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The Loners (Quarantine Series #1)

The Loners (Quarantine Series #1)

4.2 58
by Lex Thomas

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It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them


It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. 
In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First in the Quarantine trilogy, this debut novel from Thomas, a pseudonym for first-time writers Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies, is a violent and somewhat campy high-concept mashup, tossing Walter Hill’s The Warriors into a high school setting and seeding it with elements of Lord of the Flies. After a biotech disaster unleashes a weaponized disease that creates teenage carriers and kills adults exposed to them, McKinley High is quarantined. A year later, themed gangs—including Varsity, Freaks, Pretty Ones, and Sluts—have formed to fight over a once-a-week food drop from the government. David, an unaffiliated “Scrap,” works with his epileptic younger brother, Will, to get by, and eventually ends up leading his own gang of outsiders after saving the life of an outcast Pretty One named Lucy. The battle between Varsity and the newly christened Loners occasionally gets muddled, and the authors are more interested in high-impact brutality than realism, but the fast and gory action (one trap-filled hallway sequence is particularly memorable) should satisfy the core audience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)
VOYA - Jane Gov
A virus escapes into McKinley High, instantly killing all adults and post-pubescent students, leaving everyone else—pubescent teens—alive, but fatally poisonous and contagious. As puberty recesses, the teens will not only lose immunity to the virus, but also the virus itself will leave the body. Therefore they can be released back into society, but until then they must survive. The school is quarantined by the military, forsaking the infected teenagers to their own devices. Gangs form, trades develop, and the battle for survival can be deadly. A year later, the school is unrecognizable. Seventeen-year-old David Thorpe is able to stay under the radar, surviving on small cleaning jobs and any scant provisions he can grab from the military's biweekly supply drop. Just a little longer and he will "graduate" and be released from the school—but McKinley High has been left alone for far too long. The students are unsettled and on the brink of civil war. Lex Thomas, pen name for writing team Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies, turns out a frightening and dark tale. Drawing from flawed yet likable characters, Quaranteen thrives on themes of human nature and an ultra-realistic tone. Unpredictable, gory, and full of death and despair, this story is not for the light hearted. Though far less societal driven than dystopian hits like Collins's The Hunger Games and Divergent, Quaranteen will still attract a similar readership and would be a great pick for a book discussion. Reviewer: Jane Gov
Kirkus Reviews
Lawlessness and violence erupt in a quarantined high school. David Thorpe can't ditch school and his ex-friends on the football team because it's his epileptic younger brother's first day. That's the day a weapons manufacturer's biologically improbable virus reaches the school--a suspension-of-disbelief–necessary germ that infects teenagers but kills everyone else. However, the virus leaves teens as they leave puberty, taking their resistance but allowing them a chance to escape. Government technology tells the exact date a student will leave puberty and quarantine, just from a thumb on a scanner. Knowledge of this "escape date" undermines the novel's potential for claustrophobic tension. The breakdown into chaos and establishment of new orders (fierce fighting for resources dropped every two weeks) are mostly skipped over. The virus causes white hair, enabling cliques (Varsity, Geeks, Nerds, Freaks, Skaters, the Pretty Ones and Sluts) to dye their hair uniform colors for identification. David and the other outsiders must fight the strict caste system by forming their own clique. The female-dominated groups--Pretty Ones and Sluts--reflect a tiresome woman-as-commodity approach. The female lead and love-triangle anchor (fought over by David and his brother) only occasionally shows signs of personality and is offended but also "excited" by unwanted groping. Additionally, the major characters' voices are indistinguishable and the villain cartoonishly evil--characterization is generally ignored in favor of more gore. At least this battle for survival has gore going for it. (Science fiction. 14-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—David's experiences at his typical American high school turn into terror after a huge explosion changes everything. He and the other students watch as their teachers die gruesome deaths, and, when they try to escape, they are fired upon by the military. Weeks later, the canopy that traps them opens to drop supplies, and they are forced to fight tooth and nail to survive. A giant television screen is brought in, projecting a talking head that explains that they are carrying a contagion that only affects prepubescent teens, and so they are under quarantine. Quickly, the students form into gangs to protect one another and to help snap up the food that is delivered via black helicopter every two weeks or so. Sam, whom David attacked at a party while drunk, is the head of the strongest gang, called Varsity, and David ends up leading The Loners. The relationship between David and his brother, Will, may be the best part of this story, but it takes a backseat to the battles and struggle of the rival gangs in this first book in the series. While some of the treatment of girl and boy characters seems a bit clichéd, this is a solid choice for teens hooked on the dystopian genre.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Quarantine Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.32(d)
HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Lex Thomas is the pen name used by the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Lex and Thomas met in a writers' group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other's minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone. QUARANTINE: THE LONERS is their first novel.

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The Loners (Quarantine Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
365_Books_A_Year More than 1 year ago
I have two sons- one of them a teenager. I was just bemoaning the fact that there's a point at which boys seem to stop reading. Say around age 9-12. Why? To some extent, they run out of stuff to read. There is just not enough fiction being published that's appealing to teenage boys. So, they don't read and because they don't read, nothing much gets published that teenage boys will like. Because it won't sell, because teenage boys don't read. Kind of a big circular mess, actually. I'm mentioning this because if you have a teenage boy at home who is a reluctant reader, this is the book for him. In fact, this would be my 2012 pick for Reluctant Male Readers. However, I think the very things that boys will like about this book are things that (some) parents may have problems with. For starters, it's violent. Not just violent, but it contains very graphic violence. Second, there are sexual situations. For me personally as a parent, I find violence and sex in books less offensive and troublesome than in movies, TV, and video games. There's something about having a visual image that's more disturbing and video mediums lack the ability to convey the thought processes going on in a character's head. That whole gratuitous sex and violence thing that I think is common in movies, TV, and video games and is actually relatively rare in YA books. There are two major things that are appealing in this book. The first is a must for teenage boys- that something is always happening. This book is well-paced and there are constant twists, turns, and action. The plot consistently moves forward. As a parent, the thing I most liked about the book was the relationship between the two brothers- David and Will. I have two sons and my husband is one of four boys- three of them even went to high school at the same time. I found the relationship between David and Will to be both real and touching. The authors really captured the love/hate/competition thing that brothers- especially those close in age- seem to have.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I’m pretty sure that the expression on my face while reading this book was pretty much mouth wide open with eyes bugged out.  Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas was not at all what I had expected!  While I was expecting a story about infected students hunting down the survivors riddled all throughout the school and infecting them as well, what I found was something much worse, and in a way, even more frightening. David Thorpe thought that the worst thing about going back to school (senior year for David, and new high school student for Will) was facing a party incident gone wrong and facing the music.  Will Thorpe is just happy to be starting high school.  But when David’s teacher pretty much self-combusts in front of him, followed by an explosion that causes the school to crumble all around him, David, his brother, and the surviving students of McKinley high’s lives are forever changed…and not necessarily for the better. Turns out, the students are all infected with a virus that basically makes them very deadly to any adults.  Just being in the vicinity of one of them will cause them suffer a horrible death.  A virus so awful, that the students themselves are susceptible to it once they are of age.  The only light at the end of the tunnel is surviving until “graduation day”, where they are tested and if the virus is no longer found, they are granted their freedom to the outside world.  And so the military have quarantined them all in their high school, dropping off their food and rations via helicopter from atop the school into an open courtyard (very Hunger Games-esque).  The students are free to grab what they need and do what they need to survive. Unfortunately, a very real Lord of the Flies scenario plays out and the students start breaking apart into groups forming tribes of their very own.  Survival of the fittest really becomes important when it comes to staying alive.  The jocks have formed an uber strong tribe that pretty much rules the “land”, with the cheerleaders as their female counterpart.  Things slowly become less than perfect when the race for food turns into a deadly match.  Food and goods are bartered amongst the different tribes, and a new community is born. Unfortunately for David and Will, David’s violent outburst at a party makes him numero uno on the leader of the jocks’ (Sam) hit list.  And his brother, Will, is not safe, just by association.  With bounties being placed on his head, and his need to survive and protect his brother, David is constantly looking over his shoulder, and lurking in the shadows.  Questions of who to trust and who not to trust constantly in his head, it seems that David’s days are numbered, and when he’s gone, who will protect Will? Craziness!  This story was complete craziness.  I was surprised time and time again, and blown away by the violence and imagery found in the pages.  The author(s) did an amazing job in describing the chaos that happens inside the school.  They instilled fear while reading through the pages.  I was constantly worried for David and his brother, Will.  I wondered when Sam would finally get the vengeance he has been yearning for, time and time again. I couldn’t get over the fact that these every day students turned into these savage beasts that had a “who no mercy” mentally towards each other.  I can’t even begin to imagine how things would be if this type of incident really did happen.  And the twists and turns that came up time and time again were insane.  Once I thought that things just couldn’t get any worse for these kids, and o.m.g situation happens and I’m blown away once again. What did bother me was David’s little brother, Will.  I couldn’t stand his attitude at times, and I was annoyed with his hate for his brother.  I mean come on!  Can’t he see that his brother is doing all he can so that he’ll live!  Even if it means his own life! ARGHH!  You would think that in such a dire situation that having your brother…your blood…with you to try and survive this ordeal would bring you closer.  Nope, Will didn’t want to have anything to do with it, and that chip on his should only got bigger and bigger! All in all, Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas was a very entertaining read that took me away to a savage and cruel world that only lived in my nightmares.  Fans of The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies type reads will devour this read.  I for one, cannot wait to start reading book 2 in this series and see what craziness will ensue this time!
terferj More than 1 year ago
This book was fan-freaking-tastic! It pulled me in right at the beginning. I kept wanting to turn the pages to find out what happens. Imagine the first day of school there's an explosion, teachers dying right in front of you, and no way out. That's what these kids experienced. They had no idea for weeks to what's going on until one day the military set up a station. They explained how this virus came about and who is infected with it. So they're in quarantine until they get to a certain age and leave through the station. Things are pretty grim. Everyone splits off into gangs except for the unwanted, David, and Will. David does something heroic and people wanted him to be the leader of a new gang but he was hesitant at first. He was a good person to lead, he cared about other people's well being. His brother, Will, on the other hand was self-centered and obnoxious. I didn't like him for most of the book. He did come through near the end though but only after a brutal mishap. Sam was the villain in the story. He was psychotic and had a vendetta against David. I'm excited to read the next book with the way this one ended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished the book yet, but from what i have read so far is it is such a good book. can't wait for summer 2013 for the second one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from the first page to the last and wish it would have kept going.....can hardly wait for the next one! This reminded me of "The Lord of the Flies" except in a school. High School students coming together to create their own gangs to survive...very interesting. Great story, great characters. Can hardly wait to find out what happens on the outside.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
I have such mixed feelings about this book that I hardly know where to begin. The truth is, there is a lot wrong with it but I still kept right on reading, couldn’t make myself stop. What’s up with that? For one thing, for a post-disaster scenario, which is pretty nearly always completely unrealistic, this one is way out there in left field. Here you have a school full of teens that have been cordoned off from the outside world. So far, so good. Why this has happened is at first a mystery to the teens and I can buy that, too. What gives me serious pause is what happens within minutes of the teens first realizing something is wrong. Can you imagine our government quarantining an entire school so fast and so competently? Also, why do the adults on the outside cut off all communication with the kids and why do they fail to provide the necessities of life on a regular basis? Well, I suppose these questions are a large part of why I kept reading—I needed to know why even more than what. In some ways, Quarantine can be compared to Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games, especially in the extreme violence and anarchy that develops and yet…it isn’t really anarchy. The gangs that these 1,000 teens form, based largely on their school hierarchy during normal times, rings true because teens tend to want to belong to groups. The violence is to be expected also when you understand just what they’re up against if they want to survive. The gangs are very distinct and this is one of the aspects of the story I really enjoyed. Each gang has a name and distinguishing colors, each has a leader, each has a responsibility for one or more aspects of life under quarantine, each is feared by the other gangs. There are a couple of gangs that are expectedly in the forefront, particularly the Varsity and the Pretty Ones, but the authors do a great job of building the reader’s empathy for all of them in one way or another. Another thing the authors do well is come up with details that make the reader really understand the perils these kids face and how they react, such as the way they dispose of bodies and the barter system they develop. Protagonists Will and David are much like most brothers, full of love and antagonism, and the obligatory love triangle with Lucy actually comes about more naturally than in many other young adult novels. I did feel, though, that the extreme hatred Sam has for David is a stretch and Will’s self-centeredness and unwillingness to do his part is a bit much but these elements do add a great deal to the premise. Character development outweighs plot and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I had issues with the way the government/military respond to the situation and with the behavior of the virus, especially how fast it kills and how it is spread, and these are the absurdities that most bothered me in the construction of the story, along with the difficulty I had tracking the passage of time. On the other hand, the pace of the book is breakneck and I can truly say I was never bored. What goes on with the kids is both disturbing and compelling and that is what made me have to finish. Despite its shortcomings, Quarantine is a thriller you don’t want to miss but, because of the violence and sheer darkness, I’d recommend it for older teens and up. I must admit I also couldn’t resist a story whose first line is “Someone must have bitten off her nose.” Now that’s a grabber if I ever saw one so I guess I’ll have to read the next book, especially if I want to find out where the cliffhanger in this one is going to take us next. And I most certainly do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is one thing I hate most.... Waiting! I can not wait until the next book. Lex thomas I hope you start writing. This was a fantastic book and I cant wait until the next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the trilogy in 4 days. The authirs visited my school and I bought the books, finally read them and I wish I had sooner. Great story, just enough romance and you connect with it easily. Plus, everyone likes apocalytic books! READ THEM? YES.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book. Amazing.
jackies-review-4 8 months ago
This is a great book it has a great storyline and plot twist that will make you want to keep reading. The story follow the main character,David as he tries to survive living in his own personal hell (high school). Where almost everyone is out to get him and the only place that he is safe is within his own gang. And all he want to do is just survive long enough to make it to graduation and finally get out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are the best books in the world. SOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sons in love with this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The one problem i had between the book was Will x lucy Lucy x david David x lucy David x hilary Hilary x sam Hilary x david
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this wasn't the deal 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is similar to the Enemny series, except there are no zombie-like creatures. It is a good book, though. It is risque, action-y and has a nice little love triangle thing goin on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry. You can join, but I can't let you be my mate. A white wolf killed my mother and my newborn brother last month, shortly after my father died. I will need enough wolves before I choose for sure, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series reminds me of The Enemy series.CANT WAIT TO READ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sounds exactley like the enemy series by charles higson 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was hard to put down once I started reading it. I really enjoyed the organization of the plot outline because from the introduction all the way to the end, I was intrigued at what would happen next. Will and David Thrope are the definition of plot-twisting characters with their emotions, actions, and thoughts. I was most surprised when I first read about the conflicting relationship the brothers had over Lucy and how it damaged their overall relationship to the end. I felt Lex Thomas not only portrayed the characters correctly, but the plot as well. McKinley high school is an opportune setting for this book because I thought it really helped capture the secluded scenes and the stealth aspect of a few of the night walks that Will took. This book is on my favorites list and has had me wanting to read the second one. Lex Thomas did a fantastic job with capturing a dark yet hopeful theme in Quarantine: The Loners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a surprisingly good read. It was dark, violent, and held an interesting plot. The ending was unexpected and made me wan to read the rest of the series. Good YA dystopian novel. -Sharae M.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They all padded in. Rainfall put on some herbs to stop itching. Slash sighed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Arnesha More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It's a more relatable, real life hunger games set in the present. You have two brothers who are dealing with adolescence and trying to figure out how to survive, basically, against the rest of the school. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!!!