Author: Katherine Howe
Genre: YA horror
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The quite halls of an all girls Catholic high school are filled with students getting ready to graduate. They are fighting for the position at the top of their class and the pressure is building. Every test and assignment counts.
As the intensity of their daily stressed filled lives drone on as all daily lives tend to do, the head popular girl falls over in a seizure. Soon after another girl falls to the same ailment, and then there are two or more dropping a day. Is it the pressure? Is it the HPV vaccine? Is it something in the water?
Howe does a good job of showing the pressure young Colleen Rowley is facing as she gets ready to graduate and is fighting for that top spot in her class. As she watches her classmates literally drop like flies, she doesn’t know if she should take advantage of the lack of school attendance or stay home.
The fear spreads through the small town and it is fun to read about the different ways panic effects people. Some will go for fame, others will go on a raging anger binge to find out what is going on. Others flee to keep safe. Each character in this book deals with what is happening to these girls differently.
What is also interesting in this book is that Colleen does a report on the Salem witch trials and as she is doing the report and reading first had statements, her own world seems to parallel that one. I enjoyed the way these two stories coexist and work together to coax the truth of what is happening to these girls from the story.