Megan has written a fantastic story. It is told through a series of journal entries to Kaelyn's friend, Leo, who has moved off the island. The journal entry format was used well to express the deep fears of Kaelyn, which are likely reflected in all of the residents. It also serves to make the story much more personal. With viruses it is so easy for the story to become about symptoms and statistics, but this format makes it about the people stuck in this situation and their families. It really helped me to connect with Kaelyn, as well, because it felt so honest.
I thought the characters overall were well fleshed out and mostly likeable. Even the characters that didn't play as big a role, like Kaelyn's dad, were very realistic. His concern and his frustration felt genuine. Megan does really well at using the little things to make her characters come alive. There was a little romance included as well, which added a great element but didn't interfere with the real purpose of the story. I also loved the mystery that surrounded some of the characters, like Kaelyn's brother, Drew. There were many different aspects to the story which were meshed together extremely well.
The way the illness was written was gripping and mysterious. I loved how little things were revealed bit by bit. I had so many questions about what was going on and they were answered one by one, keeping me constantly intrigued and in suspense. It was very well thought out! The reaction to the illness was also interesting - not only that of the islanders but also of the people on the mainland and the government. Conflicting views, misunderstandings, knee-jerk reactions... there was so much realism to the scenario which only accentuated how entirely possible this whole idea is.
In all, this was a really great novel. Well written, suspenseful, and mysterious. There was great atmosphere and tension, and the feeling of alienation that takes over was great. In the end, I was left with many unanswered questions that I can't wait to see solved in the sequel, The Lives We Lost.