Living Hell by Catherine Jinks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is one of the scariest books I've read this year. I could not look away--just like I could never look away from, say, Alien(s).
Cheney's life on the Plexus is pretty unremarkable. He's awake, and in suspension for four years, and awake again as the colony roams the universe for a habitable planet. He does rotations around the ship, learning different jobs, wondering if they'll ever find a safe place to call home. And then, one day, the unthinkable happens: a red alert is called because there's a wave of strange radiation ahead.
At first, everything seems to be okay, but then the careful balance of the ship goes...out of whack. Strange things are growing on the walls. Things are getting sticky. And people are dying. Cheney's friends an family are some of the smartest humans ever, but can they figure out what's going on in time to save themselves?
I read this book as a first-round judge for the Cybils Awards, which means that I may have received a review copy from the publisher (or not; I own a lot of the books in this category). I read some books nominated for the YA fantasy and science fiction category in 2010 before the nomination period, and may have already reviewed them or declined to make a public review; these books might not have a Cybils post tag. As a first-round judge, I was tasked with helping create a shortlist of books. My personal reviews do not reflect any actions or discussions of the judging committee.