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Pandemic

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Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Lilianna's circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn't about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil's worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak-her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey-Lil's town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she's more alone than she's been since the "incident" at her school months ago.

With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published May 6, 2014

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About the author

Yvonne Ventresca

10 books558 followers
Yvonne Ventresca writes thrilling novels and short stories that explore topics like deadly diseases, gaslighting, and hauntings.

Her latest short story, "The Third Ghost," won the eponymous honor for the middle grade anthology VOYAGERS: THE THIRD GHOST (for ages 9-12).

Her young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES (Sky Pony Press, 2016) won a National IPPY Gold Medal for YA fiction in 2017. Justine Magazine said "This one will keep you guessing" and according to BuzzFeed, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES "definitely won't disappoint."

Yvonne's debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. "This fast read will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s LIFE AS WE KNEW IT," Booklist said.

Her other works include short stories selected for anthologies along with two nonfiction books.

Yvonne holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can learn more about her at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features resources for teen writers.

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 229 reviews
Profile Image for Ellen Gail.
826 reviews369 followers
December 15, 2016


Lilianna (aka Lil) Snyder is just like any other high-schooler in New Jersey. Dealing with drama with the ex-boyfriend, helping her friend Megs pick out outfits, smoking and being moody. Of course Lil is a little different. As a coping mechanism after a trauma, Lil is extraordinarily pessimistic and obsessed with preparing for tragedy. Her shelves are stuffed with nonperishables and she lives with constant anxiety, waiting for a natural disaster or an outbreak of disease.

Her wait is over.

"This disease is similar to seasonal flu, only worse."
"What makes it worse?"
He paused. "It's more deadly."




It's not long before a souped-up Hulk flu (nickname Blue Flu for causing cyanosis) is sweeping Lil's town. Both of her parents are quarantined out of town so she's on her own, with all of her anxieties coming to life around her.

The writing is fine, but I never really cared about the characters. I kept comparing it to better teen disaster / survival dramas, like This is Not a Test and Not a Drop to Drink. I also kept coming back to Korean drama Flu, which really captured the panic and fear that a highly communicable disease can create.

A big thing that didn't work for me in Pandemic is the boyfriend drama. I actually really liked Jay! I think he's certainly the most likeable, levelheaded character in the bunch. But the added drama with Megs messaging him online, Kayla lusting after him, and Ethan lurking in the background. Ugggggh so much drama.

I also thought the end was too conveniently wrapped up.

Oh, then there's this:

But that didn't solve the larger problem...I probably wouldn't survive another week.

I'm sorry, but WHAT?



What the fuck makes you think you're going to die in the next seven days? Is this some Ring shit? Is Samara coming to get your ass and you're doomed? Because at this point in the story, Lil is doing pretty darn great. She has antivirals, piles of supplies, contact with friends and family (albeit spotty), and is HEALTHY! Lil's pessimism is a big part of her character, but surely she should be able to tell the difference between a shitty situation and imminent death.

There's also this BIG thing that bugged me:

"I thought old people were most at risk from the flu?"
"Not in this case. It's too soon to tell definitively, but based on the fatalities so far, it seems to be less deadly to the younger and the older."




What kind of jacked up flu is most dangerous to healthy people between 15 and 50? Not those with compromised immune systems, or those with other illnesses. It just...it makes less sense than jello rainboots.

*Edit: apparently I was wrong about this. Some strains of flu can disproportionately attack those with strong immune systems, such as the flu pandemic of 1918. So it is theoretically possible!



Also, as a side note:

I spritzed perfume to cover the cigarette smell and popped a mint into my mouth for good measure.

Oh, honey. You aren't fooling anyone. Now you just smell like cigarettes and perfume.

Pandemic is fair to middling. I'm afraid that "I've read worse" is a pretty weak compliment to give. The science is iffy and the boy drama overpowers the story. I did like that the disaster was completely natural. Just a flu season that went really fucking wrong.

And don't forget to get your flu shots this fall!



Thanks to Edelweiss & Sky Pony Press for the digital arc!
Profile Image for Tom Lewis.
Author 3 books176 followers
July 13, 2016
Argh! It was going so good as this cool end-of-the-world type of survival thriller, but then fell apart into fluffiness in the final few chapters. And no zombies, dangit! This time around it was just a new strain of flu virus killing people... and they're staying dead. It's told first-person from the perspective of teenager Lil, who made for an interesting protagonist, but the story just threw in too much fluff. The book is probably a 3, but I'm giving it 3.5 stars because the audio narration over the Kindle was really cool. It's the first audio-book I've listened to, and it was well worth the extra $3.
Profile Image for Kathylill .
162 reviews174 followers
February 16, 2014
In Pandemic, a girl struggles to survive not only a deadly outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.
According to goodreads 2 Stars means that this book was ok and it was. There are no major faults in the story I could point my finger at. To write that this book simply was not for me sounds so lame because normally I can pinpoint exactly the reasons why it didn’t appeal to me: too much focus on romance, stupid MC, love triangle, bad writing/dialogues, not enough action, etc.

Normally I am a sucker for (YA) apocalyptic novels featuring a deadly virus outbreak, an erupting volcano, EMPs, atomic bombs or asteroids crashing on Earth. So why was this one only ok for me? Maybe one point could have been, that I didn’t feel the characters? There could have been more “angst” put into the pandemic outbreak, more “emotion” into the romantic sub-plot maybe. The interaction between the teens left me with lukewarm feelings. There is also another sub-plot involving . It really was nonessential and didn’t add anything special to the story. Besides in the end .

Pandemic tries to be like This is Not a Test and fails. Maybe this is why I just couldn’t like it. This is Not a Test focuses on the individual, it sucks you in with the emotional problems some of us carry inside, sometimes unseen or ignored by others around us. It is disturbing, eerily philosophical, it makes you feel and understand the emotional dilemma some people have to go through, that sometimes life is not sunny Sunday dresses and rainbow dances and that maybe it needs an apocalypse to make you see that life is still precious.

In Pandemic I felt like Lilly simply wasn’t dark enough, her reasons behind her changed behavior and almost gothic fashion style were a little bit too far-fetched. Her suffering a bad experience which to be frank wasn’t even that life-altering () was so over-dramatized in this book that I couldn’t muster any sympathy with her situation. She also is a notorious do-gooder, saving toddlers, giving food and medicine to those in need of it and even saving abandoned dogs and cats. Indeed, I felt like she was the next candidate in line for taking up as Mother Theresa.

Of course this book wouldn’t be called Pandemic if there wasn’t a virus outbreak. A lot of people die in this book. I would have given it a higher rating if it hadn't ended up so fluffy convenient and fuzzily warm at the end. Everything is solved, some people are saved, the official system is restored, Lilly is happily in love and even though loved ones are dead there are new members in the family to love instead. Kumbaya!
Profile Image for Kayla.
1,565 reviews65 followers
June 17, 2014
I haven't read many natural disaster stories (if you can call bird flu a natural disaster). I'm more of a zombie person. That being said, I really enjoyed Pandemic. I will definitely be reading more natural disaster stories in the future.

The writing of Pandemic was phenomenal. As someone who suffers from frequent anxiety attacks, I thought the author' portrayal of anxiety was extremely accurate. I have never had PTSD, or been through the situation that Lil goes through. However, I thought the author did a great job handling such a delicate topic. I felt for the characters. When something happens to Jay, Ty, Cam, and Lil, I was flipping pages wondering if they were going to get out of their situation.

I liked all of the characters. I don't think I can choose a favorite. All of the characters had a pivotal role in the story. Even the characters that died earlier in the beginning of the story helped to shape the story line into what it became.

I greatly enjoyed Pandemic. It wasn't just the typical apocalypse story. The book had a few things that made it unique. I recommend Pandemic to young adults thirteen and older.
Profile Image for Amalie Howard.
Author 28 books2,388 followers
April 24, 2014
Official blurb:

"A suspenseful, authentic and emotional narrative makes PANDEMIC a gripping and powerful story. Lil is a wonderful and believable protagonist, dealing with both inner and outer demons, who rises to the challenge of survival despite everything and everyone she has lost. Riveting and terrifyingly real with moments of hope that shine through when you least expect it, PANDEMIC is one that will stay with you long after you read the last page."
Profile Image for Robin Henry.
147 reviews7 followers
February 19, 2014
Imagine a new flu virus that combines deadliness with speed of transmission. Imagine you are a girl with a few anxiety issues who might also be a germaphobe. Lily is a high school student whom we discover through the course of the novel, has suffered through being assaulted by everyone’s favorite teacher. As a result, she has some fears regarding personal contact. Add to that her father’s occupation as an editor for a magazine devoted to infectious disease, and you can see where this is going. The “blue flu” kills it’s victims by causing their lungs to fill with fluid. They become unable to breathe and turn blue before expiring. Lily���s parents are both out of town, (convenient, right?) when the epidemic hits her New Jersey town and people start going off the rails. Keeping in contact with them through phone and text, her dad tells her where he has hidden some anti-virals and instructs her to stay home and watch out for looters. It is only a matter of hours later that looters break in—fortunately, Lily was not home at the time. While on walk about, she rescues a neighbor’s baby whose parents have both died and makes friends with the new boy down the block. Together, they get the other surviving teens in town together to try and help where they can. Society doesn’t take long to break down, once the blue flu hits. Police and first responders are quickly overwhelmed by the number of dead and looters and black marketeers appear within a week. I would like to think this is an over dramatization, but if people actually died in the numbers described—no ration is actually given but going off the main characters who die, it looks like about a 50% survival rate—I am afraid these predictions might not be far off. The good news is that there are still good people around and that they team up to help each other survive. When I first started this book, I was afraid it would be bleak, and in some ways it was. I won’t ruin it by telling who dies, but suffice it to say that a lot of people do. However, even though there is a certain amount of bleakness in the plot, the underlying theme is that of hope. Refreshing, really. A fairly tightly plotted disaster book with a dash of romance, what’s not to like?

June Cleaver’s Rating: Language—PG; Nudity—PG; Sexual Content—PG; GLBT Content—G; Violence—PG13 there are a couple of scenes with corpses resulting from the flu. The descriptions are not graphic, but they are realistic; Substance Abuse—PG mostly underage smoking; Adult Themes—PG13 Lily was sexually assaulted. It happens off-page, but she has flashbacks and it is discussed in the context of her anxieties.

Robin’s Comments: I enjoyed this book as a change of pace from your average teen book. Yes, the parents are absent, but they are loved and needed, not dysfunctional. Lily is very mature, but still a kid. She has to work through her anxieties about germs and about hoarding in order to help others. The author handled this sensitively without making it too easy for her. Her fears are realistic and she has to work to overcome them. Altogether a well done effort.
Profile Image for Tina.
324 reviews7 followers
August 18, 2020
If I had to write a very short review of this book it would be "wow". I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of "stranded in a disaster/mother nature goes nuts" type of read (yes, I know its not an actual genre, but I just made it up LOL).

Pandemic is THE perfect read for anyone who is looking for that creepy yet hopeful plot line where you know that everything written on the page is VERY plausible, while, at the same time, hoping (praying) that it never actually happens to you and just basically stays on the written page.

Author Ventresca does a terrific job of introducing her characters and setting up the premise before throwing the reader into a catastrophe that is all too real. Unlike many dystopian type books - there are no zombies, undead or walking corpses and this was such a relief. Rather, this book is a story about what happens if we are hit with the next powerful plague, something as seemingly insignificant as the flu.

The book pulls no punches and nobody is sacred, in fact, I felt for the main character Lil who will have to go through so much and may not in fact survive it all (no spoilers sorry!).

Written extremely well without being gross or too detailed, this book kept me reading page after page, in fact, I found I could not put it down, especially once people start to get infected.

I love the resilience of the main characters, even when they are asked to make some very tough choices and this book made me do some serious thinking about what kind of person I would be in this type of emergency. I also like how Lil learns some very important lessons throughout the storyline.

The only two things that were a bit of an irritant to me where the Mr. B. plot line which may have worked well in the beginning of the book, but dragged the story down a bit after that, especially when Lil keeps the whole situation a secret, way past when it should have been. Also, the whole "relationships" thing with two of the characters was not necessary to the story as I kept asking myself "really, that's important at a time like this?".

Otherwise, the author hit it right out of the field with this one and I was so mad when I kept seeing the % on my Kindle inch its way up and up - it meant the end of an absolutely terrifying but brilliant book.
Profile Image for ☼Bookish pam in Virginia☼ .
1,148 reviews44 followers
Read
February 11, 2014
PANDEMIC is a quick, fun read. The word-smithing is very well done and young adults (and even some adults) that like the 'disaster' genre, and who are in the mood for a good light read, should enjoy this book.

PANDEMIC leans away from the action-adventure mold, and instead focuses on the practicalities of surviving, and teen concerns. There's the love triangle and a friend triangle, and Lil, the main character, must deal with the ramifications of the disaster and the feelings of her friends in the absence of her parents who are unable to get home.



Since there's a pandemic, you can expect deaths and sadness. And to tell the truth I would have given the book higher marks if it hadn't ended up so dang warm-and-happy at the end. But younger readers might feel differently.

In any case, all is resolved at the end, so no annoying cliff-hangers. This book stands on it's own.

Readers that like IN THE AFTER and LIFE AS WE KNEW IT are candidates for this one. Wouldn't particularly recommend it to guys.

Profile Image for Kate Ormand.
Author 8 books277 followers
Read
November 10, 2016
A powerful story of hope and survival during a deadly outbreak. Lil’s feelings toward germs and illness and disaster make it all the more chilling when the blue flu actually hits. The outbreak scare was done brilliantly, building tension and keeping it up throughout the story. An unseen risk is sometimes the scariest, where a touch of a door handle or an exchange with a friend could kill. Lil’s losses were heartbreaking – I felt a lot for all the characters and didn’t want to lose any of them to the illness.

This is a contemporary novel with a fast-spreading and fast-acting deadly disease, where the time to figure out what it is and where it comes from costs thousands of lives. The novel touches on some sensitive topics and circumstances, all of which are handled well. It’s thoughtful and realistic, and I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Paula M.
546 reviews643 followers
August 5, 2014
Guysss..

description

I was on the verge of giving up on Post Apocalyptic/Dystopia books. But yes! Yes! Pandemic saved me. I had hope! My high expectation was reached! And just to let you know guys, I've read this while I was sick (I still am as I'm writing my review) So, as I progress on my reading, I don't want anything but to get better! The book felt insanely real that yes, I got paranoid. DO I HAVE THE FLU??

Well I hope not. I really hope not.

Lilianna. Lil suffered from a traumatic tragedy before the Pandemic happened and as a result of that, she got a little (Okay a lot) paranoid. Who could blame her though? It was really traumatizing and even though she went through therapies and stuff, she still felt like she has to be ready and aware of everything. Imagine her horror when flu start spreading out through her hometown. A deadly flu to be exact.

Pandemic is a page turner. I was easily engrossed from the first chapter and Lilianna is a very easy and likeable protagonist. You'll feel for her, she will really make you feel like you're part of the story. The character development was fantastic! You see, Lil is paranoid. Traumatized. HOW CAN THIS GIRL FUNCTION WHEN SHE'S SCARED AND EVERYONE AROUND HER STARTS HAVING THIS FLU THAN CAN COST THEIR LIFE. HOW? And that's how Yvonne shows her brilliance as a writer. How Lil matured through out the story was believable and realistic. And can I say how great it is that there's no characters wasted. That all was properly and appropriately used. I was connected and with each and everyone of them.

What I loved the most about Pandemic was the pacing. You see, as a reader, I admit that I get impatient a lot. I want answers! What is going on???! WHAT IS HAPPENING!! But Pandemic is a perfect paced story that teased me but/and left me satisfied. I don't know how Yvonne managed to do that but she just did. The Romantic aspect is just a bonus but if I'm going to comment about it, its this: worth sighing and waiting for. Not to rushed but not boring either.

Pandemic is a smart, sharp and emotionally satisfying read. Impossible to put down and harder to forget. Praise for Yvonne Ventresca!
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,096 reviews129 followers
April 29, 2014
This book was incredibly fun to read, once I got past the fact that (a) it was about a pandemic [OBVIOUSLY] that (b) started in Maryland [which is WHERE I LIVE] and (c) would probably kill me almost immediately. (For several reasons---I work in a newsroom, which is basically code for "germ pit" and also I would probably run out of food, like, immediately because I over-rely on delivery. And also the microwave so once the power goes out, I lose ability to feed myself.)

These types of books work mainly because they seem so plausible and so the reader then becomes to wonder, "How well would I do in that situation?"*

In this case, though, there's so much going on even beyond something that's killing a vast amount of people. Lil is sort of falling apart very slowly because of something that happened a while back. Now she's ridden with anxiety which has led to her obsessively monitoring news reports for food recalls, illness and anything else she can think of. Also, she's started hoarding non-perishable food items. Normally, this would be cause for concern but given the circumstance that are about to unfold, it turns out to be a pretty smart idea.

I also love how she was determined to do the right thing, even when she didn't really want to and it would've been easier not to. (Example: she figures out how to get food for everyone and doesn't hoard it all for herself.)

* = In my case, not well. As I said, I don't keep much food in my apartment and the knowledge I have would not be useful in a post-apocalyptic society. No, like my hero Liz Lemon, I would probably be a radiation canary---IF I managed to survive long enough for society to rebuild, which is pretty iffy.
Profile Image for Angie Taylor.
Author 8 books44 followers
September 30, 2014
I love when I start a book and get totally lost in the story and lives of the characters. This usually happens when the writing is so good, that I can just enjoy the story and not think about the writing.
This is such an interesting story, and so believable. Sometimes when I watch movies about disease outbreaks, or read books about viruses spreading, it's hard for me to completely disregard my disbelief. But that was not the case with Pandemic.
Every detail, or relationship development, was so totally believable, that I got a little too emotionally involved with the story.
The story is told in a first person narration, and it was so compelling and effective, that I felt like I was experiencing everything Lil did. I stopped reading to bring in the garbage, and I was nervous to go outside because I was afraid of looters. I know a book is good when I start living what I'm reading.
Besides a great story to get lost in, I found this book so informative. I felt like I was reading a tutorial of what I should do if an emergency happened. It was so realistic!
From a writers critical stand point, the writing was clean and polished. Every detail and plot development fit right in place. Every character was true to what I would expect from their age. All around, the story was so well written. Well done Yvonne! I'm excited to read more of your books!
Profile Image for Bobbi Miller.
Author 8 books16 followers
May 18, 2014
After surviving a horrific act of betrayal, teenager Lilianna suffers from post traumatic stress. Once the model student, she withdraws into a state of constant fear and hopelessness. Dressing in black becomes her outward expression of her inner turmoil. No longer the community activist, she barricades herself inside her home, hordes food and trusts no one—except her parents and her beloved BFF, Megs. As Lil struggles to find her way “back to life,” imminent danger presses upon her home and neighborhood. An outbreak of a strange new flu is spreading quickly with deadly results. Her parents out of town on business, she finds herself alone as tragedy strikes, when Megs falls victim to the contagion. The plot is fast-paced and thoroughly engrossing as Lil struggles to find hope and trust amidst a terrifying life and death ordeal. A must read!
Profile Image for Brandy.
Author 1 book115 followers
January 16, 2014
It's been a few months since everything that happened, and Lil is surviving as best she can. She still has her best friend (the other didn't believe her and dropped her), but also has anxieties and hoarding compulsions. But all that is useful when the few flu cases turn into an epidemic---and then that flu epidemic becomes a global pandemic. Lil's parents are stranded on separate business trips, and Lil is left alone, with her fears, to face the flu. And the looters. And the orphaned baby down the street. And Jay, who might be the only good thing left.

Engrossing apocalyptic story, though the plotline of wasn't really necessary--Lil could have easily been anxiety-ridden without it. Themes of friendship and coming together in a crisis carry the novel.
Profile Image for Miranda.
1,390 reviews12 followers
February 25, 2014
Thanks to Edelweiss and Sky Pony Press for access to this title.

While not the best written book I've ever read, this did create a great sense of foreboding and impending doom and was one I didn't want to put down. I would recommend it for those who liked Life as We Knew by Susan Betth Pfeffer. It makes you want to gather supplies and prepare for the worst.
Profile Image for Ellen-Arwen Tristram.
Author 1 book61 followers
August 29, 2022
It's totally weird to read a book about a pandemic after we've had a real life one - seriously surreal. There are some similarities and differences, the main one that bird flu (in the book) was particularly lethal to babies, whereas COVID didn't affect kids much. Imagine how different things would have been if it had?

It's a quick and easy read, meant to be full of power and hope... I didn't feel too emotional about it. I feel like the fact that the MC is also dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse at the same time didn't work - it was a weird mixture where you didn't know where the focus was, and I think Ventresca could have perhaps simplified the storyline.

It was a very YA YA - you know what I mean! In the middle of a pandemic with everyone dying, there's still plenty of time to have teenage relationship issues...

It was okay.
Profile Image for BookLoversLife.
1,801 reviews9 followers
April 23, 2014
Lilianna is your typical girl except she likes to be prepared and stock food and emergency things. Her father works in a place that deals with diseases etc. He often comes home with stories for her so she hears it all first hand. She wasnt always like this. She was a model student and happy go lucky girl but when a traumatizing thing happens to her she draws into herself. She becomes the person she is.

She hears on the news that a flu has shaken some parts of America. People are coming down with it fast and a lot are dying. She is worried but not very. Then she starts hearing more and more news of deadly outbreaks closer to home and her parents are called away to cover the outbreak. She starts to get more food and essentials just in case. Then the flu hits home. Neighbours and friends are coming down with it and many are dying. School and businesses close down and the whole place grinds to a halt.

Lil is walking one day when she hears a baby crying non stop. She goes to the door only to find the mother dead and a baby in a crib. She has no choice but to take the baby home with her till she can find someone to card for him. She knows she has enough food and water for a while and that she will be ok, that is until she goes home to find she was looted. They took everything. What will she do? Who can she trust and with everyone dying will she be next?

Well, this surprised me. I really really enjoyed it. It felt like something that could happen so was really creepy to read.

I felt for Lil. After what happened her she finds it hard to trust. She has become a food hoarder because she feels the need to be prepared since she wasn't before. When the flu hits she struggles with staying indoors and being safe or going to help people. She finds it hard to share her food and medicine because in her mind its the only thing she can control. Even with her internal struggle she does what she has to and I admire her for it. She overcomes a lot of her fear.

There's a bit of romance through all the heartache. I didn't like the kinda love triangle. She doesn't know if she wants to get back with her ex or to go for the new guy. Im glad with who she did choose because he was awesome. The romance isn't a main issue of the book but I enjoyed it all the same.

I loved that the author put so much detail into the flu. It was realistic and down right scary. The idea that a Pandemic can happen is something we all think about every time we hear about an outbreak, like the birdflu or swineflu. What would we do and how would we survive. This is exactly what Pandemic is about, its a story of the struggle and heartache of a Pandemic. Its heartbreaking when Lil looses people close to her but yet she has no choice but to go on and survive. It definitely makes you think.

Pandemic is well written with pleanty of action. The pacing is fast and the plot is believable. When I started reading it was so hard to put down because I needed to see what happens next. Its a story of survival and beating the odds. I will definitely keep an eye on this author. Highly enjoyable and Ive no problem recommending.
Profile Image for Kathryn Svendsen.
468 reviews11 followers
July 26, 2016
Lil Snyder is a teenager with all the normal teenage issues and angst that comes with that period of life. But Lilianna has more to deal with than the average teen. She has recently gone through a traumatic event that only her parents a few others know about that has left her with significant anxiety issues. Her grades have dropped and she no longer the cheerful optimist she once was.

Now Lil has been left at home while her mom is traveling for work in Asia and her dad is at a conference in Delaware when the Blue Flu breaks out. Pandemic is a realistic look at a plausible scenario with the protagonist being a teenager.

Pandemic is riveting. The target audience is teens and young adults, but the book is just as captivating for adults. The harsh reality of a pandemic flu virus is well written. The characters are believable. I was in tears because of some of the situations that Lil found herself in. I really felt her pain.

This book really speaks about the resiliency of the human spirit and what an individual can overcome when there are others relying on them who are helpless otherwise. I love how teenagers are given credit for being thoughtful, helpful, upstanding citizens of our community as a rule, rather than as the exception.

I found Pandemic to be thoughtfully written, with clean language throughout. I liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter from various media sources related to the Blue Flu epidemic. It helped raised the tension of the novel. Though there was a lot of sadness due to deaths in this book, I thought there was also hope as well.

I think this book will make people think about preparedness in the event of a national/worldwide disaster. I also liked that there was a listing of resources at the end of the book related to the issues in the book.

This was an excellent book for all ages from teens through adults. I would very highly recommend it for everyone. I gave this book 5 stars! It goes on my favourites list!

Thank you to the publisher, Sky Pony Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

This review was published on my blog Shelf Full of Books http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogs...
Profile Image for Laura Thomas.
1,298 reviews78 followers
November 24, 2016
This was much more than end of the world as we know it story.

Sure, there’s the mysterious illness that kills the majority of the world’s population. But, it’s more about a young teenager, Lilianna, and how she copes with everything that occurs.

The illness spreads globally at a fast pace. People are cut off from each. Communication is spotty and many don’t know if their loved ones survived.

Lilianna is home alone, coping with something disturbing that happened to her at school when it strikes. She navigates many unknowns as she seeks other survivors and struggles to survive.

This was a very good story. I enjoy apocalyptic scenarios, and while the plot wasn’t anything new, the character’s drove a powerful story of survival. Lil had to set aside that which haunted her in order to help others. She came across as very genuine and it was wonderful to watch her step into the role as care giver for young ones left alone when their parents succumbed to the virus.

A well written plot and fast read, and I’ll be checking out other books by this author.

This book is from my own bookshelf. My review is freely given.
Profile Image for Jess.
Author 5 books89 followers
May 3, 2014
*I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Sky Pony Press and Yvonne Ventresca*

A horrible event changes teenager Lilianna (Lil) from a model student to an anxious girl who smokes, skips classes and hordes canned goods.
Then when her parents are both away people suddenly start dying from a fast-acting flu. Will Lil lock herself inside her house or will she overcome her fears and help others who are struggling throughout the pandemic?

This was an enjoyable read. It was suspenseful and I didn't want to put it down. Lil was a likeable protagonist and I was really rooting for her to survive. Things seemed to get worse and worse for her but she was strong and didn't give up.
I would recommend this book.
Profile Image for Autumn.
311 reviews14 followers
April 12, 2014
I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss for an honest review.

This is a YA pandemic adventure. It doesn't reach the levels of TEOTWAWKI, but a mutated H1N1 virus that mirrored the 1918 flu epidemic as far as disruption to 'normal' life goes.

The protagonist is a 16 year old young woman who is already having a rough time after being assaulted by a teacher and dealing with that and the normal pitfalls of being a teenager.

I do not want to give the story away, but I found it to be a realistic take what could happen during a flu pandemic here in the States. While the story isn't a complete downer, it isn't all sunshine and happy puppies. It was a great story, one that in another couple of years, I would recommend to my godsons.
Profile Image for Alma .
1,144 reviews8 followers
January 30, 2016
No one knows the truth about what happened to Lilianna that day except for her parents, her two best friends, the police and her counselor. With her former life now dead, Lil dresses in black and shuts herself off from anything she used to do in the past. Read the rest of the review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for Brandi Kosiner .
995 reviews295 followers
May 3, 2014
I wanted to read Pandemic because I am interesting in illnesses and if there is an epidemic what the backlash would be. I wanted to see a teen in this situation and how she would survive.

Lil has changed in the last few months, and we come in right before the illness starts to spread. She is smoking and stockpiling things in case something happens. Her dad is in the field of viruses and illnesses and her mom is a health watch dog. So, she has insight into preparation and prevention against pandemics. She channels her helplessness from what happened to her into trying to be prepared for a disaster. Its her coping mechanism. And of course, as in novels, her knowledge and research and family ties as well as hoarding supplies is going to come in handy as the plot progressed.

I can relate with Lil because she feels so down and that bad things are always going to happen. But she takes that to the extreme where with my past trauma and issues, I just focus on one day at a time. She's been skipping class, can't concentrate and would rather read her google alerts for unexplained illness than study for history.

One thing that I didn't like was the kinda forced love triangle. There is Ethan, who she used to date before the devastating event, but she never confided in him. But to me, he was never a good choice, because he is so hover-y. Then all of the sudden he is coming around again, and asking her to hang out. As for the second guy, she bumps into him several times before and they had some conversations and chemistry. Jay is a great listener, and they work together and combine resources once the virus hits. Things are intense, and so is their romance. I liked Jay though and their vibe and how they can be open and non-judgemental.

Lil and Megs, her best friend, had such a strong friendship. I loved reading about that in the beginning, when life was "normal." Megs nudges her to go to class and study, and is worried about her. They get to spend time together and Lil trusted her enough to confide what happened. Not only friendship in this one, I love the family ties. Although Lil's parents aren't able to get home, they keep in as close contact as they can. Once the virus starts to spread it goes fast. It travels the coast and even the world quickly and it devastates in hot spots, but it is still crazy in who and when it hits.

So many people are lost in this one, and Lil struggles to keep it together. She is only a teen, but I love that the good in her and her strong humanitarian--help who you can, how you can kicks in. Its amazing how she bands together in the darkest hours of this pandemic with others and try to help others even through their grief, pain, and uncertainty.

The ending was pretty good. Even though their is still obviously going to be a lot of loss and grief to deal with, the survivors have began to knit together and help each other continue to live. The virus first wave in that area seems to have leveled off and they of course are working on a vaccine and taking preventions in order to deal with further crisis.



Bottom Line: Shows the strength of love, community, and bravery in a time of disease, death, and fear.
Profile Image for Dorine White.
Author 8 books109 followers
May 16, 2014
The Story-
Lil used to be a model student and all around fun girl, but something happened last year that changed everything, and only a handful of people know the truth. Lil is now finding it hard to keep her grades up and has withdrawn from her old friends. Plus, she now has the urge to prepare for different possibilities, including emergency survival and food storage.

It seems like Lil's worst fears are coming true when people in her community begin to get sick, and eventually die. With both her parents out of town, Lil is forced to cope with the situation on her own. Lil does everything she can to survive, but as the whole town dies around her, the events of the past catch up to her and everything falls apart.

My Thoughts-
Great plague, death and dying book that is not too gory. You know something bad is going to happen when both of Lil's parent's take off at the beginning of the illness, leaving her alone for the weekend. I have to say that Lil's character handles things a lot better than I thought she would. At the beginning of the book she is broken, the events of the past effecting her daily life. So, when it all goes to pot, you'd think she'd hole up in her house, but she doesn't. Instead she takes action, helping out children in need. I think the tragedy actually brings a lot of her old self back.

I also love the wrap up at the end. As things in Lil's town (point zero) are finally stable, the picture broadens and the reader gets a look at the illness spreading to the rest of the world. It sets the stage for another book, if wanted.

SPOILERS*** I'm going to get into spoilers, because I feel like the event that happened in Lil's past, an attempted rape by a teacher, is such a huge concept. The author does a good job letting the reader know that something happened, but not going into details. However, you get a sense that something inappropriate happened with a teacher. The reader doesn't hear the whole story until the character is ready to tell it to someone else and trust them. On a side note, the reaction of her two best friends is so polar opposite that it is disturbing.

The only plot point that bugged me was that none of the main characters died. As the book gets underway, EVERYONE who gets sick dies. Later Lil's dad mentions that if you use the anti-viral medication, that there is only a 50% chance it will help. So, when Lil,Reggie, TJ and Cam all get ill, even with the anti-viral being used, you'd think one wouldn't make it.

Oh well, overall a great survival story that stays on the light side. 4 Stars!
Profile Image for Zora.
1,167 reviews49 followers
August 6, 2016
For its audience, pretty good. Since I read it right on the heels of an adult epidemic thriller, it was interesting to compare the two. Without any self aggrandizing, this author clearly did her research too, but didn't make the reader suffer through boring details.

The first thing you notice about the book is how physically ugly it is. Try not to hold it against the book. I've run across this small press's books before, and I always think they're self published because they look so bad, but in fact that would be insulting Createspace who does such a better job with self-published books. The publisher needs to go read up on formatting there, for the physical book is an epic fail. The print is too big, the margins are too small. It just looks bad.

This story is about a 16-year-old girl whose parents left her alone when a pandemic overwhelms her small town in the US. There are some problems with the parents abandoning the child to my mind , but without that happening of course the story wouldn't be as dramatic. Problem is, I didn't believe it for a second. But there she is, alone, with neighbors' dead bodies rotting in their houses, abandoned babies, looters, and some high school romantic drama to make navigating this odd new world even harder for her.

For teens into disaster novels or zombie tales, here's a novel more realistic – and to my mind therefore more frightening – than a zombie story. Maybe not quite 4 stars, but the average rating here is too low. Also, not for MG kids, I think. You assign this in your eighth grade classroom, and I think you'd hear parent complaints.
Profile Image for Nancy.
473 reviews10 followers
June 29, 2014
Pandemic is one of those books that sounds more interesting than it is. There's supposed to be a pandemic, a Blue Flu that kills thousands and everyone is going cray cray, you know? Except this book is anything but crazy. It's very calm for a book about a deadly disease. The body count piles up - undramatically - but it's like these teenagers are invincible, they band together and they don't get infected even though they're touching each other and barely sanitizing.

Lil can't make up her mind - that's pretty much the entire gist of the first half of the novel. She's seriously panicking about all the germs and danger in the air (which is essentially what the first five chapters are about), BUT she decides to take a walk outside her neighborhood, approach dead bodies and take in abandoned babies because she has this heart of gold. Yeah, MAKES NO SENSE TO ME.

I skipped around a lot, glossing over the mundane details of TK, and finally decided to read the last chapter after about 80% of the book, only to find that the father was dead and miraculously, these risk-taking teens were not only alive, but hallelujah, in that remaining 20% a cure had been conjured up spontaneously. Say what...

Ultimately, Pandemic doesn't live up to its title, it's more boring than crazy, and even more underdeveloped than anything.
Profile Image for Christina C.x.
9 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2016
I love this book! In this book, it talked about how the main character straggled through the disease, and found her true love- Jay❤️. The storm first started with her best friend- Megs' death. And at that time, her parent were not at home, she was alone, kind of. Her dad were suck in the hotel, and her mom were stuck in the airport. In the almost-end of the book, her dad died, and her mom is unknown. She couldn't contact with her mother. She felt alone, but at least she have Jay. Also Jay and TY also cam were sick, so she went home to get some medicine. There were people trying to steal, she pretended that she was sick. The thieves left. Mr. B, who tried to do sexual harassment to her, brought her medicine. She donated. This part is really important because after Mr. B's sexual harassment, she became someone else. Like a bad student. She became afraid of everything, she don't trust anyone. She only wear black, she smoke. She doesn't care about how she looked she didn't care about anything. She became a bad-good-girl. She became a selfish-not trusting- girl. But by this disease, she cared about other people more, she became more.... Kind. This is really nice. How the disease effected her. Bad news brought good changes.
By reading this book, I think I've found an other favorite book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
12 reviews
May 23, 2016
I gave this book five stars.

This book is basically about a girl who's parents leave her for a couple of days, and during that time a disease begins and stars spreading. She teams up with other people to stay alive, to wait for the pandemic to be over. Jay, Cam and Ty get the flu, and Lily has to cure them with the emergency supplies her dad had hidden. Then suddenly Lily gets the flu. After a hard fight through the disease, her mother comes home.

I think the way Lily changed was that she did stop smoking, but also she became more open to people. In the beginning, she didn't like to be around that many people except for Megs. But near the middle and end, she finds a baby and stays at Jays house, as well nurse them back to health after they caught the flu.

I think that Lily always liked Jay, in the beginning. Because she didn't avoid him, but she did tell herself she didn't like Jay. I think she would've dated him if it weren't him talking with Megs. And later on it said in the book that Lily wasn't sure if Megs would be angry at her, or happy for her when Lily was with Jay.

I really like how the author makes the character so different from a real teenage person. Like usually most teenagers don't hide "emergency crisis" supplies in their closet, and most teenagers probably don't watch the news. I think that made Lily a very unique character.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
12 reviews
May 18, 2016
This is a book about a girl named Lilliana (Lily). Her parents left on a business trip. A pandemic called blue flu had a huge outbreak in their town. When the townspeople are almost all wiped out. The young and old of the population is more immune to it. There is no one to support those since the adults are all dead. The townspeople become looters and steal from their own neighbors.

My favorite character in the book is jay. He is always so calm and takes control over harsh situations like this. He is so kind and open minded. He let Lily stay at her house and eat their food, even though food is so hard to get. He comforted Lily when she saw Mr.B

Lily became more independent and mature through the book. She used to always rely on her parents in everything. Now, she's alone and even had to take care of a baby by herself. She was really alert and cared about her own health.

The authors craft was that he used flashbacks of the characters past to show the personalities of the main character. Like what happened with Mr.B is why Lily was so anxious and alert all the time.

I strongly recommend this book because it shows you how scary it is to be in a pandemic. You seem like your actually there with the characters and it's really easy to visualize all of this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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