The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
As a self-proclaimed hypochondriac and fan of Contagion, I had high hopes for The Way We Fall. Admittedly, I don't always jump into my galleys with this feeling of, "Oh, this will be a good one! I know it." I really wanted to like this one, but in the end, it was kind of meh.
In a nutshell: Kaelyn lives on a small island that is mainly a vacation town, but for whatever reason, her family has decided to live there permanently. One day, her father, the local microbiologist (doesn't every town have one?) gets a distressing call from the hospital. Within days, the island is home to an unidentified plague that gives its victims an annoying itch, a sniffle, the warm fuzzies, and, finally, screaming fits followed by death. The government intervenes. Soldiers guard the food. Soldiers shoot people accidentally. All social structure on the island seems to start disintegrating but not in the fun Lord of the Flies way; just a few teens breaking into people's houses and wrecking up the place a bit. I'd go on, but I don't want to spoil the ending if you must read this one.
Here's the thing: Kaelyn and her family just weren't that interesting. Okay, so Kaelyn has some weird mutation in her blood that makes her resistant to the virus. That's kind of abstract for me. Oh yes, and this is the year she's trying to be her "new" self. Yeah, and what teenager isn't? In fact, who isn't? Hasn't anyone seen the Scrubs episode where Elliot doesn't want anyone from her "old" workplace visiting because she doesn't want them detracting from her new image? Okay, it's a relatable desire, but something needs to happen beyond the character walking around going, "Oh my god, that lady over there just sneezed one me. Would the new Kaelyn run screaming to wash her hands? Hmm. Could this be the end to life as we know it? Hmm."
I think I'm going to go back to the classics and read The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story.
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