Release Date: July 9, 2013
A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints continues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be. Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door... McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken. As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soon after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive. - Goodreads.com
I had had mixed feelings about the first book in this series, Quarantine: The Loners, because I had some issues with a couple of the characters and some of the motivations for different events that occurred in the story. This installment, however, pulled things together for me a lot more. Before I started reading, I was actually really concerned that I might not like it, because the only character I had truly liked in the first book, I knew, was probably not going to appear very much, if at all, in this installment. That mean I was going to have to throw my support in for Will and Lucy, and I had issues with both of them in book one. BUT I needn't have worried.
In the first book, Will was a spoiled whiny-butt to me, and I almost couldn't stand to read passages about him. In this book, however, my opinion of Will totally changed. He's alone now, has to fend for himself and what's left of his gang, and take care of Lucy. The dynamics of the gang is broken up, however, and Will is largely left on his own. I think this grows him up quite a bit. He was smarter in this story, more mature, gave thought for some others before himself, and he grew some bravery that rounded him out and just made him a more likeable character for me. I was definitely rooting for him.
Lucy, too, changes almost completely in this story. I liked her in the first one, but in it, she was largely mousy and not very brave. In this story, without people looking after her quite so much, she had to learn to fend for herself quite a bit. She worked at it, got smart and brave, with a touch of ruthless in her that I didn't expect but nevertheless welcomed. In the case of both characters, I really enjoyed the growth.
I felt like the story itself really got us somewhere this time. There was progress, both with the addition of some new kids from outside, and from the arrival of some other characters that changed the dynamic in the school a little bit. Although rough and deadly, I don't think this book was quite as brutal as the previous one... but that has largely to do with some events that occur that change things a bit.
The ending gave me a big shocker I wasn't expecting, but was actually happy about. All in all, this was a really good book that kept me interested from page one. I love where the author is going with this one, and I will definitely be looking for book three. Great installment.