Virals by Kathy Reichs (NY: Razorbill, 2010).
This novel debuts Tory Brennan, the 14-year-old niece of Tempe Brennan, a leading forensic anthropologist (from Reichs's adult mystery series and the TV show Bones). Recently uprooted after her mother's death, Tory is living for the first time with her previously unknown father on an island off the coast of North Carolina. Luckily she finds a group of friends who are as science oriented (and admittedly geeky) as she is. The chance discovery of some old dog tags on another island ensconces the group in the mysterious death of long-missing teen. Then they rescue a sick dog at a research institute on the island and are exposed to a mutated virus. Investigating both of these mysteries changes them--forever!
Awesome start to a great new series for young adults! Highly recommended for teens, 13 & up. Intense situations, language.
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