Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM! Go RED!
but there is also a BLUE, GOLD, GREEN, ORANGE, & INDIE team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!
PLUS at the end of this post, I’m giving away my own prize here! Enter to win an audio of SILVERN + a Gilded Series Swag Pack (posters, bookmarks, stickers, and bookplates).
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…
Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.
Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…
“Come over tonight,” Tyson said for at least the third time that day.
Noah tried not to let his wince show on the outside. It was the third Monday of their freshman year of high school. He hadn’t been to his best friend’s house since school started. The first bell for third period had already rung and they were still in the hallway, which meant just standing here talking to Tyson was going to get him in trouble.
“I gotta go,” Noah said.
“Come over tonight. I want to show you something.”
“I have two lates to Spanish already.” Noah shifted his backpack to his left shoulder. “I can’t get another one.”
“Come on, man. I mean it. I need you to come over.”
“The baby gives me a headache.” And he had homework, which wasn’t an excuse Tyson Monroe would let him have. Not without an even worse headache.
What the hell? You think Spanish homework means something? Don’t be such an asshole, Kincaide.
Tyson stopped walking. He looked at Noah like he’d had eaten his last Twinkie or something, and Noah felt his resolve to go home and study start to crack. No real reason for him not to go to Tyson’s house after school. No good one, anyway. None that were worth having his only friend pissed off at him.
Tyson could be unpredictable when he was mad. Noah had learned when they were maybe five years old that it was easier, and usually more fun, to just go along.
His grandmother wouldn’t have a clue where he was, and wouldn’t care.
He could do his homework during sixth period if he told the PE teacher he didn’t feel good.
It wasn’t just the homework, though. That damned baby never stopped crying and all Noah really wanted was to chill in his room with a joint and Family Guy reruns.
He was about to agree to show up anyway, because he could tell he’d blown off his friend maybe once too often, but Tyson threw up his hands and said, “Fuck you, then.”
“Yeah, whatever. I was just about to–” But Tyson was gone, and Noah was talking to himself. “Fine.”
What an asshole. Tyson didn’t meet him for lunch after fourth period, either. He ditched without him, and now he probably expected Noah to show up at his house anyway, to make sure everything was good between them.
Noah went into the cafeteria and got into line. No one spoke to him, which was fine by him. It could have been worse.
“Pizza stick,” he mumbled when he reached the lunch lady. She was at least sixty, tall and skinny and hard looking. Noah knew that look. He saw it on his grandma everyday. Lunch lady probably didn’t get out of the school parking lot without taking a taking a hit of whatever she was strung out on.
“That it?” She asked.
He nodded and recited his student number to her. She handed the stuffed bread stick to him, wrapped in a brown paper towel. It had been in the steamer tray too long and was soggy. Not that he cared. He and Tyson usually ate outside, but today Noah grabbed the pint of chocolate milk that came with his free lunch and stayed inside, leaning against the back pink-and-white tiled wall of the cafeteria.
Pathetic as his life was most of the time, he always felt worse when he was fighting with Tyson. It made him feel pathetic and friendless, which was worse. And now he was still a little hungry.
He had a ten in his pocket that he’d taken from his grandmother’s purse that morning, but it wasn’t for food.
He threw his paper towel in a big green trash can and walked through the cafeteria to the bathroom by the boy’s locker room near the gym. He washed his hands three times, waiting for the small crowd of kids to filter through the big gimp stall and out again, until it was his turn.
Ransom sat on the back of the toilet with his feet on the seat and his backpack open in his lap. The better to flush the shit down, if it came to that.
“Dime,” Noah said.
Ransom held out his hand, and Noah put the ten into it and took the pre-weighed baggie.
What did it say about Gold High School that Michael Ransom had been selling whatever he could get his hands on from this same location for going on five years?
Noah closed his hand around the baggie, feeling the bud crunch between his fingers, as he walked out of the bathroom. He had English fifth period. His favorite class, even though he’d never admit it out loud. They were reading this book about a bunch of kids who got stranded on an island and totally lost it. He’d never talk about it, but it was a good book. It gave him a lot to think about—especially how much this kid named Roger reminded him of Tyson.
Noah shoved his hand, with the baggie, into his hoodie pocket. Maybe reading the end of the book tonight after he smoked would make him feel better.
Noah turned too quickly and slipped on something slick on the linoleum. He barely caught himself without falling on his face, but when he pulled his hand out of his pocket for balance, the dime bag went flying. Noah fumbled for it like he might be able to hide it before the woman who’d called his name noticed, even though she was looking directly at him.
The librarian, Miss Wilson, was barely taller than Noah, and kind of hot, although he would never admit that, either. Ever. He might be able to live down either liking books or having a crush on the librarian. But not both. “Noah.”
“Yeah,” he said, going for all casual, like she was going to ask him about his next class or something. She just kept looking at him with these blue eyes that made his stomach feel weird. She looked at him like she’d just seen him rob the 7-11 or something. He shoved the plastic baggie back into the back pocket of his jeans.
Miss Wilson held out her hand, and for a minute, Noah was sure he was going to faint. Or puke. Or both. Faint in his own puke.
He looked at her chin, to avoid her eyes. “What?”
“Come on, Noah,” Miss Wilson said. Her voice wasn’t as nice as it usually was. It was disgusted. She was disgusted with him. “Give it to me.”
For a hysterical moment, he could only think of the raunchy double meaning of her demand, and laughter bubbled up his throat. What in the hell was wrong with him? He shook his head, and did what he could to pull it together.
“Seriously, what?” The boys bathroom was two doors behind him. He hadn’t bought much. He could flush it, even though she obviously saw him toss the bag in the air a minute ago. It would be pretty bad if he took a teacher right to Ransom sitting on his throne, but maybe she wouldn’t go into the boy’s bathroom. “I gotta pee.”
“I don’t think so.”
“No, really. I gotta.”
She held her hand out again. Her fingers were stained with blue ink. “It’s okay, Noah, let’s just get this over with.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I really have to go.” He danced in place a little bit, trying to make it look like he was about to piss himself.
She looked over his head and her face changed. She looked sad. Noah’s legs felt weak, like someone had kicked him behind the knees. He looked over his shoulder and saw a school police officer coming toward him and another officer leading Ransom out of the bathroom.
“It’s okay, son,” the cop said a minute later. “I just want to talk to you.”
He had his hand on a canister of pepper spray at his hip. In the middle of the hallway, with a growing audience of kids who already thought Noah was a freak.
That was Tyson’s fault, too.
They’d been friends since they were babies playing together while their mothers smoked cigarettes and less legal substances in front of the TV. Now, they were like a two-headed monster, impossible to separate.
And Tyson had problems. Serious ones. Noah had known that since they were eight and he watched his friend shove a stick through the eyes of a coyote that was already two-thirds roadkill.
Still, there were two of them, and that usually made life at least a little better. Made the trailer trash cracks easier to take, anyway. Plus Noah made Tyson a little less weird than he might otherwise have been. And Tyson made Noah seem positively normal.
The cop and Miss Wilson each took him by an arm and acted like they had to wrangle him into the principal’s office, even though he just walked with them like it was nothing. The baggie of weed was burning a hole in his pocket though, and he really did feel like he was about to piss himself.
“I still gotta go,” he said again, but the cop was too busy screwing the librarian with his eyes to respond.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Christina Farley, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is:
Is that big and red enough for you? *wink* Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Before you go, enter to WIN an audio of SILVERN + a Gilded Series Swag Pack. Just fill out the rafflecopter below! Maybe the odds ever be in your favor!