Title: The Scourge
Author:Jennifer A. Nielsen (website:http://www.jennielsen.com/)
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.
But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?
One day when Ani is attempting to pick a vinefruit she gets stuck, while she is stuck hanging from a vine she overhears the governor’s wardens talking about a disease called the Scourge. Ani knows the Scourge has been spreading throughout the country, but she doesn’t believe that it has reached her people yet. So, when the wardens discover her hanging there and force her to be tested for the Scourge she isshocked. Ani’s friend Weevil is also taken to be tested, and they are forced to spend the night in a dungeon. Neither of them want to stay so Weevil uses his lock picking skills to help them escape. Once they get out of the cell they take off and begin running. Before long they get separated and when Ani pauses to help a girl in a boat, the wardens catch her. Since the wardens believe that the girl could be infected as well, they take her and Ani back to be tested in the morning. When morning arrives they are tested, the girl is positive and Ani is negative. Even though her test results indicate she if fine the wardens and governor insist that she be tested again, a different way. This time, she tests positive and within a matter of minutes, she is feeling horrible. She is then given a small flask of medicine and told she must live out the rest of her short life on the quarantine island. Just before she leaves Weevil returns and asks to go to the island with her. Although it is an odd request, the wardens allow it. As Ani and Weevil begin their new life they uncover some suspicious things, that if revealed, will lead them into sure trouble.
This book was great! Like fantastically awesome! I loved the character’s humor and quirks, and the way Ani and Weevil never gave up, no matter what stood in their way. It is a truly inspiring story about undying loyalty, true friendship, and what can happen if you never give up. In this story, there was no language and nothing inappropriate except a sweet short kiss. There was a fair amount of violence, but half of it was the threat of death or extreme pain. For instance, in an effort to break Weevil and Ani’s friendship, they are told that the one who can prove himself the worst friend will be allowed to take the other’s beating. I would recommend this to anyone ages 12 and up.