Author: Aaron Starmer
Published: May 4th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humour
Length: 368 pages
Source: Paperback from the publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
‘Truly the smartest and funniest book about spontaneous combustion you will ever read’ JOHN GREEN, #1 bestselling author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
A TIME magazine Top 10 YA Book of 2016!
Mara’s senior year is proving to be a lot less exciting than she’d hoped, until the day – KABAM! – Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to explode without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason, while the students continue to pop like balloons. But if bombs or terrorists or a government conspiracy aren’t to blame, what is?
With the help of her oldest friend, her new boyfriend, a power ballad and a homemade disco ball, will Mara make it to graduation in one piece? It’s going to be one hell of a year, where the only test is how to stay alive and where falling in love might be the worst thing you can do . . .
I first heard about this book through Canongate’s Twitter and it sounded amazing. I was so excited to read it and once I picked it up, I found it hard to put down.
Mara has a predicament. The people in her senior class keep exploding and she’s usually around when they do. Now people are turning against them, treating them like they have a contagious virus, and yet more and more people are exploding all the time. With time running out until their graduation, will the senior class even make it? Will they all explode? Will anyone find out what exactly is happening to them?
This book is genius. It’s hilarious. Despite the gore of fellow classmates blowing up, Mara manages to have the most inappropriate sense of humour about it all and survives – mostly. As more people around her die, she understandably sinks into a depressive spiral along with most of the others in her class.
What I loved about this book was firstly Mara’s voice. It was immediately something I needed to hear more of, I didn’t want to put it down. She pulled me right in and I was with her all the way. As more people are her dropped, I just wanted to keep her and her friends away from it all, keep them safe.
The conspiracy theories and government action and the quarantines and such all made the book super tense after a while. What started as an unfortunate event led to something that seemed like a real threat, the kids were being locked down and it felt like their lives as they knew them were over. I was stunned by how quickly things turned for them.
Mara’s relationship with her best friend, Tess, was super interesting. Especially seeing how the pair of them handled things so differently. Then there was Mara’s boyfriend. Gosh, I really liked them as a pair and I was rooting for them the whole time. There were kids I didn’t like but I had my handful of names that I did not want to see explode. Sadly, not all of them made it.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t really a fan of the ambiguous ending. I wanted to know for sure. It makes me feel like there’s going to be another book, but I’m not sure there is? It just didn’t feel like things wrapped up as neatly as I like them to be. However, I loved this book despite that. It’s a brilliant read.
About the Author
*Picture from Goodreads