Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague
The Eleventh Plague
Jeff Hirsch
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Source: Library

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.



This book was not at all what I expected.  Awhile ago I had gotten a free preview of The Eleventh Plague and I've started reading it several times.  It just never caught me for some reason.  So, when I visited a different branch of my local library, I saw this on audiobook and thought I needed to give it another shot.  I'm going to forewarn you, this review may be filled with a little hate.
What I Liked
  • It was pretty easy to follow.  A problem I have with audiobooks is that I can get a little lost.  I didn't ever get lost with The Eleventh Plague.
  • There was a nice simplicity to the way Hirsch writes.  I definitely appreciated that.
  • The audio was relatively short, it didn't drone on and on.
What I Didn't Like
  • It was very juvenile.  I read a lot of YA.  I mean A LOT.  And this didn't seem YA to me.  It was more middle grade.  And that was a problem for me.  And I can't really say why.
  • Stephen was annoying.  Always "Grandfather would say this." Or "Grandfather would say that."  I just really wanted him to be his own person.  That revelation for Stephen came too little too late for me.
  • There was not enough plot.  The story felt very drawn out and there were things done that didn't make sense to me, that didn't add to the story or move the plot along.  Which makes everything very weak for me.  (See the first bullet point in this section)
  • There needed to be more closure.  I feel that Hirsch left this too open ended.  As if he expected the readers to demand a sequel.  All I demand is that there was an epilogue to the epilogue and tidy the ending up a little more.
Some people who's opinion on books I respect very greatly gave The Eleventh Plague pretty high marks.  Others are more in line with my take, granted it wasn't necessarily bad, it just didn't do for me what it should have.
2 Stars


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