cover image Infected


Sophie Littlefield. Delacorte, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-74106-4

In Littlefield’s (Hanging by a Thread) page-turning thriller, high school seniors and track-and-field stars Carina Monroe and Tanner Sloan are infected with an experimental virus that gives them superhuman strength and endurance. The trouble, however, is that the virus comes with a fatal side effect—after 36 hours, it will begin a gruesome and irreversible attack on their nervous systems. Carina and Tanner race to find the antidote and, along the way, discover the secrets that Carina’s deceased mother and uncle were keeping about their scientific research. Pursued by stereotypical foreign gangsters, they also have to reckon with Carina’s menacing legal guardian, whom her uncle warned her against. Though derivative in its plot and occasionally cheesy (Tanner’s advantages over the villain include “heart, and courage—and love”), Littlefield’s novel serves up plenty of twists and exciting action sequences, as well as disturbing set-pieces like the video Carina and Tanner find of a man dying from the virus, which raises the stakes for them. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (Jan.)