*** 4.5 STARS ***
I received this book as an advance reader's copy and I was so excited to read it, I couldn't wait to finish the book I was reading at the time.
I was immediately sucked into the story within the first chapter - the first 7 pages.
An all-girls school on Raxter Island in Maine becomes infected with the "Tox" and is isolated and quarantined on the island. Phone and internet access completely cut off. Kept away from their families. Information kept secret. Supplies are sent over from the mainland while the CDC supposedly search for a cure.
I was immediately pulled in by the cover. This is absolutely my most favorite cover of the year to date. The artwork is just absolutely incredible! I literally want this as a poster in my room!
Like others have, I'd also categorize the book as "dystopian feminist horror", but not boogeyman-under-the-bed or jump-out-and-scare-the-sh*t-outta-me horror. This is 100% make-your-skin-crawl horror. There were times throughout the book (particularly in the last 1/3 of the book... i.e. THE WORM) that just made me shiver and cringe (good, horror-type cringing!)
I was pleasantly surprised that with the switching of the POV's, between Hetty and Bryatt... but I would have LOVED to have had even just a snippet of Reese's POV - she ended up becoming so prominent in the story. In my opinion, the author very tastefully added in LGBT elements without making it overbearing and too in-your-face.
Although this book is YA - one word of warning - there is LANGUAGE! Not overly prominent, but it's there probably about a dozen times (again, also tastefully done!)
The ONLY reason for the 4.5 stars is because the ending left me wanting so much more!! I mean.... GIVE ME A SECOND BOOK ALREADY!!!