Robin Wasserman, September 2013. In rural Oleander, Kansas, five people suddenly snap and kill someone: a family member, a friend, a stranger. In the aftermath, more and more weird violence occurs, and the town is isolated from the rest of the country. No phone, no internet, no TV, and certainly no driving in or out. What’s going on and why? We find out from five teenagers’ points of view: Cassie, who is one of the killers; super-religious Ellie; everyman Daniel, who’s responsible for his little brother; closeted football player West; and wrong-side-of-the-tracks Jule.
Unfortunately, all of the characters are boring, except possibly Jule and Ellie. I never cared about their pasts or futures. The story slogged; it sounds like it has the potential for a lot of suspense, but I couldn’t force myself to read more than a few pages a day, so it took me over a month to get through this one.
The gay content is pretty dull as well. Jock is scared to come out so has secret hookups; all the drama around the town’s violence and isolation means he discovers himself and dates another dude. Eh.