Living Hell by Catherine Jinks

58101507Lynn: Fasten your seat belts, the tranquil journey of the space ship Plexus is about to experience some major turbulence! Living Hell (Houghton, 2010) is gleeful gruesome fun with a terrific concept! Plexus is a colony ship filled with 1500 settlers taking turns with stasis sleep, searching for a new planet. Narrator 17-year-old Cheney (33 in real time) knows no other home and life aboard the ship is comfortable and convenient and most everyone is nicely “socially integrated.” Then the ship passes through a mysterious radiation field and Plexus becomes a living organism. The floors and ceilings become tissue, the walls cartilage and the doors muscular valves. There is mucus and goo everywhere but what is most terrifying is that the ship’s immune system regards its passengers as invaders. Suddenly what had been laundry carts and transport vehicles become white-blood-cell-type-defenders intent on destroying the (viral) colonists. The interior battle rages as the colonists have to figure out how to defeat the very entity that also sustains their lives. Loaded with nail-biting tension and plenty of eewwww moments, this one had my corpuscles racing right to the end.

This is a terrific boy book, but girls who like sf or thrillers will love it too. Living Hell will make a terrific booktalk so be prepared with multiple copies.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Living Hell by Catherine Jinks"

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  1.' Angela says:

    For some reason this post only showed up in my feedreader today, but holy crap this sounds like an awesome book. And what a cover!

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