This book is written like a journal following 16-year-old Kaelyn as an epidemic sweeps through the small, off-coast island she calls home. She must protect herself, her family, and her town from the dangers of the government quarantine and the contagious disease. Her journal is addressed to Leo, a friend who is safe on the mainland. As she documents the acceleration of the disease, Kaelyn takes it upon herself to save as many as she can.
At first, I was intrigued. The disease was unidentifiable and had curious symptoms, starting as an itchy hand with a scratchy throat and turning its victims into gossiping chatterboxes. It all starts with Kaelyn apologizing through her journal to Leo, a boy she’s secretly in love with who she hasn’t spoken to since she moved back home from a temporary stay on the mainland for her dad’s job. Throughout the first few pages I was thinking we better meet this Leo. Disappointment number one. We never end up meeting Leo. This may seem like a spoiler, which it kind of is, but it makes no difference to the entire novel because Leo as a character is just an excuse the author used to get Kaelyn writing.
Megan Crewe created really real characters with interesting personalities and dynamic personal issues but the surrounding plot didn’t drive the characters to grow or build or do anything really. I thought this novel would be an adventure; instead it turned into a lock-in of mundane disease-ridden neighbor sightings and an underwhelming sense of fear. Disappointment number two. Who on earth wants to read about boring day to day things? It was even worse because it was through journal entries. We don’t get to see anything going on in anyone else’s head. We only hear what Kaelyn writes but we don’t really get to hear her inner-monologue either.
The only good part was when she met Gav, her love interest. They strike up a relationship and it was interesting but not intriguing enough for me to fall in love with the characters. I guess that was the most disappointing thing, I didn’t care about the characters. People are dying; and I. don’t. care. Crewe missed the mark. She needed to make us fall in love with Kaelyn’s world in order for us to get into the world she created, and I could care less. I almost put it down numerous times but I felt like I had to finish it. It made reading, work. I hate that. I want to see pictures, and the moment all I see is words, I know I’m not into the book.
Overall, this novel was disappointing. The characters were well thought out but poorly executed. I’m still a little angry we never met Leo and quite honestly if there is a second book, there is no way I’d read it to meet him. I just don’t care.