Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{March 20, 2011}   Viral, by Alex Van Tol

Orca Book Publishers has been extremely gracious to allow me to review Viral prior to its release date of April 1, 2011.  The synopsis is as follows: “Mike has fallen deeply in love with his best friend, Lindsay. And he’s pretty sure she feels the same way…until a simple misunderstanding destroys Lindsay’s trust. Devastated and feeling betrayed, Lindsay leaves town for the summer. In the fall, she returns to school a different person and she’s suddenly tight with the “in” crowd. When Lindsay gets intoxicated at a party and ends up in a compromising situation, she has no idea that someone is filming the whole thing on his phone. When the footage goes viral around their school, Mike has to dig deep within himself to find the courage to help Lindsay in her time of greatest need.”

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Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade.  Viral comes from the Orca Soundings series, which is for those ages 12+, and is written in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand.  

How do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped?  This the question to which Mike must find an answer, and it is a great question to ponder.  If we were in a similar situation as Mike, watching destructive decisions unfold, what would we do?  Van Tol leaves this philosophical question up the reader in this captivating narrative dealing with teenage angst and revenge. 

Any reader will be able to relate to this story through its fast paced storyline and interesting plot, and it will not only captivate reluctant readers, but all readers across all spectrums.  Van Tol’s use of technology within the story aids the plot and adds to the horror within the novel, as Mike’s peers misuse technology to destroy another.  I was captivated by this novel, and the ending was phenomenal!  I highly recommend this for all reluctant readers, but advise everyone to read it as the interest level and moral themes are for everyone.  Five stars.

Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!

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