YOU REVIEW: MP!er Wilhelmina shares her thoughts on ‘Sick’ by Tom Leveen. His first step into the realms of horror YA fiction.
Describe the plot of ‘SICK’ in a tweet – less than 140 character, please!
Classic truants, Brian and his friends are up against the clock as they attempt to race to safety, facing a virus with no known cure.
What genre would you class the book as?
What was the best bit?
The whole book was riveting and left me wanting more but if I was to identify my favourite moment I would have to pick out two, simply because this novel is packed with so much action it would feel wrong to define the best bits into one point. One moment I really liked is when Brian and his friends began working collectively with the drama students, pushing aside the two groups’ petty disputes and uniting together to help save Brian’s sister and ex-girlfriend as well as aid in their escape from the school. Leveen used these moments to show the importance of companionship which is really powerful and promotes an important message, especially to a younger audience. I also really enjoyed the moment towards the end when Brian uses himself as a distraction for the ‘zombies’ so the other students have a chance to reach safety. It’s a really selfless display made by his character seeing as at the start, he could barely give a thought to what would happen to them.
Anything you didn’t like?
I feel like Leveen could have provided more of a vivid and detailed description of the characters’ utter shock and pain having seen the horrendous damage caused by the virus. I say this mainly because I didn’t feel like the characters’ trauma was touched upon in a way that would cause me to emphasise and connect with what the they were going through. Nevertheless Leveen may have chosen to do this to show how little time there was to mourn those consumed by the sickness, in which case, Leveen certainly upholds the verisimilitude of the plot.
Would you recommend ‘SICK’ to your friends?
I would definitely recommend this book to friends. While it’s slow to begin with, it’s not long before the action kicks in and this becomes a simple and enjoyable read.
Do you think it would appeal to girls or boys? Or both?
You really can’t define this book as being designed for either girls or boys; it’s a book suitable for both genders. I think because we’ve become so used to so many unusual books, exploring distressing themes, it’s now a thing of the past that only boys can enjoy reading horror.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?
At every chapter, small white silhouettes of zombies roamed across the page, and with every added chapter, more and more were added to the page. Personally this was quite disquieting and created the same sort of effect you find with horror films when the antagonist is behind the protagonist but they aren’t aware of their presence- only you are. Since every student was trapped inside the theatre and unaware of the ever-increasing mass of zombies outside, the images enabled us to see that as time wore on, more and more zombies were surrounding the school. This was really exciting to see as it built suspense, much like watching horror films.
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