Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca

18211018Expected publication: May 6th 2014 by Sky Pony Press

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 molestation charges against a teacher. It really was nonessential and didn’t add anything special to the story. Besides in the end he only wants to apologize.

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!

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