From the Quarantine series , Vol. 2

Implausible, poorly written trash that, most damningly, bores.

A slapdash continuation of the story of a high school in quarantine that started in The Loners (2012).

The infected, gun-wielding kids who broke into McKinley High keep the door open long enough for most of the Loners clique to escape before outside adults re-seal it, restarting the familiar plot. Now Lucy and Will struggle at the bottom of the social heat, and a group of parents has taken over responsibility for the school, food drops and “graduation.” Besides the disbanding of the Loners, the other clique shake-up is Varsity’s ouster of dictatorial Sam. Vulnerable Will stumbles into a party thrown by the heretofore-ignored newly trapped kids, nicknamed Saints after their school mascot, and joins. Soon Will and the Saints’ unbalanced leader control the parents through extortion and throw wild parties featuring entrances on motorcycles and the riding of a live, wild hog (a transparent, clumsy link to Lord of the Flies); despite the flash, it’s a slow-paced, tensionless storyline. Meanwhile, Lucy joins the Sluts, who welcome her with sexual bullying during “Naked Week,” a hazing ritual introduced through writing on par with bad porn. This book never lets plausibility get in the way of objectification—one character plans a grandiose gentlemen’s club in the war-torn high school, and female sexuality is constantly bartered. Near the end, Thomas (Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies’ collective pen name) finally remembers the first novel’s only successful element: Gore.

Implausible, poorly written trash that, most damningly, bores. (Science fiction. 16-18)

Pub Date: July 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60684-336-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Egmont USA

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013


The format of this taut and moving drama forcefully regulates the pacing; breathless, edge-of-the-seat courtroom scenes...

In a riveting novel from Myers (At Her Majesty’s Request, 1999, etc.), a teenager who dreams of being a filmmaker writes the story of his trial for felony murder in the form of a movie script, with journal entries after each day’s action.

Steve is accused of being an accomplice in the robbery and murder of a drug store owner. As he goes through his trial, returning each night to a prison where most nights he can hear other inmates being beaten and raped, he reviews the events leading to this point in his life. Although Steve is eventually acquitted, Myers leaves it up to readers to decide for themselves on his protagonist’s guilt or innocence.

The format of this taut and moving drama forcefully regulates the pacing; breathless, edge-of-the-seat courtroom scenes written entirely in dialogue alternate with thoughtful, introspective journal entries that offer a sense of Steve’s terror and confusion, and that deftly demonstrate Myers’s point: the road from innocence to trouble is comprised of small, almost invisible steps, each involving an experience in which a “positive moral decision” was not made. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-028077-8

Page Count: 280

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999


Aspiring filmmaker/first-novelist Chbosky adds an upbeat ending to a tale of teenaged angst—the right combination of realism and uplift to allow it on high school reading lists, though some might object to the sexuality, drinking, and dope-smoking. More sophisticated readers might object to the rip-off of Salinger, though Chbosky pays homage by having his protagonist read Catcher in the Rye. Like Holden, Charlie oozes sincerity, rails against celebrity phoniness, and feels an extraliterary bond with his favorite writers (Harper Lee, Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Ayn Rand, etc.). But Charlie’s no rich kid: the third child in a middle-class family, he attends public school in western Pennsylvania, has an older brother who plays football at Penn State, and an older sister who worries about boys a lot. An epistolary novel addressed to an anonymous “friend,” Charlie’s letters cover his first year in high school, a time haunted by the recent suicide of his best friend. Always quick to shed tears, Charlie also feels guilty about the death of his Aunt Helen, a troubled woman who lived with Charlie’s family at the time of her fatal car wreck. Though he begins as a friendless observer, Charlie is soon pals with seniors Patrick and Sam (for Samantha), stepsiblings who include Charlie in their circle, where he smokes pot for the first time, drops acid, and falls madly in love with the inaccessible Sam. His first relationship ends miserably because Charlie remains compulsively honest, though he proves a loyal friend (to Patrick when he’s gay-bashed) and brother (when his sister needs an abortion). Depressed when all his friends prepare for college, Charlie has a catatonic breakdown, which resolves itself neatly and reveals a long-repressed truth about Aunt Helen. A plain-written narrative suggesting that passivity, and thinking too much, lead to confusion and anxiety. Perhaps the folks at (co-publisher) MTV see the synergy here with Daria or any number of videos by the sensitive singer-songwriters they feature.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02734-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: MTV Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1999

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