Thursday, October 3, 2013

ARC Review: Sick by Tom Leveen

Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.
Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.
The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.
The way this book was pitched as a combination of Breakfast Club meeting The Walking Dead was completely on point.  The cast of characters Leveen introduces his readers to completely fit the John Hughes/Breakfast Club mold and of course the zombie like monstrous transformation that the infected people go through gives us The Walking Dead part of the equation.  I'm normally not the type of reader that enjoys uber suspenseful and scary books, but for whatever reason, Leveen had the talent and ability to break the mold with this title for me.
I'll admit that when the opening of the book was first laid out all I could think was that I wanted the action to just start already because the suspense was killing me and I wasn't sure if I could handle the book to completion.  Once the first infection began to spread I was wishing I could go back to the beginning before some of those images that were now burned into my brain.  Leveen wasn't sugar coating things when he describes the violent attacks that take place throughout the book, and some left larger marks than others.  I must admit that if you weren't afraid of rioting before reading this book, afterwards there's a good chance your opinion will change.  I'm not sure I'll ever look at a crowd quite the same way again.
While there is a heavy dose of action and violent encounters, Leveen also manages to throw perfectly placed and well timed comedic relief that will have readers left with no other choice but to laugh and lighten up a bit.  The joke regarding the movie Jaws had me unexpectedly laughing out loud and commiserating in my own way with anyone else that was scared senseless by that movie and dark water afterwards.  All in all it was a book that surprised me on several levels and in different ways, but most of all entertained me and kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  A definite must read for anyone looking to change things up in their reading patterns, or perhaps to just enjoy a well paced and highly entertaining read.

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