If you do not like pandemic stories, please stay away from Stung (volume one) by Bethany Wiggins. While this was written before the current events of 2020 to 2022 (when I read) it is almost like what we experienced and/or are experiencing. Except with the crazy beasts roaming outside the gates of the city, honey being used as a form of currency, and politicians getting called out for their actions.
We follow a young girl who is trying to hide, partly in plain sight and of course hidden in odd places: sewers, abandoned buildings, and military camps to name a few. There are scenes of attempted rape, the cage fighting between the “humans turned beasts” and the savagery of the “undesirables” or FECs use to survive. There are also mentions of child brides and more misogynistic practice as well. With the concept of vaccines being the cause of the illness people fear/are fighting never was resolved if this is pro-vaccine or anti as (SPOILER) there is a vaccine that does help at the end. There is a bit of a romance that was a smidgen oogy for me (but a little Stockholm syndrome never hurt anyone, right?)
What started as a promising story of dealing with the issues one girl faces in a world gone mad with greed and fear, turned into something that overall, is not for everyone, and even those who it is for might not enjoy. I am looking for volume two to see if things work out better as we are left with a few open endings.
I would say at least for ages 13 and up, but more likely 14 to adult.