Thursday, January 12, 2012
A Plague Year by Edward Bloor
A Plague Year by Edward Bloor (Knopf, 2011)
Summary from publisher:
Progression of a Plague
Stage one: It starts small. Grocery carts from the supermarket where you work go missing. People start shoplifting weird combinations of things -- cleaning products and cold remedies. But your life is mostly the same old ninth-grade grind. You dream about ditching this cold coal town and going to college in Florida -- but that is years away.
Stage two: Suddenly the plague has a name: meth. You never heard of it before, but now it's on everyone's lips. The cute new girl seems to know a lot about it -- and so you are intrigued.
Stage three: Zombies appear. They have sunken red eyes, cracked lips, pale skin, rotting teeth, and outstretched hands. Other people disappear. People you know -- or knew. Some get arrested for using or selling or cooking. Some lose their jobs for stealing. Some die.
Stage four: Epidemic. This drug that you haven't even tried has seeped into every aspect of your life. Your definitions of friend, family, romance, and normal have all changed.
Cure: Is there one? No one seems to know. Part of you just wants to escape. But another part -- the better part -- is determined to stay, and fight.
Reading this summary on the book jacket, I thought this book had real promise. I thought it was an interesting way to approach a story about a town afflicted by meth addicts. This was not a story I had read before, and I eagerly dove in.
Then I started reading.
The basic plot of the story IS good. It's just that the characters are static and the school scenes feel incredibly fake. The teenagers in this school don't talk like the teenagers I know, and the teachers in the book are stereotypes. The tone of this book is also very preachy. I think it would turn most teens off.
I wish I had more positive things to say about this book. It had such potential to be GOOD!