A Pandemic of Snoozing

Hmm. I am having a bit of a bipolar start to the year with YA fiction: I either LOVE IT TO DEATH AND BACK or I can't stand it.

So. I like books about pandemics. I like movies about pandemics. I would not like a pandemic to strike the area where I live, and I was pretty freaked out by the Ebola outbreak earlier this year (here's where the message-board people chime in and say that it's a government conspiracy to cull the population or something). Anyway, this book is called Pandemic, which is pretty darn straightforward.

As with so many other YA books that I either failed to finish or finished with a deep sense of smoldering regret, this could have been very good. However, the world-building is weak and the character development is somehow both cliche and nonexistent. I made it about five chapters in before I decided I simply could not take it any more.

So what went wrong? Well, things didn't start out so well. Lil is someone who had a Traumatic Incident (you can probably guess what kind of incident it was, although the details were different than what I guessed). She didn't tell many people about it, only her parents, the cops, and her two best friends, one of whom didn't believe her. She didn't tell her boyfriend, but pushed him away because he might be dangerous. He seemed like a tool, anyway, so. 

Lil copes with her Traumatic Incident by stockpiling (which isn't a reaction I've heard of before, but obviously any stressor can cause abnormal behavior) and worrying about disease outbreaks or natural disasters. Her father works with infectious diseases. One day, the news reports an outbreak of influenza in a town called Avian.

Avian. Really? Really. Really. Is this a bird flu, because your symbolism is killing me here. 

ANYWAY, literally nothing happens except Lil moans about how she just wants to be alone and smoke. I guess eventually there is a pandemic and she learns to trust a Hot Guy, but naturally there's a high body count, yadda yadda yadda. So much nothinghappened in the first part of the book that I couldn't bear to keep going. Even the promise of learning more about the Blue Flu (yes, that's what it's called) couldn't lure me onward.

I also find it strange that the font in this book is SO BIG, thus making the book longer than it actually is, and yet the pace was slower than molasses.

I'm at a certain level of "I can't even," but I'm not sure which one.


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