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No Safety in Numbers (No Safety in Numbers, #1)
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No Safety in Numbers (No Safety in Numbers #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  3,576 ratings  ·  560 reviews
When a strange device is discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall, the entire complex is suddenly locked down. No one can leave. No one knows what is going on.

At first, there's the novelty of being stuck in a mega mall with free food and a gift certificate. But with each passing day, it becomes harder to ignore the dwindling supplies, inadequate information, and
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Dial Books (first published May 1st 2012)
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Alexander Scott It does, at least to me some parts were.
The parts that had a tinge of romanticism in were not, perhaps, to the degree you would want in a romantic…more
It does, at least to me some parts were.
The parts that had a tinge of romanticism in were not, perhaps, to the degree you would want in a romantic novel though. In romantic novels and in other books that have a good touch of romanticism you get to explore and take the journey in understanding the relationship between the characters more as well as seeing the relationship, the attraction and the vivid scenes progress into something. In this first book, you have some aspects of that although, again, not to the depth you might be looking for. (less)
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Penguin Teen Summer 2012!
5th out of 25 books — 61 voters
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Best Apocalypses in a Closed Space
5th out of 10 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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first things first. look how cool this book is when you take the dust jacket off:

and i appreciate that attention to detail, but when all is said and done, this is just another book that has a great premise, but suffers under any real common sense scrutiny applied to its plot.

this is a puppy-dumb YA book that reminds me that these books aren't written for me. i think younger readers will appreciate a book about people being quarantined in a mall after an attack by unknown enemies where a bomb sta
Friends, this book illustrates a particular nightmare of mine.

I’m the type of girl who has not shared a drink with a friend since 1992, who routinely hand sanitizes up to the elbows while at work, and who has been known to duck under tables to avoid a hacking passerby.

So the thought of being trapped in a shopping mall filled with hundreds of gradually-increasingly-sick individuals lurching about, their fingertips slowly turning blue, the blood vessels in their eyes dramatically bursting, their
Amber Joyce
This is drivel. I am so disappointed; the premise of a bioterrorist attack on a suburban mall resulting in a lock down of all the patrons really sounded good. The writing is awful. The teen characters are vapid, and annoyingly forced ethnically diverse--- really--- an Indian girl with no friends, a white bully football player boy, a black girl whose mother is the governor, a Mexican illegal who works at the burger joint. The adults are idiots. My 9th grader and I both gave up about half way thro ...more
Alice Lee
This book is absolute trash; it is so comically bad I often had to pause at a particular line because I couldn't believe the words strung together by this person actually got published and printed.

Okay, I'm going to admit two things: one, it's a YA novel, and I'm an adult. In other words, this book is written for someone with much less discriminating taste; two, I had to read this for work, otherwise I would never have picked it up, what with a tagline of "they should have stayed home." Ugh.

I began “No Safety in Numbers” with the highest of hopes. I mean, bioterrorism and a crowded mall? What could go wrong with that, right? By about chapter five my entire reason for finishing the book was so I could write a review of it.

That’s right. I loathed a book so bad that I became obsessed with getting to the end just to be able to share my thoughts on how horrible it is. Now my moment has come. Unfortunately, the English language has not yet evolved enough to have words strong enough to de
I'm seeing a lot of people excusing the weakness of the book as it being aimed at young adults, and even though I can't speak for all of us, I can pretty much guarantee that this book sucks. Such an interesting premise and in a format I enjoy, multiple points of view that cross over, but the characters are just so incredibly shitty.

The digital artist Lexi, being the character I most closely relate to interest-wise, made me roll my eyes more than any character should provoke. Her whole internet g
Rebecca McNutt
I wasn't expecting much from this book, but it turned out to be pretty entertaining. Sure, it was melodramatic at many parts, but I liked the characters for the most part, the book was gripping and exciting and I liked the author's writing style. The story reminded me a lot of that 2005 film Blackout, the LMN one about the mom and her kids stuck in the shopping mall with a killer while all the power goes out.
Sara Grochowski
I arrived at work today to find a package of No Safety in Numbers waiting for me in my mail slot. I had never heard of it, but, inside the package, I found a face mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer, which, luckily, piqued my interest. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the cover art on the galley I was sent. Personally, I think a black background with a red title would look cleaner. The crinkled yellow background that it features now makes it look almost childish, not serious, which I feel wou ...more
Thousands of people trapped in a mall after a biotoxin is released? Sounded like a tense action/thriller/suspense story.

That's why I'm so disappointed that this novel, with such a great concept, felt like such a snooze.

I felt like the chapters were starting to repeat themselves: Marco doesn't like the jocks; Ryan likes Shay; Shay is worried about her grandma; Lexi is a shy computer whiz. Lorentz reiterates these points again and again, but the plot stagnates. So much page space is devoted to est
I really wanted to love this book. The premise was great, people trapped inside a mall, quarantined after a biological bomb goes off. Unfortunately, after that exciting idea, not much happened.

The story is told through four viewpoints. I like the way the author goes for diversity. The main characters are:

Marco - a Hispanic boy nicknamed "Taco" by his enemies (imagine being the guy who found the bomb that leaves you trapped inside an enclosed mall with other guys who hate your guts).

Shay - Shaila
I really wanted to like this, and honestly, sometimes I did.

I love how the author talks about reading with such passion. I love that she mentions Tagore and some other great reads. I really love how Indian (but not) Shay is and how pressured Ryan feels; how much he contradicts his own wants for his brother's reputation.

But the stereotypes, my god, they were awful. I mean, sure there's little diversity in this small, white city (I can relate), but is everyone so predictable too?

Lexi has a big bu
May 22, 2012 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of "Lord of the Flies" or "The Stand."
This is a review of an ARC won through a First Reads giveaway.

3.5/5 stars

It is an indisputable fact that unsupervised teenagers in a store/mall are huge pains in the butt. They rarely buy things, and when they do it's usually something that costs $5 or less. They are loud and they always make you feel like they are laughing at you because you're old and uncool. They run amok and leave things out of order and they molest and break the neck of the giant stuffed giraffe corporate sent your store fo
So it's Hallow's eve time again, folks! So how about something scary? No, not ghosts n goblins scary. More like trapped in a mall with a deadly virus around scary. Wait, that's what this books about? Well, what perfect timing!

Basically, its a Saturday afternoon at a mall when, during an awesome chase scene, Macro, one of our main characters, finds a red blinking object of sorts. A bomb, he suspects. He pulls out his cell, and calls 911. Well because of him, lives are about to change.

Because of t
Lexi is with her mom and dad at the mall. Her mom is a US senator while her dad is a car dealer. They are at their local mall when it all happened. A bus boy called Marco found a biological bomb in the vent system. The mall is locked down and quarantined with police and government officials setting up barricades and treatment facilities. At first it sounds good. They get free food and gift certificates. But it isn’t long before supplies start dwindling and widespread panic surges through the pla ...more
Carlos Escobedo
Reading this book I had no idea what to expect, but me being a teen and all made me somewhat interested in the book. Its very fascinating how there are four narrators/stories to the book. It allows you to see from all of their perspectives of the story and somewhat maybe even compare yourself to one of these characters. The situations in the book literally kept me on the edge of my chair, with my knee's shaking dying to know what would happen next. I guess you can say I had a lot of my attention ...more
Great first book, super excited to continue on with this series!
Emily Benoit
UPDATE: I'm excited to announce that I will be posting an author interview with Dayna on my blog shortly. She accepted an interview request from me, so I just have to email her the questions! Check out my blog! Coming soon :)

Concept/Ideas: 4/5
Storyline/Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 4/5

An interesting read, none the less. I loved the idea for this book. A bomb in a mall that causes a toxin to make people ill? Whoa.

The mall being shutdown with people locked in it in solitude and sick
Yes, this book is dumb. (Really dumb. "It's not safe anywhere but the Apple Store. The police can protect us there.") Everything about this book is deeply implausible: the situation itself, the way the government handles it, the behavior of the people trapped in the mall (not to mention their families outside the mall). But if you are good at turning off that part of your brain, it's pretty entertaining actually! This was definitely a fun, quick read.

That said: I would have rated this book highe
Emma  Hoke
I'm always wierdly fascinated with these Contagion-type books (The Way We Fall, Ashes, ect). It's like you really see who people are in these types of situations, how far they'll go to survive. The thing that really pulled me into this book was the setting. I mean, who doesn't go to the mall? The whole time I was reading, I couldn't help but picture MY mall and how I would be reacting in this situation. It's quite terrifying to ponder. And this book was really dark, especially the ending. You ca ...more
Things that were great about this book: The premise. I was actually really excited to read this. A book about teens stuck in a mall during a deadly outbreak? Sign me right up. I was really hoping for an exciting read that I could pass onto my students.

Things that were not great about this book: Basically everything.

The characters are "typed" yet essentially the same. They each have their little niche role: the loner, the jock, the geek, the rebel. And simultaneously, they have a lot of the same
Aug 20, 2013 Kyle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Trapped-in-a-mall book fans
Recommended to Kyle by: An ex-friend that raved about it
Ok, just a quick mini-review.

Because this deserves to be mentioned: DIVERSITY. Yes, only ONE of the four main characters is Caucasian! Everybody else is a different ethnicity! One of them is Indian-American, one is some kind of Central American (I forget which country) and one is African-American! I give Lorentz serious props for this, since ever seeing an MC that is non-white is a big deal in young adult fiction since about 98% of them are.

The end of this book is really good and has a nice ope
Dec 23, 2012 Thea rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a quick paced story that really captures the what if of a disaster. Marco, a Latrino teen from a family that is struggling economically, is one of four teens who take center stage in this novel that highlights what might happen if a biological weapon were used on a mall. While coming into work one day, he ends up being accosted by a group of typical football jocks, including Ryan (one of the other stars). As he is trying to get away, he ends up in a closet that houses some of the HVAC sy ...more
I wish I had something positive to say about this book, but the best thing I can muster is to note the diversity of the cast of characters, and the premise was an interesting idea.

Aside from that, I unfortunately don't have anything good to say about the book. It was not an enjoyable reading experience for me at all. If I weren't reading this along with a friend for a book discussion, I would have given up, but as I did read the whole book I felt a review was justified.

The writing was not very s
For a full review, check out my YA lit blog:

No Safety in Numbers can be commended in many ways for its modern, young adult twist on a familiar story. A situation in which people are forced to remain in one space as those around them become either infected and contagious, or brutal, selfish, and violent? It’s definitely reminiscent of most zombie films in the last decade—28 Days Later, Contagion, Zombieland, the list goes on—with a dash of the power structu
I wanted to like this book, but there were several things wrong with it:

-the characters were too stereotypical. I work with teens every day--they don't fit that neatly into little cliquey groups. And whereas I admire her attempt at showing diversity, this was a little farfetched. I got this sense of "Captain Planet in a mall full of sick people".

-the biohazard is foggy at best. It seems like the emphasis was more on "how does the government keep information from us" and less on "there's a disea
Brooke Walker
I decided to read the novel “No Safety In numbers” by Dayna Lorentz, because I was at Whitcoulls the other day and they were selling it for $1. This novel is the first in a trilogy, and was really good (I read it all in one night!) It’s a slight thriller told by 4 different viewpoints, where a bomb is discovered in a mall and everyone inside is quarantined. because the bomb has let out some sort of killer flu. The novel explores the changes they are forced to make in order to adapt and tells a s ...more
I fell in love with the premise of the book. Thousands of people trapped inside a mall because of a biohazardous bomb? I imagined fights, epidemics, gangs, and characters I'd cry out, "NO!" to whenever something horrible befell them. And I got most of those things.

The plot was pretty good. I liked how it switched "perspectives" and kept track of several people rather than just one. I enjoyed the plot twists, and the illness totally had me freaked out. Put together, I did enjoy it. But I had a fe
I was excited for this book but, in the end, it was a letdown. It wasn't the most awful book ever but the characters weren't all that likeable the repetition in the author's writing was really annoying after a while. Lorentz kept repeating herself when describing the thoughts of the characters (we get it, Shay is worried about her grandmother, Ryan is in love with Shay, Marco is treated badly by kids at school, blah blah blah). The action is pretty repetitive until about the last 10 pages where ...more
Amanda N.
I easily fell into an obsessive reading relationship with the book No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz. While the subject matter is intense and very suspenseful, the dialogue and perspective is definitely all adolescent angst.

On an ordinary weekend day, the shoppers at a suburban mall are caught in a death trap. A suspicious device hooked up to the air system inside the shopping center is discovered, and in an instant the lives of everyone inside change. How long will they be trapped? How long
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What did you think? 4 22 Jan 09, 2015 06:29AM  
Ryan or Marco 8 37 Jan 09, 2015 06:29AM  
Teens AGAIN!! 16 31 May 01, 2014 02:13PM  
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Dayna is a writer of children's, young adult, and adult literature.
More about Dayna Lorentz...

Other Books in the Series

No Safety in Numbers (3 books)
  • No Easy Way Out (No Safety in Numbers, #2)
  • No Dawn Without Darkness (No Safety in Numbers, #3)
No Easy Way Out (No Safety in Numbers, #2) No Dawn Without Darkness (No Safety in Numbers, #3) The Storm (Dogs of the Drowned City, #1) The Pack (Dogs of the Drowned City, #2) The Return (Dogs of the Drowned City, #3)

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