August 15, 2011

A Plague Year (ARC)

I just got back from a fun weekend of kayaking and while I was there I finished this book! The best part, it's an ARC of a book by Edward Bloor, oh my!
Summary: It's 2001 and zombies have taken over Tom's town. Meth zombies. The drug rips through Blackwater, PA, with a ferocity and a velocity that overwhelms everyone.

It starts small, with petty thefts of cleaning supplies and Sudafed from the supermarket where Tom works. But by year's end there will be ruined, hollow people on every street corner. Meth will unmake the lives of friends and teachers and parents. It will fill the prisons, and the morgues.

Tom's always been focused on getting out of his depressing coal mining town, on planning his escape to a college somewhere sunny and far away. But as bits of his childhood erode around him, he finds it's not so easy to let go. With the selfless heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93 that crashed nearby fresh in his mind and in his heart, Tom begins to see some reasons to stay, to see that even lost causes can be worth fighting for.

This book was not what I expected. I thought that meth had powers that would turn people into zombies. Instead this book deals with what happens when an entire town gets addicted to meth and many of its citizens start acting like zombies. If you're a zombie lover I hate to disappoint you but there is no brain eating, graveyard stalking, or women (and sometimes men) terrifying in this book. Instead there is a very real drug, meth, ruining the lives of countless members of this coal mining town. and Tom, our hero just wants everything to go back to normal, the way it was before the meth plague started.
I think the best aspect of the book is the characters; they all wind together perfectly. Tom's a great narrator because he's never really the center of attention, he always off to the side which allows him to see what's going on more clearly and analyze the situation, quite humorously I might add. My absolute favorite character in this book is Arthur, the very funny, older cousin of Tom. He's been affected by his friends abusing alcohol and drugs all his life and makes the perfect driving force against the use of drugs and becomes a key member in Tom's drug counseling group, I love the way he just comes out and says NEO (Not Even Once) is a crappy slogan and has a much more straight-forward one, I HATE DRUGS! Yeah, he's awesome alright! He also pees on someone's computer to get revenge, anyone who does that is hands-down the best character in any book! If you asked me who you'd rather meet in real life, Harry Potter or Arthur, my answer would be: Sorry Harry! Arthur rules!
The settings are another big part of this book. Blackwater is a very depressing, coal mining town and it's a prime example of how boring can turn into "Ahh! Run for your life!" Bloor painted a very lifelike picture of what was happening.
I loved this book. Bloor had a great writing style from beginning to end and I'm eagerly awaiting more from this wonderful author. I wish I could give it six out of five stars!
Book Battle Update: This is my 18th book read in the Book Battle, Maddz has read 17 so we're neck and neck! Team Benji, right?
A Plague Year is out September 13st, preorder it on Amazon.


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