Expected publication: November 18th 2014
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.
When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.
Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.
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With a deep breath, I start my assault. “Please, Mom. I need to do this.”
“You’re too young to go off by yourself.”
I stifle a groan. “I won’t be by myself. Lisa and Colin will be with me. And I’m not too young – I’ll be eighteen in four months.”
“And until then, you’re my responsibility.” Her tone isn’t unkind, but there is an air of finality to it.
The remnants of hope slip through my fingers, and I reach out to grab them. “I can’t stay here. I’m smothering. I’ve never even been out of the Eastern Province. How am I supposed to figure anything out living this stifled existence?”
She rolls her eyes. “Aren’t you being a little dramatic, Evan?”
Probably, but I’ll never admit it. “This is so unfair. You treat me like a child, like I’m going to make the same mistakes you did if you give me even an inch of freedom.”
Her eyes flash with anger, but her voice remains calm. “I’m sorry you feel that way.” She stands, smoothing the blanket. “I did the best I could.”
The rigidity of her shoulders and her flat tone tell me I’ve lost, I’ll be stuck here forever. I take one last desperate stab at claiming my future for myself, hating that she’s left me no choice but to play the wounded child card. “You owe me. I’ve spent the last five years playing catch-up on who I am, but I still need to discover so much about myself.”
She pauses at the door, her body stiffening. I don’t enjoy throwing this in her face, but it’s true. Sure, Eddie chose a budding music career over family responsibilities, but she made the twisted decision to tell me my father was dead and then lured Joe into going along with the lie. While it’s not her fault Eddie was a deadbeat dad, it is her fault she kept the truth from me for twelve years. If Eddie hadn’t had a sudden attack of guilt a few years back, I still wouldn’t have a clue.
T.H. Hernandez Bio:
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside my head, I live in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to my day job as a technical writer and editor, I write young adult fiction. I love the intensity of teen emotions and the way they're still figuring out life.
When I'm not writing, you can find me with my nose in a book, hanging out with family and friends, hiking, or knitting. I'm obsessed with Facebook, young adult novels, bad lip reading videos, pumpkin spice lattes, microbrewed beers, and the San Diego Chargers.