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by Michael Grant
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The kids of Perdido Beach suddenly-very suddenly-find themselves alone. Everyone over age 14 has disappeared without a trace. It's up to the kids to make their own society to keep themselves alive. Most of the kids want Sam to lead them, but he's not sure he's comfortable in the role. His new friends, Astrid and Edilio, and his best friend, Quinn, have to help convince him to take his place as the leader of their newfound society, as well as struggle to stay alive amidst chaos, bullies, and the strange students from rival school, Coates Academy. Did I mention that Sam can shoot lightning bolts from his hands? And he's not the only one with supernatural powers.
I think this book just wasn't my style more than anything else, but I do enjoy most YA fiction so I wanted to share my honest feelings about the book. I didn't realize that the teens in this book were so young, only 14. I also didn't know there would be so much violence.
The main reason that I didn't really enjoy this book was because of the violence. There is a lot of violence in this book, the author does not gloss over any gory details. Also, there are some downright evil characters with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The line between good and evil is very clear cut here. The teens are either very good or very bad. In fact, there were only one or two charcters who struggled with whether or not they were on the side of good or evil. Those characters, Quinn and Orc, really stand out as the most interesting to me.
This book definitely took some cues from "Lord of the Flies", so it didn't seem like a totally new concept. Also, I really felt like I as reading James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" all over again, although I did enjoy this book more.
The writing in the book was good and I liked the fact that there were so many characters to read about. Each one was fully fleshed out. I liked the way that the characters were split up into different subplots before coming together at the end. I was most interested in Lana, left stranded in the woods with her dog, Patrick, after the 'poof.' Also, I liked Albert and the way he took over running the McDonalds to keep everyone fed. I found the main characters, Sam, Astrid, and Caine, pretty average and I didn't like reading about Mary changing diapers at the day care at all.
Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5 (Love it! The picture is beautiful and the yellow is so eye grabbing!)
Bottom Line: Mostly I was turned off by the graphic details of violence and too much detail about dirty diapers, etc. However, the writing was great and fast-paced, and I can see how someone with different tastes would enjoy the story.