This is a tale with all the elements popular in this phase of 21st-century teen lit, ranging from first (but oh-so-true) love to Eastern European bad guys to the age-old supermensch.
Orphaned Carina Monroe loses her uncle in an apparent auto accident. Now she only has Tanner, whom she will lose all too soon to Berkley in September. Morose, disoriented, now under the thumb of her uncle’s co-worker Sheila, Carina attends his memorial service surrounded by security agents who want to restrict her movements and her privacy. She learns from Sheila that her life is in danger, and if she wants to survive, she has to trust Sheila. Instead, Carina takes to her heels with only Tanner for support. Together and on the run, they follow clues her uncle left trying to guide them to safety, but they only find themselves deeper in danger. They also find that their senses and abilities are changing, giving them skills they never had before. They’ve been infected, and if they don’t find the antidote fast, they’re going to die horrible deaths—if the bad guys don’t kill them first. There’s little new here, from the plot to the characters—even Tanner’s hunky frame and “cobalt-blue eyes” are tired clichés.
Meant to be a fast-paced teen thriller, this instead is a derivative novel that is readable but all-too-familiar. (Thriller. 14-18)