they keep in as close contact as they can. Once the virus starts to spread it goes fast. It travels the coast and even the world quickly and it devastates in hot spots, but it is still crazy in who and when it hits. 
    So many people are lost in this one, and Lil struggles to keep it together. She is only a teen, but I love that the good in her and her strong humanitarian--help who you can, how you can kicks in. Its amazing how she bands together in the darkest hours of this pandemic with others and try to help others even through their grief, pain, and uncertainty. 
     The ending was pretty good. Even though their is still obviously going to be a lot of loss and grief to deal with, the survivors have began to knit together and help each other continue to live. The virus first wave in that area seems to have leveled off and they of course are working on a vaccine and taking preventions in order to deal with further crisis.   
 
Bottom Line: Shows the strength of love, community, and bravery in a time of disease, death, and fear.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you prepare at all for "the end of the world" or a huge natural disaster?
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34 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I don't think this book is for me. My kind of scifi is aliens and space travel scifi, not HOT ZONE scifi or The End is Nigh scifi. I guess you could say that the less likely it is to happen, the more likely I am to like it, LOL. And no, I don't prepare for the end of world. I am sans bunker ;)

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  2. I've not heard about this one before, but it sounds pretty interesting. But I don't really like love triangles that much. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  3. I'm glad that the friendship and family relationships were written well. It's a shame about the love triangle, though - that's something I know will put me off. Thanks for the honest review!

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  4. Yeah, the love tringle felt too forced to me

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  5. I loved the illness aspect and that was carried off pretty well

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  6. That is true. Hard core scary thinking about new diseases or even old deadly ones coming back

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  7. Ugh. I am a fan of reading stories about contagion, but I detest love triangles. :/

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  8. Jenea WhittingtonMay 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Sounds like s book I need to add to my wishlist! Great review.

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  9. candacerobinsonMay 5, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    I have a hard time with books like this because I'm already a germaphobe. I have a feeling this is something that could (will) happen and it freaks me out a bit too much. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

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  10. I'd read it for the virus thing too

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  11. These books are always so terrifying because it could happen. I don't like though the forced love triangle.

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  12. Well the love triangle doesn't excited me but I am curious about Lil. Great review Brandi!

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  13. I loved that movie Outbreak so this really appeals to me. I love these intense type reads, and I'm wondering what this girl's original "issue" was. Great review, Brandi! :)

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  14. Michaela WilliamsMay 6, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    I think about preparing mostly for tornados and other natural disasters because I have a house full of animals and I wouldn't want to lose them if something happened. But usually my husband or my mom tells me to claim down and sit down and that's as far as it gets. I do have mental zombie apocalypse plan but that's more for fun from watching The Walking Dead :). Great review, I have will be reading Pandemic soon :)

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  15. Hmmm... yes, the forced love triangle seems a bit much, and I like the sound of Jake. Great review Brandi!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  16. I'm always difficult with pandemic, I don't know why, it's the same with movies... It's ok for one person but well after that it annoyed me. Sorry for the forced love triangle, but I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review.

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  17. Love triangles are bad enough, but a forced one, no way.

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  18. I enjoyed otherwise, just wish Ethan wasn't there

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  19. Jay was great, and wish it was just him

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  20. Natural disasters are def things to think about. i am in NC, so hurricanes are the big thing here

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  21. They can be good, just not this one

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  22. Yeah, didn't feel like Ethan needed to be there

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  23. It is a great premise and I haven't read much like it

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  24. I like the sound of Lil and Jay's characters in this one, and the fact the author was able to show a positive aspects coming out of something as horrible as an pandemic.

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  25. ew for forced love triangles... why oh why? :( Thought the plot itself sounds interesting.

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  26. I can't believe they're still doing love triangles and a forced one too! like QUITE IT ALREADY! We don't want slutty heroes who can't make up their minds! Geez!

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  27. Great point--always something good can come

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  28. Andrea @The Bookish BabeJuly 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    This does seem like a very compelling story. I'm glad you enjoyed Pandemic!

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  29. Thank you, I enjoyed the contagion aspect, haven't read much like that

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