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.
Intense and heart-pounding, The Loners was one hell of a ride! I am not sure what I expected going into this novel, but this one is definitely a page-turner!
The action starts right from page one. On the first day of school there is an explosion accompanied by the sudden and horrifying death of all the teachers. A virus has infected the students which makes them deadly to young children and adults. In an effort to contain this virus from the outside world, the students have been quarantined inside what is left of their school and can be released one by one as they approach adulthood, or else suffer the traumatic death themselves. Limited supplies and food are dropped in among the students, but other than that, they are on their own.
Of course, chaos is going to ensue. This is where things really get interesting. The kids are scared and confused and quickly turn on each other, fighting to survive. I felt a Lord of the Flies meets High School vibe as I was reading this. The fighting and violence are pretty severe after the first murder spirals things completely out of control. The kids split up into different gangs: Varsity, The Pretty Ones, the Sluts, the Geeks, the Skaters, the Freaks, and everyone else made up the Loners. We follow David and his brother Will as they try to stay alive, along with Lucy. David is wanted dead by the leader of Varsity and I was constantly on the edge of my seat as to what could possibly go wrong or happen next for them!
Seriously guys, my heart was pounding throughout the entire book! I swear I had to keep stopping and think, ‘WHAT THE FUCK?! DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN?!’ I am pretty sure I kept shaking with nerves for the characters I had grown attached to as well! This is definitely one of those books that you really have to read for yourself though and it might not be for everyone. It is full of violence, often graphic. I must also admit that I still have a lot of questions about what exactly was happening with the outside world for it to let this situation get this bad inside the school. Like how the food drop offs were so scarce of supplies and why there wasn’t better communication. But it was easy for me to overlook those things with my enjoyment of the rest of the storyline. I also expect we will be getting a lot of answers with the next installment.
Non-stop action kept this book in my hands and along with a kick-ass cliffhanger, I am DYING to know what will happen in the next one!
4.5 out of 5!
*This review is based on an egalley provided by the publisher for a fair and honest review.