Love Is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books
From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that's John Grisham's THE PELICAN BRIEF meets Michael Crichton's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.
Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.
Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus--something about her parents' top secret scientific work--something she shouldn't know.
The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.
Thank you Netgalley for this read.
This was my first experience with both Alaya's writing and also with what I would call a Science Fiction Suspense Thriller. It has all the elements that make great stories. You have a deadly strain of the flu that is threatening the world. Emily Bird, our main character has a life that seems perfect until one night, one party, and knowledge she possesses that has to do with the said pandemic. Then there was the whole government involvement. Set in D.C, how could you not expect there be some shady under cover things to go on. There is even love in it! The love interest is a a drug dealer named Coffee and he helps Bird on her discovery for the truth.
All of this sounds good and great. However, I felt like if the plot focused just on the thriller part or just the science fiction of it, it could have been better. At times things felt confusing and I found myself going back and rereading just to make sure I was on track.
The pace was fast which isn't a bad thing but with so many questions and things going on, I felt that it was a set back. I did enjoy the actual writing of this. I think it was well written but with a little more focus it could have been 10 times better.
Ultimately, this wasn't my cup of tea but it had great potential and I still would like to give Alaya's other stories a try.