Genre: YA Science-Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Date Published: 2/3/13
Where to Buy: Amazon
Lucy King is only an hour away from embarking on the most incredible vacation of her life: White sandy beaches in a tropical paradise, snorkeling and sunbathing in peaceful tranquility. But as Lucy looks forward to her trip, a sinister plot is unfolding that will demolish the world as she knows it. An unknown bioterrorist group unleashes a virus that virtually wipes out the earth’s population—leaving Lucy, and a small faction of survivors, trapped inside her high school to wait out the apocalypse.
War, looting, and death wreak havoc outside of her high school; but inside, the students must contend with a tyrannical and paranoid principal and their own struggles of being orphaned, frightened, and unsure of what the future will bring.
What begins as a basic fight for survival turns into a search for answers that will challenge everything Lucy has ever known about her life and her family.
Shelbi Wescott is a high school Language Arts and Creative Writing
teacher, a mother of two, a television junky, and a board game
connoisseur. Her first book, "Virulent: The Release" was born from a
challenge issued by her students to write a book that would interest
them. When she isn't writing or teaching, Shelbi can be found throwing
unnecessarily elaborate birthday parties and officiating weddings. She
is a fan of: Spanx, bourbon, Powell’s Books, and tabloid magazines.
Shelbi lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband (a local sports
editor) and her two sons, Elliott and Ike.
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“Sal,” Lucy started. “What’s wrong? I’m so sorry. What’s wrong?” She heard her own voice waver and she took a deep breath to steady it.
“It’s Bogie,” Salem replied. Lucy let out a slow breath. Bogie was the Aguilar family dog; a Rottweiler beagle mix who Lucy had known since he was a puppy. Bogart was a prized possession, a member of the family. He was young and healthy and every night he slept curled up at Salem’s feet. Salem loved that dog more than anything and Lucy searched for perfect words of comfort while gearing up for tragic news.
“Oh. Sal. Please...don’t tell me...”
“My mom came home and found him...just gone.”
“Missing?” Lucy held her breath, hoping that maybe he’d just gone exploring, he’d return. Catastrophe averted. Histrionics unnecessary.
Salem let out a small sob. “No Lucy...gone. Gone. Like, dead. Just in the middle of the kitchen floor, like he was asleep. But he wasn’t breathing, wasn’t moving. My mom looked around, thought maybe he had eaten something bad for him.”
“Lucy, I don’t know. I don’t know!” She stared at her friend wide-eyed and frantic. “I mean…what’s happening? What is this? Some cruel joke?”
“I’m so sorry,” was all Lucy knew to say and she reached out again to put a hand on Salem, but Salem pulled away.
“No! You don’t get it! Listen to me. They just are all gone. All of them.”
There was a pause and Lucy stopped. She gathered her hands into her lap and wrapped them in a ball; dread formed in her stomach, uneasiness replaced pity. “What do you mean?”
“My mom called the vet, but the line was busy, so she went over to our neighbor's house. She was distraught, right? And...our neighbor opened the door just sobbing.”
The car fell quiet. Outside a motorcycle roared passed. Its engine grew louder, then faded away.
Salem turned to Lucy. “All the dogs, Lucy. All the dogs are dead.”