Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
Between December 31, 1998, and January 1, 1999, things start going wrong all over the world. It begins with a group of young women in hoods and robes taking over a mostly-deserted military installation in Russia. Throughout this twenty-four hour period, blackouts rage through the United States, Europe, Asia, and beyond. As teens everywhere are celebrating the start of a new year in style, everyone over the age of twenty seems to either disappear, or worse--dissolve into a puddle of steaming, black goo. What the heck is going on? Why are all of the adults and very young children suddenly gone from Earth--and how will the teens that are left cope? Added to the mix is that some people in the 19-22 range who survived the first round of deaths now seem to be succumbing to whatever happened, dying off like everyone else.
There's Ariel and Brian and their group of friends in Babylon, Washington, spending days getting drunk until they can figure out what to do. There's Julia and her abusive boyfriend, Luke, in New York City, trying to figure out what's going on. There's twenty-year old Dr. Harold Wulf, youngest resident at the University of Texas Hospital in Austin, Texas, who takes advantage of the situation to feel like a hero. We have eighteen-year old Sarah Levy, who along with her younger brother, Josh, are visiting their granduncle, Elijah, in Jerusalem. And last but not least, we have George Porter, a teen spending time in the local jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for hot-wiring a car.
As the book progresses, we get glimpses that all of the above teens, from all walks of life and in all different parts of the world, are destined to play a part in figuring out what happened on New Year's Day, 1999. As signs point to a deeper meaning than terrorists or global warfare, each teen sets out on a destiny that will, very likely, mean the difference between life and death.
Definitely a great start to an entertaining series, I'm looking forward to reading FEBRUARY, book two. Highly recommended!