3.78 (998 ratings by Goodreads)
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The 2015 SCBWI Crystal Kite Winner for the Atlantic region!

Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Lilianna's circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn't about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil's worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey Lil's town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she's more alone than she's been since the "incident" at her school months ago.

With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 33.02mm | 425g
  • Sky Pony Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1628736097
  • 9781628736090
  • 1,562,172

Review quote

Winner of the 2015 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Atlantic region

Shortlisted for the West Australian Young Readers Book Award

"The best novels are multi-layered, presenting the reader with new questions at every turn of the page. Pandemic is truly exceptional in that regard-its teen protagonist, Lily, is stuggling with a dark secret from her past, her first tentative romances, and a horrifying pandemic that throws her town into utter chaos. Ventresca's debut novel will appeal to those who love realistic coming of age stories, romances, or disaster fiction. Bravo!" -Mike Mullin, award-winning author of the Ashfall trilogy

"Yvonne Ventresca's debut novel hits the ground running and never stops until the last page. This fast paced story about a teen who struggles to regain her sense of safety after an assault will have you reading well into the night. You'll have to find out how Lil survives . . . alone . . . surrounded by death . . . and fearful her attacker will return at any moment. Pandemic is an exciting new addition to young adult books." -C. Lee McKenzie, author of Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas

"A suspenseful, authentic, and emotional narrative makes Pandemic a gripping and powerful story. . . . Riveting and terrifyingly real with moments of hope that shine through when you least expect it, Pandemic is one that will stay with you long after you read the last page." -Amalie Howard, author of the Alpha Goddess and Aquarathi series and the Riven Chronicles

"As is to be expected in an apocalyptic novel, there is no shortage of tension or death and a few gruesomely dead bodies, but teen disaster fans will likely appreciate that the high schoolers are portrayed as good, helpful people, but certainly not perfect." -Booklist

"This is an engrossing apocalyptic story, told through Lil's eyes and newsfeeds as her neighborhood, then the East Coast, and finally the entire U.S. buckles to its knees as the pandemic spreads. . . . Themes of friendship and coming together in a crisis carry the novel." -School Library Journal

"Ventresca just manages to take it to new and interesting places by making her main character one who is forced to deal with the emotional struggles of abuse in the midst of the end of the world." -School Library Journal/Teen Librarian Toolbox

"In her first novel, Ventresca pulls together three unrelated themes to create a medical thriller/romance. . . . This realistic page-turner will keep most readers enthralled." -Kirkus Reviews

"I can honestly say this is one of my favorite reads thus far this year and easily ranks in my top 25 favorite disaster novels. Yeah, it is that good. . . . It is obvious the author has done her homework." -Survival Weekly

"Pandemic is a fast and gripping story. . . . The plot never failed to impress me; there was always a surprise around the corner." -Teen Ink

"I love how the author spins her own unique twist into what might have been yet another deadly-disease-plague-that-kills-everyone story." -YA Books Central

"Pandemic is a win. I never put it down, and never wanted to. It terrified me, excited me, and moved me. It even threw in some swooniness and charm just for giggles." -The YA Buzz

"An intriguing story about emotional trauma, fear, danger, and the will to survive you won't want to put down."

"This book really speaks about the resiliency of the human spirit." -Shelf Full of Books

"The brilliance of this book lies in its simplicity, its crispness, its economy of detail, its characterization, and especially in its mastery of psychological horror." -Boy Book of the Month Blog
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About Yvonne Ventresca

Yvonne Ventresca is a young adult author with two previously published nonfiction books and numerous articles for print and online publications. She currently resides with her husband and two teenage children in New Jersey.
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Rating details

998 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 25% (254)
4 38% (377)
3 28% (276)
2 8% (78)
1 1% (13)

Our customer reviews

I wanted to read Pandemic because I am interesting in illnesses and if there is an epidemic what the backlash would be. I wanted to see a teen in this situation and how she would survive. Lil has changed in the last few months, and we come in right before the illness starts to spread. She is smoking and stockpiling things in case something happens. Her dad is in the field of viruses and illnesses and her mom is a health watch dog. So, she has insight into preparation and prevention against pandemics. She channels her helplessness from what happened to her into trying to be prepared for a disaster. Its her coping mechanism. And of course, as in novels, her knowledge and research and family ties as well as hoarding supplies is going to come in handy as the plot progressed. I can relate with Lil because she feels so down and that bad things are always going to happen. But she takes that to the extreme where with my past trauma and issues, I just focus on one day at a time. She's been skipping class, can't concentrate and would rather read her google alerts for unexplained illness than study for history. One thing that I didn't like was the kinda forced love triangle. There is Ethan, who she used to date before the devastating event, but she never confided in him. But to me, he was never a good choice, because he is so hover-y. Then all of the sudden he is coming around again, and asking her to hang out. As for the second guy, she bumps into him several times before and they had some conversations and chemistry. Jay is a great listener, and they work together and combine resources once the virus hits. Things are intense, and so is their romance. I liked Jay though and their vibe and how they can be open and non-judgemental. Lil and Megs, her best friend, had such a strong friendship. I loved reading about that in the beginning, when life was "normal." Megs nudges her to go to class and study, and is worried about her. They get to spend time together and Lil trusted her enough to confide what happened. Not only friendship in this one, I love the family ties. Although Lil's parents aren't able to get home, they keep in as close contact as they can. Once the virus starts to spread it goes fast. It travels the coast and even the world quickly and it devastates in hot spots, but it is still crazy in who and when it hits. So many people are lost in this one, and Lil struggles to keep it together. She is only a teen, but I love that the good in her and her strong humanitarian--help who you can, how you can kicks in. Its amazing how she bands together in the darkest hours of this pandemic with others and try to help others even through their grief, pain, and uncertainty. The ending was pretty good. Even though their is still obviously going to be a lot of loss and grief to deal with, the survivors have began to knit together and help each other continue to live. The virus first wave in that area seems to have leveled off and they of course are working on a vaccine and taking preventions in order to deal with further crisis. Bottom Line: Shows the strength of love, community, and bravery in a time of disease, death, and more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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