I read several reviews of Sylo, by D.J. MacHale that said the book was terrible, but I disagree! A lot of people complained about the erratic pacing of the novel, but I felt like it kept the novel fresh and propelled me to keep reading.
Anyway, the novel's main character is a kid named Tucker Pierce. He's just average - he pulls a solid B average in school, sits the bench on the football team, and doesn't really have anything to set him apart from the crowd. However, that all changes the night a member of his football team dies. Suddenly, Tucker is shot into the spotlight as he takes over the kid's position. He learns more and more about his teammate's untimely death, specifically the part that a mysterious crystalline drug called "The Ruby" played in it; what he learns could be the downfall of his quaint hometown, Pemberwick Island, Maine. Before long, Pemberwick is under government-enforced quarantine, and no one can figure out why. Except, that is, for Tucker and an odd crew of his peers. They're not sure if they'll be able to save their island, but they sure will try!
This novel was a bit violent, and there was some bad language, but I wouldn't let that keep me from recommending it to my students next year, especially boys. I saw some big parallels between this novel and The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey. For instance, the way main character Tucker describes the deaths on his island is very similar to the way the protagonist describes the "waves" of death in 5th Wave.
I know Sylo is the first in a series, but I can't find anything about the second book...anywhere!
Also Try: The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey; Hero, by Mike Lupica