The U.S.A. is governed by forces dedicated to accelerated living, monitoring everyone with implants and countless cameras and harshly punishing sedition.
Speech is streamlined, literature and media are truncated, and teenager Angela's parents fall into line, shrugging off horrifying punishments doled out to those resisting the new order as what they deserve. After Angela learns that her parents are sending her grandfather to a "reduction colony" for not keeping his heart rate up to government standards, she visits him and learns that he buried something for her by the biggest trees by the sprawling, oxygenated Megamall. She cuts class to get it but is grabbed by someone who leads her into a literal underground movement—and she doesn't want to leave. At 208 pages of stark black-and-white illustration by Cavallaro, punctuated by color in powerful moments (as when Angela experiences her first “girl kiss”), this is a substantial graphic novel. But despite moments of brilliance in the story, it suffers from its own acceleration, narrowing what could be a vast world. There's enough here for three or more books to give readers more time with Angela as she decelerates, learns, and finds love in resistance fighter Gladys and to introduce more than the singular obviously nonwhite character met here.
This is a strikingly illustrated book set in a potentially massive world, and readers will hope this isn't the only story to come from it. (Graphic science fiction. 14 & up)