Wendy F's Reviews > Plague

Plague by Michael  Grant
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Apr 10, 11

bookshelves: 2011, paranormal, ya-na, dystopian-apocalyptic
Read from April 08 to 09, 2011

How is it that he can make these books more violent and grotesque each time he writes one.

In other books the overly descriptive scenes stood out, but they didn't seem to overshadow the emotional turmoil that the characters were in. I still felt it in this book, especially Hunter, Astrid, and Edilio. But it did feel a bit like too much of the book was some disgustingly vile way for a kid to die.

It also does feel like there's never any progress in these books. They are keeping kids fed and creating a society, but every time I think that there is progress and that the next book will show forward progression it seems like Grant throws everything in a bag and shakes it up, tossing all ideas out like it's a roll of dice. Nothing manages to stick. Gone - Sam's in charge, Hunger - Sam in charge with council, Lies - Astrid in charge with council, now Plague - Albert and Edilio in charge with Council. Then by the end that's been demolished too. There's absolutely no method to the madness and it's a bit distracting.

I'll say 3.5, because I'm still invested in the series but it wasn't quite as good as the others.
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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Heidi (Yup. Still here.) See. That is why I can't go on with this series! It should only be 3 books tops! Why six books???


Wendy F In the beginning I could see 6 books. I even liked the concept that each book was a new big threat (Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague). But it seems like cheating to make 6 books by continuously tearing things down just so you can build them up again in another book. More plot forwarding, less blood and guts, please!


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael 100% of complaints about the intensity and violence come from adult readers. I never hear it from the kid readers.

There is a misconception adults have, that kids are fragile, easily upset, easily frightened. The truth is the exact opposite. Kids are hard to scare. Adults are easy.

You know how easy it is to scare an adult? Say the word, "Malignant." Or, "Audit." Or, "Bankruptcy." An adult's throat tightens, their heart beats a little faster.

But a 14 year old? They'll climb on a motorcycle and speed through a rainstorm. They're immortal. They're untouchable. What seems gruesome and terribly dark to you seems almost funny to them.

The process of aging is in part the process of acquiring fears. I'm 57. I'm scared of all kinds of things. But my readers aren't. My son is 13 and has read all my books, which means he started the GONE books when he was 10. Believe me when I say that he's never suffered so much as a raised pulse.

Now, one can argue that kids shouldn't be subjected to fictional horror. I disagree, but it's cool if someone disagrees. But don't think they feel what you feel. And don't think because it's over the top to you that it's over the top for them. They're bulletproof and immortal. You and I are not.


Jess Personally I love the books and there's some things where im like wth bu thats a normal reaction to that kinda thing. Im pissed at how you ended the book Micheal but still love the series


Wendy F Oh, I agree with you 100%. I would allow my daughter to read your series. As a young teenager I was allowed free reign in the books I chose to read, and I will do my best to keep that same ideal with my daughter.

My review was compromised of my personal thoughts I had while I was reading. As a mother of a 7 year old, the image of her being in this very violent world really gets to me. In each review I talk about how at times it feels just too realistic to me, and how I myself have always struggled with it.

What I do love, what helps me get through the violence, is watching how your characters are defined and react to what is happening around them, particularly Sam. I feel like their emotional struggles are very realistic.

On another note, thank you for Sanjit. I absolutely adore his character!


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael Wendy F wrote: "Oh, I agree with you 100%. I would allow my daughter to read your series. As a young teenager I was allowed free reign in the books I chose to read, and I will do my best to keep that same ideal ..."

Wendy F wrote: "Oh, I agree with you 100%. I would allow my daughter to read your series. As a young teenager I was allowed free reign in the books I chose to read, and I will do my best to keep that same ideal ..."


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael I always find the age thing treacherous. My 11 year-old daughter (the model for Brianna in personality) read about 2 paragraphs of Book #1 and it was too much. She's adopted and stories of disappearing parents hit close too home. My 13 year old son (the model for Computer Jack) is totally unfazed.

I try to imagine what I would have thought at age 13 or 14. I can't imagine it would have bothered me. We didn't have YA in those days so I was reading everything from Dickens to Asimov. I think Lovecraft may have given me a sleepless night or two, but I don't look back on that with any regret. I think of all of it, from crappy Hardy Boys to Poe to Arthur C. Clarke to Tolkien and I'm just glad for all those stories.

Nowadays of course a YA writer has to compete with a lot more than just other books. My competition isn't just Suzanne Collins or Andrew Smith, it's Halo 3 and movies and Facebook.

I think probably kids are pretty good at self-censoring, as my daughter did. My attitude is basically, if it isn't hardcore porn or Nazi recruitment materials the words, "Don't read that," should never cross a parent's or teacher's lips.


Cassi aka Snow White Haggard Wendy in no way was encouraging or EVEN mentioning censorship. You too her quite innocent and mostly positive review and put it on your soapbox. Maybe you should actually read her review a little closer and tell me where she says you should censor it? Where she says its inappropriate for children? Because the mention of violence is short and you've drug it out for paragraph upon paragraph.


message 9: by Wendy F (last edited Apr 13, 2011 08:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wendy F I'm of the opinion that any books that encourage our youth to embrace reading for enjoyment should be celebrated. I read authors like John Saul, V.C. Andrews, Jean M Auel and even an abundance of Christopher Pike, Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High as a young teen. So the idea that kids are reading again tickles me, regardless of the subject matter.

My daughter enjoys things to be scary. I allow her to watch things that I think are scary for a seven year old (Buffy, Goosebumps, she even watched Stephen King's It). And when I read your books and exclaim over the 'scary' parts, she wants me to read them to her, and I do. She's excited to be at an age where she's able to read them herself and she knows exactly where they are on my bookshelf.

I just want it to be clear that I really enjoy this series. I raved about Gone, Hunger and Lies. I also offered a positive opinion on the series when people weren't as into them as I am. This one was just a little harder for me personally. It wasn't bad, it just touched that button inside me, that's all.

If your kids are are the basis for Jack and the Breeze, then they must be pretty awesome. Isn't it great to be the parent of such cool kids?


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Cassi (Throws glitter at Peep) wrote: "Wendy in no way was encouraging or EVEN mentioning censorship. You too her quite innocent and mostly positive review and put it on your soapbox. Maybe you should actually read her review a little..."

I don't think I accused her of censorship. I was engaging on what I assumed was a topic of mutual interest.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Wendy F wrote: "I'm of the opinion that any books that encourage our youth to embrace reading for enjoyment should be celebrated. I read authors like John Saul, V.C. Andrews, Jean M Auel and even an abundance of ..."

And I don't want you or anyone else thinking I'm complaining about your review, that's not it at all. I was just shooting the breeze on the topic of violence. It's obviously of interest to both of us.

I take a pretty casual attitude in talking to readers -- adult or kid -- and engage on things where I think I might learn something, or where I'm trying out an idea. I can imagine that may seem like I'm "big-footing" and poking my nose in where it doesn't belong. But if you look at my Facebook or Twitter I think you'll see I'm not someone who takes himself terribly seriously or imagines himself to be the voice of god speaking from the clouds.

Actually in talking to you about this I'm thinking less about the GONE series and more about a new project I'm in the middle of. I've done 5 of 6 GONE books, so that's sort of whatever it's going to be at this point. This new thing, a transmedia project, which I can't really talk about, is more at the top pf my mind right now. It's going to be less violent than GONE but creepier, so I'm mulling what this all means and thinking out loud.


message 12: by Wendy F (last edited Apr 13, 2011 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wendy F I'll admit that when I first saw that you had responded to my review I was nervous that you were insulted. There has been some media recently about authors getting upset when reviewers have less then stellar reviews about their books.

But as the conversation progresses it feels as though we are essentially in agreement. And I can't wait to read Fear. I think all of your readers have ideas on where they'd like to see the series go, and I for one can't wait to see how it ends.

As far as your new project, I can speak for myself and say creepy is good! Whether it's a movie or a book, I have a hard time with gore. They're visuals that tend to make me want to close my eyes, so to speak. But I love to be creeped out.

Good luck, and thank you for choosing me to bounce off of. I am enjoying this discussion.


Phelan Archuleta For me, I love all the violence in the GONE series. It feels real so I can imagine a world where this happens.


Afsana I wanted to add that the constant change considering it is children in charge makes sense-


Wendy F It does feel real, I think that's why it's hard for me to read. If it didn't feel real it wouldn't have gotten to me.

And it is a good point that being children in highly stressful situations probably does cause things to change often. I'll also say that it was nice to see Astrid get a taste of what Sam was going through.


message 16: by Shaina (last edited Apr 28, 2011 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shaina I am a teen who loves these books and am upset that some might think that Grant has gone to far. Thats what good literature is all about, pushing the boundaries. I do not enjoy the typical cookie cutter teen romance novels, but instead I find the creepy and heart racing stories to be trully brilliant. So yes, there are most certainly some teens that may find these stories appalling, but not all of us do. Take a look at our own society and the stories that are on the news everyday,and the violence in these stories is really no different.
And of course there is going to be no structured government, as a child I can personally say that if all the adults dissappeared then the lives of all the children would surely be just as, if not more chaotic.


Afsana that is so true

I think it would be the same if all the ruling parties, police, army and mps etcc disspappeared and left adults who had no interest in government or taking on responsibilities. it would be choas- look at the looting that occurs when after a tragedy and policeforce is spread thin


message 18: by Cody (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cody I am a 15 year old boy and honestly I love the violence and gore in your books Grant, it intrigues and entertains me. I can't wait to read Plague considering I just recently finished Lies.


message 19: by Chelsea (last edited Jun 27, 2011 03:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chelsea I am a 13 year old girl and love these books. I stay up reading all night. They are amazing books. And I hope one day there will be a movie for them. That would be so awesome! :D I own the whole series, its amazing cause' its like a little movie in my head.


Michelle Ianiro I am an adult reader of YA books and while I found the grusome deaths in Plague a bit disturbing, it is because of Michael's "No Mercy" style that I am drawn in even deeper into this Ah-Maz-Ing series. He is correct, as a child this would not have phased me one bit, as an adult, I am deliciously terrified!

More please!!!


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