Title: A Plague Year
Author: Edward Bloor site
Format: Hardcover, 305 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Book Divas
A Plague Year is meant to be a modern day retelling of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, comparing meth’s destructive tendencies on a community to those of an infectious plague. Soon after September 11th, methamphetamine begins to take over the small mining town of Blackwater, PA. Turning others whom have taken the drug into “meth zombies” in it’s wake. Tom, writer of the journal, experiences the effects of meth first hand as his friends and neighbors become afflicted with the “meth plague”. The Blackwater morgues are fuller than ever. Will Blackwater survive? Or will the zombies take over?!
There wasn’t anything wrong with Tom, he had some likable qualities, but I was bored with him too by the end. And I didn’t like that from the beginning, his goal is to get good grades so he can get a scholarship to “get the hell out of Dodge”, but at the end he basically gives up.
This book isn’t really memorable in my mind. And even though there are instances of action throughout the book, it left me feeling bored. One of the biggest reasons I didn’t like the book was the constant repetition of “Don’t do drugs or you’ll turn into a zombie”. I’m all about being drug free, but this got really old, really fast. It would have been more interesting if the meth epidemic took people by surprise, but it almost seems as if everyone else knew it was going to happen. Tom himself is told by multiple adults about meth before he ever sees anyone affected. I had the same problem with A Plague Year that I did with The Bell Jar, the character really didn’t have a big goal. It’s mostly just reflections of what’s happening in Tom’s town.
Unlike the title suggests A Plague Year doesn’t actually span over a year’s time. Beginning in September 2001, we read a few, about three, of Tom’s journal entries from each month until 2002.