By Yvonne Ventresca
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: May 6, 2014
Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Lilianna’s circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn’t about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak—her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey—Lil’s town is
With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.
Lil Snyder is a teenager with all the normal teenage issues and angst that comes with that period of life. But Lilianna has more to deal with than the average teen. She has recently gone through a traumatic event that only her parents a few others know about that has left her with significant anxiety issues. Her grades have dropped and she no longer the cheerful optimist she once was.
Now Lil has been left at home while her mom is traveling for work in Asia and her dad is at a conference in Delaware when the Blue Flu breaks out. Pandemic is a realistic look at a plausible scenario with the protagonist being a teenager.
Pandemic is riveting. The target audience is teens and young adults, but the book is just as captivating for adults. The harsh reality of a pandemic flu virus is well written. The characters are believable. I was in tears because of some of the situations that Lil found herself in. I really felt her pain.
This book really speaks about the resiliency of the human spirit and what an individual can overcome when there are others relying on them who are helpless otherwise. I love how teenagers are given credit for being thoughtful, helpful, upstanding citizens of our community as a rule, rather than as the exception.
I found Pandemic to be thoughtfully written, with clean language throughout. I liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter from various media sources related to the Blue Flu epidemic. It helped raised the tension of the novel. Though there was a lot of sadness due to deaths in this book, I thought there was also hope as well.
I think this book will make people think about preparedness in the event of a national/worldwide disaster. I also liked that there was a listing of resources at the end of the book related to the issues in the book.
This was an excellent book for all ages from teens through adults. I would very highly recommend it for everyone. I gave this book 5 stars! It goes on my favourites list!
Thank you to the publisher, Sky Pony Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
Before becoming a children's writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code. Ventresca is the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, available in May 2014 from Sky Pony Press. In Pandemic, a teen struggles to survive not only a deadly outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. Ventresca's other writing credits include two nonfiction books for kids, Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field) along with various articles for teens and adults. Besides writing, she enjoys learning Isshinryu karate, which she has studied for the last eight years. You can visit her website at