Book Review: A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

Title:  A Death-Struck Year

Author:  Makiia Lucier

Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date:  March 4, 2014


Book Summary:

In the grip of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic, not even the strong survive.

The Spanish influenza is devastating the East Coast–but Cleo Berry knows it is a world away from the safety of her home in Portland, Oregon. Then the flu moves into the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters are shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo is told to stay put in her quarantined boarding school, but when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she cannot ignore the call for help. In the grueling days that follow her headstrong decision, she risks everything for near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history, and leaves readers asking: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?


This book was wonderful!  It’s just the kind of story that I would have loved at any age and it’s so well written.  I loved the historical details and learning more about the Spanish Flu which is an important part of our history.  The romance in this book was clean and sweet.

The protagonist, Cleo Berry, is a 17 year old who makes a hasty decision to help the Red Cross during the Spanish Flu outbreak.  After she realizes the magnitude of her choice she has to decide if she will continue to assist.

You can visit the authors website to view pictures of the locations in the book from that time period.

Rating: 5 Stars – I loved it!

Content: Clean

Sex – There was a short passage that discussed birth control in a historical sense. At the time, it was illegal to distribute such information which I though was very interesting.

Source: Netgalley

Available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


  1. I had this as my WoW yesterday so very happy to see you enjoyed it!