Viral Nation — Book Review


The Deets

author: Shaunta Grimes

released: July 2, 2013

format: e-book, paperback

pages: 336 pages

publisher: Penguin Publishing

Read: July 1 – 2

Book Pages: • •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, dystopian, science fiction, post apocalyptic,

The Down-low

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever. (From

Why You Should Buy It

In a world where one book in the overpopular dystopian category can seem like every other, Viral Nation stands apart.  Shaunta Grimes crafted a unique blend of an underestimated group of kids, science fiction, time travel, and a girl with autism to create a moving story you won’t soon forget.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

I have to admit upfront that I may be partially biased when it comes to this review.  Having a child with autism, I’m always finding myself drawn to stories with characters who have it as well.  It is hard though, to sometimes see the characters for what they truly are through my perspective lens. However, Clover reached into my heart and held tight.

I found myself reading as a mom when West, her brother, was narrating.  I saw the fear and fierce protectiveness he saw when looking at his sister.  I felt my heart ache when he refused to even let her walk the short street from him to there home, always watching and worrying. My heart understood.

So I was a bit surprised with Clover when she made me for the first time see life through the eyes of my child.  Sure, he is only 7 and isn’t living in a world ravaged by disease, death, and a new world order.  But, I truly could see him in Clover.  When she would need her dog Mango to give her deep pressure to help her calm down.  When she didn’t recognize she had been humming, flapping her hands, or rocking, I understood.  Yes, Clover let me see my son a little more clearly and what it is like not only to be him, but to be someone who is a person outside of his autism.  She didn’t let her disability hold her back and beyond that was a character outside of her diagnosis.  What could have been trite and stereotypical was in fact very well done and developed particularly well.

So, maybe I was biased going in to this book.  However, that didn’t take away from the things I loved about the story Shaunta Grimes told.  There were so many elements involved, I wasn’t ever able to get bored with another book about the end of the world.  It did get a bit distracting to have so many different things going on, and the time travel part was rather confusing.  I’m hoping that these things will be better explained and more polished as the series continues.  There are some issues I had with the mechanics of how the time travel actually worked, but I am (quietly) hoping to see those issues resolved.  (Although I won’t mention the specifics here since it is a major plot point.  Spoilers sweetie!)  I think I watch too much Doctor Who and read too many parallel/alternate universe books, so when a new theory on time and space relativity is introduced, I have to make it fit in with what I already know.

Overall, I think the book was enjoyable and very much look forward to seeing more from Clover, her brother West, and of course her loyal companion Mango!


Four point Five Stars


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Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon: Day 1 & 2

I accidently FORGOT to make my post yesterday, so I’m combining two today!  The Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland and takes place this week July 1-7.  It’s not too late to sign up if you want to be involved!

Day One: Class Orientation

So, this is the part where I introduce myself.  I am Jess, a Texas gal who fits the definition of book-obsessed.  If you want to read all about me, visit my ‘About’ page on the right sidebar.

My ‘are you serious?’ face when the plot twist takes place.

1. Where are you blogging from? East Texas, y’all.


2. Why did you start blogging/reading?

Well, this is a bit more in depth an answer than the first question.  In first grade, I had a lot of trouble reading.  I remember having to practice extra, which I hated because I didn’t like to not be good at something. But once I got the hang of it, I really took off.  By second grade, I was reading at a 6th grade level and completely book obsessed.  Again, see my About Me for just how obsessed I was.

I didn’t start seriously book blogging until this year.  There are a lot of reasons I started, but the main one was wanting to share my reviews with my friends.  I’m always telling people about this book or that, and I figured one dot com might be easier.  Admittedly this has been one of the most awesome things I’ve done in a long while!

3. What are your favorite genres?

Pretty much I love young adult.  Within that, I am obsessed with science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, coming-of-age, and what I call tough issues (suicide, death, mental illness, addiction, sexual abuse, etc.).  I also enjoy contemporary & contemporary romance.  Recently I’ve started reading New Adult books in these areas, and I’m enjoying watch this new category grow into its own.  Oh, and I love memoirs, which is really different from these others, but there you go.


So, my read-a-thon goals are pretty simple: 1 book per day, totaling 7 by the end of the week.  Here are a couple I’m planning to read:

I have a tendency to read to match my mood, so some of these are likely to change.

Day Two: You’re the One That I Want

Today at the Summer Lovin’ read-a-thon we are discussing must have summer reads.  I’m going to also refer you to my Top Ten Beach/Summer Reads and my Top Ten TBR Summer 2013 posts.  I don’t have books that I read exclusively in the summer, but I DO have books that I read or try to read on an annual basis.  Here are a few:
Harry Potter, Books 1-7

I honestly have no idea just how many times I’ve read this series.  It is definitely something I make time to read each year.  And each time I read the books, it is a completely new experience!
The Hunger Games Trilogy

Even though I hate how it ends, I still make this series a yearly read.  It’s just too good not to!

The Divergent Series

I know, I know, technically this one isn’t finished yet, but I already know I will be reading this series each year for a long time!

So, what are some of your favorite summer reads?



Read-a-thon Results:
Viral Nation: COMPLETED
Losing Hope: 24%

New Reads — Week of July 1


Happy July everyone!  Here’s this week’s new releases.


What books are you looking forward to reading?