First Lines: Leo, it’s about six hours since you left the island. The way things have been, I know you wouldn’t have expected me to come to see you off, but I keep thinking about how you waved and waved from the dock five years ago, when I was leaving for Toronto.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a dystopia. Ok, maybe this is slightly more skewed to “science fiction” than “dystopia”, but I’m still going to count it as both. It still felt like a dystopia to me.
Kaelyn moved back to the island with her family after living in Toronto for five years. It’s not ideal; she doesn’t have many friends because most people look at her like she’s a snot for living in the big city that long. Then a sickness starts appearing on the island. At first, it’s just a persistent itch and some sneezing and coughing. Then it makes you super friendly and has you sharing secrets with strangers. And finally, you start hallucinating…right before you die. The disease sweeps the island, causing the government to put the island under quarantine. How long can Kaelyn and her family survive the epidemic? What will happen to everyone? With Kaelyn losing those that she does care about, how long does she want to hang on?
I tell you what, I started getting really paranoid after I read this. I’m itching like crazy right now as I type this. And a few of my family members have allergies, so the sneezing made me jump a little at first. You really do get sucked into Kaelyn’s world, where every symptom could mean the person has the disease.
I liked that there was a love component to the story and that it didn’t detract from the rest of the story. It took a back seat to the disease and the chaos. That’s exactly what it should have done.
It seemed a little weird that the story was told in the journal to Leo the whole time. It was told well, don’t get me wrong, but it just seemed like an odd way to tell the story. It worked, so I guess I can’t complain much about it.
It ended up being pretty heart wrenching. I mean, this disease was wiping out people right and left. That alone is disheartening, even if you don’t know them. You know you could be next. And the effects of the quarantine were far-reaching as well, but I won’t go into that. I want you to have something exciting to read, after all. Let’s just say toward the end I really started getting choked up. It was hard not to.