By: Emi Gayle
Release Date: TODAY!
Barnes & Noble
In 2132, “We the people …” means nothing, and it hasn’t for a hundred years.
Like all the citizens of the American Union, eighteen-year-old Erianna Keating is not to ask questions. She is not to believe anything except what the A.U. tells her. More importantly, she’s not supposed to know what she doesn’t know, nor that she’s a pawn.
Like everyone else, though, she is, and like everyone else, she is a hundred percent oblivious to what’s going on.
Or is she? Are they?
Erianna thinks going to Perry Road and joining the national registration program is her next step toward adulthood; the 2132 candidates for adult-classification, though, are in for a big surprise. Especially Erianna.
Thanks to Zane Warren, an awkward but hot guy who won’t shut up about a history that doesn’t—or shouldn’t—matter anymore, Erianna will know. Will learn. That includes finding out what actually happens after registration and doing something, anything, about it.
Fixing what went wrong, what caused the U.S.A. to split into two countries, though, is not on Erianna’s bucket list, but as she faces her future, she must decide whether to fall in line with the American Union’s plan for her, or to consider that Zane might not be wrong, and the time for revolution begins now.
Which I could be. Don’t want to be. Really, really, really don’t, and staring at Cam in her new clothes without holes, her clean hair cut by a professional and the fact that she’s my friend reminds me why: Flukes are poor. I should know. My mom is one.
The animation keeps going as if it’s really trying for me—not that it can. I drop my P-Comm to my leg just as dark words appear on screen. My heart picks up speed, and a tingly tension takes over.
“Well?” Cam asks.
For some reason, I don’t want her to know. I want to find out by myself if I’m going to get a real life, or if I’m destined to wear hand-me-downs from twenty years ago until I’m ninety. I want to prepare, to plan, to cry if we don’t get to go together, or if I’m not like her.
I’m not, of course—in any way like her. Who am I kidding?
After what seems like hours, but is only seconds, I say, “Nothing.”
“Damn.” She throws her arms up in the air. “Figures. And it’s almost five. So, you know, I gotta go. Mom’s sure I’m going to be chosen to pop out babies, like she is, so she wants to make sure I know how to cook before the fake chefs get ahold of me to ‘teach’ me.” Cam gives me a dramatic eye roll and places a hand to her forehead. “Like, oh, my Oz, Eri, you know? We have people to cook for us for a reason. Duh! If I learn to cook, what job am I going to give someone like your mom, you know? And why would I get picked to be fat and ugly when I look like this?” She bats at her blonde curls.
Wanting to change the subject—to anything but the woes of Cam’s perfect life—I walk to her, give her a hug and a quick pat on the back. “I’ll … call you when I get it, ‘kay?”
“You better. We only have two days to shop for the perfect outfit. Why couldn’t your birthday be October twenty-ninth instead of December?” She snatches up her coat—preparation for the winter blast that will tear into uncovered skin. “And … you’re not a fluke. You will get in the white house, and when January first comes, we’ll be official!” She boogies her way out, hips wiggling. For someone who’s not happy about the prospect of becoming a baby factory, she’s awfully chipper.
I know it’s because she’s waiting to hear my fate. To prove I’m not a fluke. To validate my relevance as her friend—the one girl Cam can give backhanded compliments, and, for that matter, insults all day long, and still walk back in with a smile as if nothing happened.
Cam walks through the hallway and says goodbye to my mom who’s probably still working at her makeshift office in our miniature kitchen—trying, I assume, to avoid the whole days’ events. As much as Cam wants me to not be a fluke, my mom wants me to be one. If I’m like her, nothing will change. Like Cam, I’ll be the same old Erianna, just one day older and as useless as all the other flukes in the world.
The front door opens and closes, and I move to the window. Once Cam disappears from view, and only then, I turn over my P-Comm and touch the one message that sits inside.
The one that says: “Invitation for Erianna Price Keating.”
About the Author:
I had a really great bio in my head around midnight one night …. right before I fell asleep and it disappeared into the nothingness of unconsciousness. Bummer. So here’s something less well thought out.
I want to be young again, so I’m kinda sorta living it again. At least on paper. You see, I write paranormal romance. Now, that stuff can get really hot, and really gritty and well … mine does. But! My characters are teenagers, 18 and under. Like I was once … and want to be again.
Why would I want to be a teenager again? Geez. Because! If you met the man of your dreams at 14 was engaged to him at 19 and married him at 20, wouldn’t YOU want to do all that over again? Especially if you were still in love with him? I mean, c’mon! It’s love! That’s why I write, too.
You see… just because you pass a certain age doesn’t mean you forget what it was like to be 14, 15, etc. Actually, because I kinda grew up with my husband, we both still feel like the 14 and 17 year old kids we once were. So that’s where I’m coming from. You might think it’s totally lame, but you know what? That’s ok! Maybe you’ll like my other me instead.
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