A sci-fi adventure with a sweet YA love story at its center.
Kira Donovan is enjoying high school with her boyfriend, Tristan, and her best friend, Bri. She’s had to take all these weird intellectual, psychological and physical tests, but she’s got an end-of-the-year party to look forward to. Searching for Tristan among the partygoers, she runs into Ethan, who has eyes too blue and a face too handsome to ignore. After a terrible tragedy that evening claims the lives of her friends, Kira and the school loner, Blake, find themselves on a harsh but habitable planet called Thera, which is governed by mysterious powers. There are nightly doctor’s visits, hours of computer-led classes and strange ways of getting around, like zip lines and skateboards. As roommates at school, Kira and Blake are expected to “Cleave,” or mate for life. But Blake, having grown up with the hardship of alternating between Earth and Thera, has his own agenda, one that includes revenge upon the brutal Theran leaders who destroyed his family. When Tristan, Bri and Ethan all show up, with no memory of their past lives or deaths, Kira and Blake feel the stakes of their joint mission—and of their romantic expectations—rise even higher. Author Thomason rotates the chapters through different characters’ perspectives, allowing their distinctive voices and conflicting motivations to round out her thoroughly described world. The narrative perfectly captures the cadences and nuances of teen speech, blending with a richly imagined alternate world in which breaking the rules can result in being “Exiled” to certain death—but sticking to the rules may be just as bad.
Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story balanced by emotion.