Book: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes
Genres: YA Dystopian
Acquired: Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.
Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.
When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined
and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.
I'm SO SO SO glad that I got this book. It is one of the best dystopian novels I have read and I can't wait for the next installment. This book is one of those books that you want to sit down and read all at once. It caught my attention from the first page and continuously sucked me in. One of the main reasons was because of how realistic a lot of the circumstances were. Obviously not the time traveling part, but everything else that the book is based on.
What if our entire world caught a masssive, deadly virus? (Realistic.) You watch your loved ones die and there is nothing you can do but dope them up to ease the pain. Then someone finds a suppressant for the virus, and the government then tells you that for the rest of your life you must take this suppressant once every 24 hours to keep from getting the virus or, if you already had it, keep it suppressed. (Once again, it could happen.) This is Clover and West's life. They lost their mom to the virus, and almost lost West. Luckily the suppressant was discovered and walls were put up around the city to keep anyone from coming in and reinfecting it (not that there is anyone left). They now live their lives, along with everyone else, helping to get the world back on it's feet.
One of the main things that keep their world safe besides the suppressant is the ability for them to time travel two years into the future. If kids are lucky when they leave primary school at 16 they can go to the Academy for education instead of working labor jobs. At the Academy they can enter various fields, including the Mariner or Messenger track. These tracks are for the people that will do the time traveling. The first person to discover the Veronica (time portal) was Ned Waverly, the man who was the cause of the creation of the suppressant. Now they use the Veronica to go into the future and find out any horrendous crimes committed and capture them in the present day. They take the future criminals to the executioners, one of which is Clover and West's dad.
Clover is sixteen and headed to the Academy, only to be thrown into a Messenger job. She doesn't know why they want her or the real reason behind her being put into this position. West is getting ready to head to an interview for the Company (government) so he can leave his job of cantaloupe farming. Clover and West both stumble into some things that they are never supposed to know. When Jude, a kid from Foster City, enters Clover's life, and Bridget, the headmaster's daughter, becomes a big part of West's life things will never be the same for them or the world. What if you found out everything you have been told your whole life is a lie?
So the main thing that sucked me in was the fact that the whole story really is something that could happen. It's a realistic setting. Then add in time travel and that just made it all too perfect. I loved the characters. Clover is autistic, and I thought that was amazing, hearing a story come from the way her mind worked. It put a different kind of touch on the entire book. The story switched from Clover to West, but it was always a smooth transition. West is the kind of big brother every girl would want. He is fiercely protective over Clover, and has given up a lot for her that she isn't even aware of. Jude is someone Clover meets at her interview for the Academy and later on ends up finding a trustworthy ally in him. Bridget is the Academy's headmaster's daughter, who West has had a crush on for a while. Circumstances from the future bring them together and she becomes a big part of their lives.
There are several relationships formed in this book but I am glad that it didn't really focus on romance. A lot of books will force a romance because they think there has to be one there, but this didn't. They had evolving relationships that I think might become more important in future books but they weren't just thrown at you. It is based more on friendships and trust.
The ending left you with a little "WHAT???" at the end, so now I'm dying inside a little each minute because I really want the next book, BUT that is where my love/hate relationship stems from with books endings. I HATE waiting for the next book but I LOVE when they make me want them right that instance.
This book had it all for me. It was well written, drew me in, loved the characters, and had the WOW factor! I give it 5 BIG LOVING HEARTS!!!!
Have you read Viral Nation? What did you think about?