Anyone can be Positive . . .
Years after a plague killed 99 percent of the population, turning them into infectious zombies, Finnegan and his family live in a barricaded New York City. But Finn’s sheltered life fractures when his unsuspecting mother falls sick with the zombie disease—latent inside her since before her son’s birth.
Finn, too, can be infected. If he remains healthy for the last two years of the potential incubation period, he’ll be cleared. Until then, he must be moved to a special facility for positives, segregated to keep the healthy population safe.
Tattooed with a plus sign on his hand that marks him as a positive, Finn is exiled from the city. But when marauders kill the escort sent to transport him, Finn must learn how to survive alone in an eerie, disintegrated landscape. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger is his fellow humans. – Goodreads Synopsis
Positive took me a while to get into. It is not an easy book to start. You’re expecting one thing, and what you get is actually quite another. For the first hundred pages, I wasn’t even sure I’d manage to finish it, truth be told. But then suddenly I was 155 pages into it, and completely engrossed in the story. I don’t know if I needed that time to just adjust to the fact that what I got wasn’t what I thought I was getting, or if those first hundred or so pages was just Wellington laying down the foundation for the rest of the novel but, regardless, Wellington’s story had finally hooked me.
Now, this is not a work of great fiction. I won’t lie and say it is. It’s depressing, it sags in the middle, and there’s not nearly enough zombie action to sate you if you’re a zombie story fanatic. However, the world that Wellington places his characters in is not completely unbelievable, either. The positive camp, the looting, the crazy and the spirit, the drive and the rebuilding all make a bit of sense. Some of its stupid, but that’s because people are inherently stupid. Nothing stood out to me completely unrealistic, except for perhaps the idea that even a single can of canned food would still be good 20 years after it’s expiration date. I could be wrong on that though. Even the characters are likable and/or understandable enough. I identified with Kylie, and her basic survival reflexes. There was one part near the end where she was expected to say one thing, said another, and I did a little mental cheer for her.
Overall, it’s a good, solid read. It won’t thrill or excite you, but it will (eventually) grab your attention, and keep it until you’ve finished the book. For once lately (thank you, Circe!) I don’t have to gripe about the ending. It wrapped up in the expected positive manner, but for this type of book, that worked really well. I think if it had ended the same way it began, it would have been too much. If you’re the type of person who likes books like The Road, you’d probably be happy with this on your shelf.