The Gone Novels, by Michael Grant

There are nine in all. Self heard about them only a few weeks ago, when she was in London. She went to the London Review Bookshop and on the lower floor, where Charles sits, was a stack of colorful paperbacks. She picked up one, and it had a blurb by Stephen King. As soon as she got home, she checked out two of the series, the only two that were available from her local library.

She started with Plague, Gone # 4: It’s been eight months since all the adults disappeared. GONE . . .

The kids are all alone (Self thinks: well, at least they’re in a California beach town, not in some arena). It has a sort of Lord of the Flies vibe (i.e. dystopian), but with drinking and sex (Yes, sex between American teens is a given, or at least it was until the current era).

One teen develops a parasitic infection. It appears there’s a hive of biting insects that lives in his shoulder: EEEEUWWWW) Others develop a coughing sickness.

Three girls, all named Jennifer (LOL) have banded together in a house. One of the Jennifers dies. Here’s a conversation between the two remaining Jennifers:

“Jen . . . I’m going to . . . hospital.”

No answer.

“Are you alive?”

Jennifer L. coughed, she wasn’t dead, and she coughed normally, not the crazy spasms that had killed Jennifer H. But she didn’t answer.

So Jennifer Boyles set off, on her own. She slid on her butt down the stairs, blankets gathered around her. Shivering, teeth chattering.

She managed to stand long enough to reach the front door and open it. But she sat down again very unexpectedly on the porch. Hard on her butt. She sat there shaking until the chills passed.

She tripped walking down the porch stairs. The fall bruised her left knee badly. This destroyed the last of her will to stand up. But not the last of her will to live.

Jennifer began to crawl. Hands and knees. Down the sidewalk. Impeded by her blankets. Delayed by coughing fits. Pausing whenever the chills rattled her so hard she could only moan and hack and roll onto her side.

“Keep going,” she muttered. “Gotta keep going.”

It took her two hours to crawl as far as Brace Road.

Plague, pp. 42- 43

This is good stuff!

Stay tuned.

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