Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Quarantine by Lex Thomas (Review, Guest Post, Giveaway)

Genre:Young Adult, Thriller, Horror
Publication.Date  July 10th 2012
Published By:  Egmont USA | 
WebsiteLex Thomas | 

Quarantine - Goodreads
My review copy:A copy of the book received from via the Kismet Blog Touring
Where to get:

“As original as The Hunger Games, set within the walls of a high school exactly like yours.” – Kami Garcia, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. 

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

"Take Michael Grant's Gone and Veronica Roth's Divergent, rattle them in a cage until they're ready to fight to the death, and you'll have something like this nightmarish debut...Thomas' whirlwind pace, painful details, simmering sexual content, and moments of truly shocking ultra-violence thrust this movie-ready high school thriller to the head of the class." - Booklist (starred review)


     The first book in The Loners series, Quarantine, is a wild and explosive cocktail of scary, fun, and gore. Page after page, chapter after chapter, this book is made of action, tension and almost unbearable chaos of a world turned upside down by a deadly virus - a contagious, parasitic virus that thrives only in bodies of pubescent teenagers and destroys everyone - adults and children alike - in their path.

     Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies (the two talented writers behind the pen name Lex Thomas) don't waste time on polite introductions, nor do they dwell on abstract descriptions. They get straight to the point, throwing the reader right into the centre of mind-popping action. You might want to consider attaching a seat-belt to your favourite reading-chair, cause the way these two tell the story is more intense than the scariest roller coaster ride you can imagine. All the events described in this book take place at McKinley High - a totally ordinary high school that's just unfortunate to be located near Mason Montgomery Technologies. MMT is a weapon manufacturer and there wouldn't be anything extraordinary about it if not for the illegal biological weapons they've been secretly testing on kidnapped teenagers. The first day of a new school year also happens to be the day when the government sends their troops to investigate the illegal activities at MMT. Long story short, something goes wrong, one of the infected teenagers escapes and makes his way to McKinley High. The government - in hopes of minimizing the casualties and getting everything under control - blows up half of the school. Needless to say, that doesn't help. The virus spreads all over the school in - literally - seconds, and in a blink of an eye all the students turn into walking bio-bombs, lethal to everyone who comes in contact with them.

     And so the Quarantine begins. Cut off from the rest of the world, the infected students of McKinley High are now on their own and forced to fight in order to survive. Gangs form, tension raises, fights break out and the situation quickly escalates into a full-blown gang-war, with people who used to be your friends turning into your most deadly enemies. Friendship? Morality? Decency? Mutual support? Forget about it! Survival is all that matters. The good news is: as the puberty leaves the body, the virus disappears. The bad news? You then lose your immunity and within 24 hours you end up dead. Thankfully, the military set up an automated testing station, designed to scan the blood for an active virus and then release the virus-free students into the outside world. It's kind of like graduating from high school, only in this situation it's more like graduate or die trying.

     This book was... WOW, I don't even know where to begin! It was insanely intense, but not at all in a subtle-kind of way. More like in a right-in-your-face, what-the-hell-just-happened and I'm-never-going-back-to-high-school kind of way. It certainly isn't a book for the faint-hearted, there are scenes of violence and abuse. And I don't mean a fist fight or spitting someone in the face, either, I mean seriously cringe-worthy stuff. If I was watching a movie instead of reading a book, I would be hiding under a blanket and covering my ears. Lex Thomas did a really great job painting a very grim, disturbing vision of a society that broke under pressure and crumbled to pieces. People turning into savages, thievery, rapes, oppression, injustice, even murder - that's the new reality at McKinley High, and it's only getting worse with every passing day.

     I loved the idea of gangs - certain people sticking together, joining forces to fight for supplies at weekly food-drops organized by the government. And I thought it was a cool idea to have the kids dye their hair a gang-specific colour, though I'm not exactly sure if you can actually dye your hair using Kool Aid (and if you can - I'm never drinking that stuff again!). The main character, David, is an outcast. He doesn't belong to any gang, because no gang will take him in. He and his brother, Will, are forced to run and hide, to avoid run-ins with the Varsity (strongest gang made up from the members of the school's football team). And it wouldn't be all that impossible - there are many loners like them keeping to the shadows, surviving on scraps - if not for the simple fact that the Varsity's leader want's David dead, and he won't stop at anything to achieve that.

     The writing was very dynamic and I had so much fun reading this book. This novel has everything I like in YA horrors/thrillers: a mind-blowing creep factor, dynamic action, plenty of unexpected plot twists, and overwhelming intensity. It was a thoroughly gripping novel, and though at times I felt very disturbed by the horrid events and vividly painted scenes on its pages, I couldn't bring myself to put it down. For the most part of the story I was under the impression that the authors wrote it with a future movie adaptation in mind (this book already has a movie-deal!). The way the scenes played out and how the story focused more on action than the characters' thoughts and feelings kind of made this book read more like a movie script than an actual YA novel. And it's not necessarily a bad thing, since there are so many angsty, thought-provoking YA dystopians, thrillers and post-apocalyptic novels already out there. I didn't really need another one, and I was grateful for this pure action-packed thrill ride. Any attempts at exploring the internal struggles of the characters and presenting the reader with their inner monologues, fears, worries and reflections on life would take away from the intensity and breath-taking quality of this book. That's not to say that this book is entirely free of all that. We do get a good glimpse at David's and Will's personalities, their past and their feelings, but it's done more through what they do than what the narrator tells us about their thoughts and feelings. It's more show than tell, and I liked it way better this way.

     Overall, this book really knocked my socks off. I had a blast reading it and can't believe I now have to wait till summer 2013 to find out what happens next! The cliffhanger ending - while totally fantastic and exciting - really killed me. I'm literally dying to read the next book and am so happy to have discovered this creeptastic new series! If - like me - you're into the scary and creepy, be sure to add this book to your reading pile, it's a real winner!

Lex and Tom share their TOP 5s! 

Book: Deliverance
Sport: Is canoeing a sport?
Musical instrument: Synthesizer
Fast food: Breakfast sandwich
Place to escape: A country drive

Book: You Can’t Win by Jack Black. (The hobo criminal Jack Black, not the funny one)
Sport: MMA
Musical instrument: My throat? I like karaoke.
Fast food: Bagel and cream cheese with salt, pepper, and tomato from a local cafe.
Place to escape: Monterey, CA.!

About the authors:

website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first novel, QUARANTINE: THE LONERS, earned a starred review from Booklist, and Huffington Post Books called it “one of the best books that I have ever read.”

Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles.

Lex and Thomas met in a writers’ group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other’s minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone. Visit them at
For more information about Quarantine and the upcoming movie adaptation please visit its Facebook Page and follow its Twitter account!

Two lucky winners will have the chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of Quarantine!
this giveaway is US/Canada only

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bookworm105 said...

As i was reading the blurb i couldn't stop my jaw hitting the floor. This sounds awesome! And after reading you review i'm definitely adding it to my TBR pile! Thanks for sharing!

Sangita @ Whisper of Reads.

Alida said...

Sounds like a great read!!

Kazhy @ My Library in the Making said...

Wow, a book by two authors! And the story sounds really interesting <3

Sandra said...

I think I heard about this a couple months ago but then forgot about. Definitely adding to my TBR right now!

Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

I loved Gone! And the Hunger Games, that too. Would love to read this.

Lisa Mandina said...

I also have heard about this, and it sounds so good! And the comparisons to some of my favorite books, Gone and The Hunger Games, makes me even more eager!!

Tiffany Holme said...

OMG Evie could your review have me anymore excited?! Seriously!!! I wasn't even half way through and I totally felt I needed this book!! The seat belt comment made me smile but the more you talked about it the more I needed it <3

Anonymous said...

I read another blog's review of this book and it sounded so-so. I read yours and it sounds downright AMAZING.

I'm so confused. I think I'm going to have to read it myself and decide that way.

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Love this kind of book! Thanks for the chance to win it.

Julie S said...

Very interesting blurb. Thanks for letting me know this book is out there!

Camilla P. said...

Well, this seems a really awesome book! Your review really made me want to read this :) I'd like some action-thriller-horror novel. I've read some "heavier" books in the last couple of months and now I'd like to read something totally different!

Just a little question about the Giveaway... is it open internationally?

Madalina said...

Love your review. This book sounds amazing.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

Jessica Etches said...

Can't wait to check out the book. Its been on my to-be-read-list since i first saw it!

Kelly said...

One of these days, I will learn not to read all your reviews. You sure know how to suck me in! I hate cliffhangers but everything else... well I want to read it now!

Jessica said...

This sounds brutally amazing. Thanks for a great review. :)

Amy said...

This sounds awesome!! I love good scary books!! This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Great review!!

Maria Paola said...

I need to read this book!!!

Unknown said...

This sounds like a really interesting book! I can't wait to read it...

Stella Chen said...

Whoa. This book sounds thrilling. I've been dying to read an intense book.

Unknown said...

Ohhhh. It sounds interesting. I shall put this on my reading list.


Anonymous said...

I love how this book sounds and have it on my wish list since I heard about it.

Kimmie said...

This book sounds very interesting. As someone who loved Gone and is currently reading This Is Not A Test, I just put it on my TBR list.

Larisa said...

Now this is more like my type of book! I can tell from your review that the book is totally worthy and I hope I'll have the chance to read. Too bad the giveaway is US/Canada only :(

Rachel V said...

This sounds like a really great book. I have put it on my TBR list.

Obsession with Books said...

This book sounds intense but I am really intrigued by the concept.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful review Evie :)

Jaime Lester said...

This is why I read reviews. Because Quarantine is not a book that I would have read otherwise. And I would have missed out on a great one. Thanks so much for another great review. And for getting this one out there. I haven't heard about this one a lot. Now it will be read by your followers and it deserves that.

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