Lona Sixteen Always is about to become Lona Seventeen Always, but she isn't feeling older or wiser. Though she escaped from the Path, the virtual reality experiment in which she was raised, she's learned that real life is full of challenges.
Plagued by strange memories and dreams, and feeling pressured by her friends to just be normal, Lona begins to question her own sanity. She suspects that the only way to feel whole is to solve the mystery of her dreams-it almost feels like someone's trying to send her a message, but where are the clues pointing? In the bid to find out who she really is, Lona will fall headlong into a trap far more dangerous and cunning than she could ever have imagined.
Edgar-award winning master of suspense Monica Hesse brings us a richly imagined speculative world where sought-after answers could cost the asker everything.
*This ebook includes bonus excerpts from Monica Hesse's historical fiction novels Girl in the Blue Coat and The War Outside.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Sold by:||Hachette Digital, Inc.|
|File size:||3 MB|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
A birthday tradition. Lona closed her eyes. She should make a wish, for the full, traditional birthday experience. But her deepest wishes had already come true. She was alive. Fenn was alive. Fenn was here, at this moment, his hand still skimming against her arm. She and Fenn and Gamb and Ilyf were the first living graduates of the Julian Path. They were so much luckier than they could have been. What more was there to wish for?
I wish I could know my real name.
The thought appeared in her mind unbidden, an unexpected guest at the door. That's what she wished for. Her name. Not Lona, which was the arbitrary conglomeration of letters assigned by the Julian Path when she was an infant. But her real name. The one her mother intended for her in the hours before she relinquished custody of her newborn daughter to a government program. The one that signified someone had cared about her. That name.
Lona watched as one of the candles listed slowly to the right, a snowbank of white frosting piling up against its side.
I wish I could know my real mother, too.
There. That's the wish she wanted more than anything. The wish that was too extravagant to say out loud. It could only be conceived of in secret, on birthdays.
Before she could take it back, she drew in a breath and blew. Seventeen candles went out, leaving pufts of smoke and the smell of wax and sulfur. The eighteenth flickered, but eventually it died too and the kitchen was bathed in gray.