Jan 6, 2014

Recent Reads: Sick by Tom Leveen

Sick by Tom Leveen
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: Ebook
Source: Netgalley and Amulet Books

My Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

I have thought about this review for about a week since reading this book. My initial reaction was that I really enjoyed it but that some of it bothered me. I am still feeling the same way though, so I will write how I feel about it.

Sick starts out as a zombie outbreak type storyline, someone is sick and then craziness begins. It is set in a high school for most of the book and if from the point of view of some teenage high school boys, one in particular. Now given that this was a zombie book it was right up my alley. I love these! Chaos, madness, all out bloodshed and violence; only with this book it kind of wasn’t.

Brian the main character is almost too calm throughout the whole ordeal and even sometimes positive about the eventual outcome and his friends, well, they are kind of just mean kids.

Apart from this being a zombie story without a really “Oh MY God Zombies are Eating Me!!!!” kind of feel it was also very racist. I can admit that while reading it some of these moments were kind subdued but they were racist none-the-less. Quotes about a black kid looking white and they didn’t that was possible, commenting on a Latino kid and constantly pointing out his race in a derogatory kind of way…. I understand that there are a lot of teens these days that think stuff like this comes off more as humorous than mean, but even if you are writing to an audience there has to be a line. These were not cool and they shouldn’t be condoned.

So highlights of the book, yes there were a select few, it was set from a male point of view and I think we need more books for young male readers from the male POV. Brian the main character is overall a good kid, he loves his family and friends and would do anything to save them – that is a good quality to inspire young readers, and lastly the storyline while mostly outside of the zombie norm, was entertaining. It was easy to read and I am glad it was, because otherwise I am not sure I would have made it though it.


  1. "Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak." <- That is one of the best tag lines I've read in a long time.
    Too bad about the racism, I hope it brings awareness rather than perpetuate it.

    1. Yup! That is why I was so excited to read it. I LOVE the Breakfast Club and anything Zombie... I hope you are right.

  2. Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead???? I am in!