Enclave (Enclave Series #1)

Enclave (Enclave Series #1)

by Ann Aguirre


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312551377
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Series: Enclave Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 98,125
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile: HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ann Aguirre has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but she now lives in a terracotta adobe house in Mexico with her husband and two adorable children. The post-apocalyptic novel Enclave is her first book for young adults. She also writes the romantic science fiction series about Sirantha Jax, starting with Grimspace, as well as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. As Ava Gray, she writes paranormal romantic suspense.

Read an Excerpt


I was born during the second holocaust. People had told us legends of a time when human beings lived longer. I thought they were just stories. Nobody even lived to see forty in my world.

Today was my birthday. Each one added a layer of fear, and this year, it was worse. I lived in an enclave in which our oldest had seen twenty-five years. His face was withered, and his fingers shook when he attempted the smallest tasks. Some whispered it would be a kindness to kill him, but they meant they didn’t want to see their futures written in his skin.

“Are you ready?” Twist stood waiting for me in the darkness.

He already wore his marks; he was two years older than me, and if he’d survived the ritual, I could. Twist was small and frail by any standards; privation had cut runnels into his cheeks, aging him. I studied the pallor of my forearms and then nodded. It was time for me to become a woman.

The tunnels were wide and laid with metal bars. We had found remnants of what might’ve been transportation, but they lay on their sides like great, dead beasts. We used them for emergency shelters sometimes. If a hunting party was attacked before it reached sanctuary, a heavy metal wall between them and hungry enemies made the difference between life and death.

I had never been outside the enclave, of course. This space comprised the only world I’d ever known, cast in darkness and curling smoke. The walls were old, built of rectangular blocks. Once they had borne color but the years had worn them gray. Splashes of brightness came from items we scavenged from deeper in the warren.

I followed Twist through the maze, my gaze touching on familiar objects. My favorite item was a picture of a girl on a white cloud. I couldn’t make out what she was holding; that part had worn away. But the words in bright red, HEAVENLY HAM, looked wonderful to me. I wasn’t sure what that was, but by her expression, it must have been very good.

The enclave assembled on naming day, everyone who had survived to be named. We lost so many when they were young that we just called all the brats Boy or Girl, along with a number. Since our enclave was small—and dwindling—I recognized each face shadowed by the half-light. It was hard not to let the expectation of pain knot my stomach, along with the fear I would wind up with a terrible name that would cling to me until I died.

Please let it be something good.

The oldest, who carried the burden of the name Whitewall, walked to the center of the circle. He stopped before the fire, and its licking flame painted his skin in terrifying shades. With one hand, he beckoned me forward.

Once I joined him, he spoke. “Let each Hunter bring forth his gift.”

The others carried their tokens and piled them at my feet. A mound of interesting items grew—and a few of them, I had no idea what purpose they might’ve served. Decoration, perhaps? People in the world before seemed obsessed with objects that existed simply to look pretty. I couldn’t imagine such a thing.

After they finished, Whitewall turned to me. “It’s time.”

Silence fell. Cries echoed through the tunnels. Somewhere close by, somebody was suffering, but he wasn’t old enough to attend my naming. We might lose another citizen before we finished here. Sickness and fever devastated us and our medicine man did more harm than good, it seemed to me. But I’d learned not to question his treatments. Here in the enclave, one didn’t prosper by demonstrating too much independent thought.

These rules permit us to survive, Whitewall would say. If you cannot abide by them, then you are free to see how you fare Topside. The eldest had a mean streak; I didn’t know if he had always been that way, or if age had made him so. And now, he stood before me, ready to take my blood.

Though I had never witnessed the ritual before, I knew what to expect. I extended my arms. The razor glinted in the firelight. It was our prized possession, and the oldest kept it clean and sharp. He made three jagged cuts on my left arm, and I held my pain until it coiled into a silent cry within me. I would not shame the enclave by weeping. He slashed my right arm before I could do more than brace. I clenched my teeth as hot blood trickled downward. Not too much. The cuts were shallow, symbolic.

“Close your eyes,” he said.

I obeyed. He bent, spreading the gifts before me, and then grabbed my hand. His fingers were cold and thin. From whatever my blood struck, so would I take my name. With my eyes closed, I could hear the others breathing, but they were still and reverent. Movement rustled nearby.

“Open your eyes and greet the world, Huntress. From this day forward, you will be called Deuce.”

I saw the oldest held a card. It was torn and stained, yellow with age. The back had a pretty red pattern and the front had what looked like a black shovel blade on it, along with the number two. It was also speckled with my blood, which meant I must keep it with me at all times. I took it from him with a murmur of thanks.

Strange. No longer would I be known as Girl15. My new name would take some getting used to.

The enclave dispersed. People offered me nods of respect as they went about their business. Now that the naming day ceremony was complete, there was still food to be hunted and supplies to be scavenged. Our work never ended.

“You were very brave,” Twist said. “Now let’s take care of your arms.”

It was just as well we had no audience for this part because my courage failed. I wept when he put the hot metal to my skin. Six scars to prove I was tough enough to call myself Huntress. Other citizens received less; Builders got three scars. Breeders took only one. For as long as anyone could remember, the number of marks on the arms identified what role a citizen played.

We could not permit the cuts to heal naturally for two reasons: They would not scar properly and infection might set in. Over the years, we had lost too many to the naming day ritual because they cried and begged; they couldn’t bear the white-hot conclusion. Now Twist no longer paused at the sight of tears, and I was glad he didn’t acknowledge them.

I am Deuce.

Tears spilled down my cheeks as the nerve endings died, but the scars appeared one by one, proclaiming my strength and my ability to weather whatever I found out in the tunnels. I had been training for this day my whole life; I could wield a knife or a club with equal proficiency. Every bite of food I ate that had been supplied by someone else, I consumed with the understanding it would be my turn someday to provide for the brats.

That day had come. Girl15 was dead.

Long live Deuce.

*   *   *

After the naming, two friends held a party for me. I found them both waiting in the common area. We’d come up together as brats, though our personalities and physical skills put us on different paths. Still, Thimble and Stone were my two closest companions. Of the three, I was the youngest, and they’d taken pleasure in calling me Girl15 after they both got their names.

Thimble was a small girl a little older than me, who served as a Builder. She had dark hair and brown eyes. Because of her pointed chin and wide gaze, people sometimes questioned if she was old enough to be out of brat training. She hated that; there was no surer way to rouse her temper.

Grime often stained her fingers because she worked with her hands, and it found its way onto her clothing and smudged her face. We’d gotten used to seeing her scratch her cheek and leave a dark streak behind. But I didn’t tease her anymore because she was sensitive. One of her legs was a touch shorter than the other, and she walked with a whisper of a limp, not from injury, but that small defect. Otherwise, she might easily have become a Breeder.

Because he was strong and handsome, but not especially bright, Stone landed as a Breeder. Whitewall figured he had good material in him, and if matched with a clever female, he should sire good, solid offspring. Only citizens with traits worth passing on were allowed to contribute to the next generation, and the elders monitored births carefully. We couldn’t allow more brats than we could provide for.

Thimble rushed up to examine my forearms. “How much did it hurt?”

“A lot,” I said. “Twice as much as yours.” I gave Stone a pointed look. “Six times as much as yours.”

He always joked he had the easiest job in the enclave, and maybe that was true, but I wouldn’t want the burden of making sure our people survived to the next generation. On top of siring the young, he also shared the responsibility of looking after them. I didn’t think I could deal with so much death. Brats were unbelievably fragile. This year, he’d sired one male, and I didn’t know how he dealt with the fear. I could barely remember my dam; she’d died young even by our standards. When she was eighteen, a sickness swept through the enclave, likely carried by the trading party from Nassau. It took a lot of our people that year.

Some citizens thought the offspring of Breeders should stay in that role. There was a quiet movement among the Hunters to take their number from their own—that once a Hunter got too old for patrols, he or she could sire the next crop of Hunters. I’d fought my whole life against that thinking. From the time I could walk, I’d watched the Hunters going off into the tunnels and known it for my destiny.

“It’s not my fault I’m handsome,” he said, grinning.

“Stop, you two.” Thimble got out a present wrapped in faded cloth. “Here.”

I hadn’t expected this. Brow raised, I took the parcel from her, hefted it, and said, “You made me new daggers.”

She glared. “I hate when you do that.”

To appease her, I unfolded the fabric. “They’re beautiful.”

And they were. Only a Builder could do such fine work. She’d poured these just for me. I imagined the long hours over the fire and the time in the mold and the tempering and the polishing and sharpening afterward. They gleamed in the torchlight. I tested them and found them perfectly balanced. I executed a couple of moves to show her how much I liked them, and Stone jumped as if I might hit him on accident. He could be such an idiot. A Huntress never stabbed anything she didn’t intend to.

“I wanted you to have the best out there.”

“Me too,” Stone said.

He hadn’t bothered to wrap his gift; it was simply too big. The club wasn’t Builder quality work, but Stone had a fair hand with carving, and he’d taken a solid scrap of wood for the core. I suspected Thimble must’ve helped him with the banded metal along the top and bottom, but the fanciful figures cut into the wood came from him, no mistake. I didn’t recognize all of the animals, but it was lovely and solid, and I would feel safer with it on my back. He’d rubbed the carvings with some kind of dye, so they stood out from the grain. The decorations would actually make it harder for me to keep the weapon clean, but Stone was a Breeder, and he couldn’t be expected to think of things like that.

I smiled in appreciation. “This is wonderful.”

They both hugged me and then produced a treat we’d been saving for my naming day. Thimble had traded for this tin long ago—in anticipation of the occasion. The container itself offered unusual pleasure in that it shone bright red and white, brighter than most things we found down here. We didn’t know what was inside it; only that it had been sealed so thoroughly that we needed tools to pry it open.

A lovely scent drifted out. I had never smelled anything like it, but it was fresh and sweet. Inside, I saw nothing but colored dust. Impossible to tell what it might have once been, but the aroma alone made my naming day special.

“What is it?” Thimble asked.

Hesitantly, I touched a fingertip to the pink dust. “I think it might be to make us smell better.”

“Do we put it on our clothes?” Stone leaned in and gave a sniff.

Thimble considered. “Only for special occasions.”

“Anything in there?” I stirred, until I touched bottom. “There is!”

Elated, I drew out a square of stiff paper. It was white with gold letters, but they had a funny shape and I couldn’t read them. Some of them looked like they were supposed to; others didn’t. They looped and dropped and curled in ways that made them confusing to my eye.

“Put it back,” she said. “It might be important.”

It was important, if only for being one of the few complete documents we had from the time before. “We should take it to the Wordkeeper.”

Even though we’d traded for this tin fair and square, if it yielded a valuable enclave resource and we tried to keep it for ourselves, we could wind up in serious trouble. Trouble led to exile, and exile to unspeakable things. By mutual agreement, we replaced the paper and closed the tin. We shared a sober look, aware of the potential consequences. None of us wanted to be accused of hoarding.

“Let’s take care of it now,” Stone said. “I have to get back to the brats soon.”

“Give me a bit.”

Moving at a run, I headed to look for Twist. I found him in the kitchens, not surprisingly. I still hadn’t been assigned a private living space. Now that I’d been named, I could have a room of my own. No more brat dorm.

“What do you want?” he demanded.

I tried not to take offense. Just because I’d been named didn’t mean his treatment of me would improve overnight. To some, I’d be little more than a brat for a couple of years. Until I started edging toward elder territory.

“Just tell me where my space is?”

Twist sighed, but obligingly he led the way through the maze. Along the way, we dodged many bodies and wound through the layers of partitions and makeshift shelters. Mine sat in between two others, but it was four feet to call my own.

My room had three crude walls, constructed of old metal, and a ragged length of cloth for an illusion of privacy. Everyone had more or less the same; it only varied in terms of what trinkets people kept. I had a secret weakness for shiny things. I was always trading for something that glittered when I held it to the light.

“That all?”

Before I could answer, he went back toward the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, I pushed through the curtain. I had a rag pallet and a crate for my meager belongings. But nobody else had the right to come in here without my invitation. I’d earned my place.

Despite my worry, I smiled while I stowed my new weapons. Nobody would touch anything in here, and it was best not to visit the Wordkeeper armed to the teeth. Like Whitewall, he was getting on in years, and tended to be strange.

I didn’t look forward to this interrogation at all.

ENCLAVE Copyright © 2011 by Ann Aguirre

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Enclave 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 411 reviews.
RomancingRakes More than 1 year ago
All I can say is WOW! I received this book as a gift and thought I would start it in the evening. I took a peak and somehow lost the rest of my day. (In a good way) Thank you Ms. Ann Aguirre. I haven't read a book set in a post apocalyptic society. Nor have I read YA books in a while. What I liked about this book: 1)Deuce. The book is in her POV. She a strong, fierce and loyal Huntress. She has always lived her life underground and trained to be a Huntress since she was a brat. After getting paired with Fade, an older boy and Hunter, she begins to question whether the Elders in the enclave are keeping things from them. She sticks up for her friend and gets exiled along with Fade. She has the will of a Huntress but the heart of a Breeder. 2)Fade. He comes to the enclave partly starved and slightly feral. He is an outsider so he is never accepted by the people of the enclave. He is mysterious,strong and thoughtful. He always has Deuce's back whether she likes it or not. 3)The subtle hints of a love triangle between Deuce, Fade and Stalker. What book is complete without a bit of a love triangle? 4)The Freaks. Can I say that these zombie-like things gave me nightmares? I can still hear the sound of teeth ripping into flesh. I can still see their claw-like hands, razor sharp teeth dripping with blood, and smell death on their breaths. 5)Movie-like description. As I was reading this book, I could almost see it like a movie playing in my head. (Are you listening Hollywood?) 6)The fight scenes with the Freaks and later the gangers. I haven't read a book that has given me this many short bursts of adrenaline or heart palpitations. Ever. What I didn't like about this book: 1)It left me wanting more. As in, I can't wait for the next book.
MickeyMod More than 1 year ago
Straight up, if you liked Forest of Hands and Teeth, and Hunger Games, Enclave is the book for you. Honestly, I liked it better than FoH&T. Non stop action, perfect love story, great characters. The whole thing felt fresh. Not to mention superb writing. Loved it.
SuperBookish More than 1 year ago
Great book with great characters. Kept me entertained
katieb206 More than 1 year ago
Enclave is not your average dystopian novel. It's more gritty and brutal than a lot of the books out there. I admit, I loved it! Sometimes gory, always captivating, Enclave is a great addition to the dystopian market. Deuce knows nothing outside the Enclave. She has never wanted to know what was outside the Enclave or aboveground. Things change when she becomes a Huntress and is paired with Fade. The elders don't seem so brave anymore. In fact, they seem like cowards. Too bad Deuce and Fade don't have the power to stand up to them. Instead they are exiled to the Topside and new horrors await them there. Can they survive or will these new challenges tear them apart? Deuce is a very different kind of heroine. She is a fierce, brave, determined girl. She has no clue what to expect Topside but she goes anyway and makes the best out of things. Fade is in no way typical as well. He is not described as good-looking and while he is somewhat aloof, he has his reasons. I didn't care much for him at the beginning but he grew on me. Tegan, Stalker, Stone, and Thimble were okay in my opinion but nothing spectacular. The plot was great. There was always something going on and while it took me a little time to get into it, once I was in I was hooked. I actually read most of the book during my breaks at school. I didn't want to stop reading. It seemed like every other page something was jumping out and attacking Deuce and Fade. It was like a horror movie that I couldn't look away from. Overall, Enclave is a fabulous YA debut from Ann Aguirre and if you are a fan of grittier dystopian, check this one out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is flat out the best book I have ever read! At ten thirty pm I was really bored so I thought I could read the first couple of pages and by four am I was still reading! Let's just say I didn't get much sleep. I have read so many great books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, Virals, and Legend but this one topped them all! I would highly recomend this book.
Brooke_Lynn_G More than 1 year ago
THIS is why I freaking LOVE YA DYSTOPIANS!! Enclave was brutal and intense and scary and harsh and plain fantastic! Deuce has got to be the fiercest female lead I have ever read about. But then again she was raised to be that way. Deuce is so strong, yet in her thoughts she has this vulnerability of thinking she's not good enough and worrying she won't live up to her huntress status & that just made her seem really genuine to me. The enclave she comes from just boggles my mind. Where there are breeders and hunters and everyone is assigned to a specific task for the rest of their lives. Deuce's task is to protect her enclave from freaks. Then we have Fade, another hunter & Deuce's partner! Where do I even begin. Fade was just fabulous. Rugged and harsh on the outside but inside he just wants to be a protector, especially to the people he cares about. Deuce and Fade's partner ship was a match made in heaven. I feel like they balanced each other out in everyway. I'm not sure how to explain it, except I liked them together.. a lot! Seeing them grow to trust each other was honestly amazing! They would literally be fighting back to back, forming this strong connection that oozed right off the page! & the small intimate moments between them were almost overwhelming. There's so much intense emotion behind all Deuce and Fades actions, that when they aim those emotions at each other: SPARKS! Another character that really grew on me in the book was Stalker. The way in which we meet him isn't a pleasant one but after a certain situation, he changes. He exposed his weaknesses and I admired him for that. Honestly totally not hatin' on him at all. But the ultimate scenes in this book are when Deuce and Fade are put against the Freaks.... it's magic! The fights, oh my god the fights! I want to be a huntress, holy crap. Mrs. Aguirre sure knows how to write a brawl. Bloody and violently written but like so elegant you cant help to stop and think that the clashes are beautiful. <--- weirdo alert! Right?! But oh my goodness for real, this book is so vivid in its violence, like an in-your-face-guts-blood-disease-death way, that it's simply awesome. Then we come to the ending..the ENDING. in a way I was happy with it, but then again..not. I don't know, it definitely leaves the story wide open & I canNOT wait for the sequel!! I can't put into words how bomb this book was! GO PICK IT UP!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is amazing, and I am a picky reader. The story moves at a good pace, the events are believable, the characters are well developed, and you will never be able to see what's around the corner. I only wish the creatures were described from time to time.. Unless the lack thereof was meant for your imagination to picture your own monster.. Buah ha ha. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it. On the list of my favorite books. I cant wait for the third book.
LaLaLuna More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Though it was hard for me to initially get into it, I ended up loving the characters and story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish people would stop saying things like "If you liked Hunger Games, you'll love Enclave" because, frankly, there's no comparison. I loved The Hunger Games. Enclave was alright. They really are not the same in many ways at all, except that it's set in a distant future America much different than the one we know now. The concept of Enclave is great. I love the idea of a zombie like plague, underground colonies. It could have been an excellent story. But it most definitely read like a teen novel. It wasn't particularly well written. At times it seems a bit rushed and jumpy. I found it a bit hard to really get into it or love because through nearly every single thing that happened in this book, I found myself wanting and wishing for more. And while left very open ended, I dont feel drawn to read the next in the series. Too bad.
robin_titan More than 1 year ago
Oh this one was really fun! Recommended especially one a lazy summer day. The action, apocalypse, zombies, and bit of romance will keep you enthralled until 3 in the morning. Or was that just me? Advice: Do not start reading this book when you should be studying for finals because it will take quite the lot of will power to stop. Our heroine, the love interest, the world, and everything in between are very fascinating. I especially loved how Deuce and Fade are so realistic. They both have their flaws and that makes them stand out all the more. The romance does not come out of nowhere, which I always appreciate. It is just the type of dystopian novel you would want to pick up on your next trip to the library or the bookstore. Deuce, our protagonist, lives in a post-apocalyptic world in which all she knows is what is told to her down in the underground tunnels where she and her enclave have been living. Sadly, it's not much of a life. For one, it's short (life expectancy is in its early 20's), has some eye brow raising rules, and it is dangerous. All she knows is darkness since she has never been above ground (it's called Topside). Never seen the sun, never seen people outside her enclave, never experienced most of what we get to thankfully experience everyday. The zombies (called Freaks by her people) she has been trained to kill are changing their ways, which is making everything much more difficult. All the while, questions keep making her wonder about the kind of people running her enclave. The action, suspense, and fight scenes really pick up towards the end, especially around the last part of the book. I was unable to put the book down and every time I had to (for human reasons ugh), it was terrible because all I could think about was the curiosity about what would happen next. It's a great feeling when reading a book. A few downsides to this book were that I did not love not knowing what happens to one of the characters. Numerous pages go by and we still are left not knowing. It's unfortunate that we will have to wait until the next book. I guess I'm just being picky. I also wished to know more information about the main characters. I MUST know more background information about how they became the way they did. I sure hope this is explained in the second book, because if not, I will be an unhappy camper. The first part of the book was also a bit slow for me, but honestly, that did not last because the pace picked up very quickly and stayed that way. I believe that what bothered me the most about this story was that we are never actually told when this is taking place. Maybe we will know in the second book. I sure hope so. -T.V and Book Addict
twOH More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I'm getting ready to read the second one soon. This was exciting, and scary.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first read by Ann Aguirre but isn't the last. This was one of those books I was drawn into from the first page. I found myself rushing through things I had to do so I could get back to the book. If you are a dystopia fan you will love it and its not for any particular age range either. I'm a grandmother and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u luv the hunger games and the divergent series this is another perfect read!!!! Loved it ^.^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a grandmother and I loved this book. Its the best thing I've read in a long long time. I wish it was part of a series, so I could read more about the characters and their experiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book with hopes that it would be good in my desperation of finding a new book! I would like to say that I loved it! It was a really nice mix of action and romance. It had more romance then The Hunger Games and Divergent but the way it was spread out between all 3 books made it really fascinating! I would recommend it more to girls, no one under the age of 11. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I did :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic book like Hunger Games, you should read this! Great story, strong characters that you feel connected to quickly! Already read second in series as well - but have to wait 5 months for next one! So hard to wait
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book!!!!!! Had to read it for a project and trust me, it was one of the best books I have ever read, next to the Hunger Games. Full of fighting and action, and some parts can get a little gory, but still a fantastic read. Had me engaged since the first page, and I am sure it will do the same for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story but needed editing and close reading
Sheogorath More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! I couldn't put it down, even when my teachers told me to! The writing was amazing the way society is different from our world now. I would highly recommend buying this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favrotes i one it
Lemi More than 1 year ago
It could be better. The writing style is very plain and blunt, and though the author did a great job with progressing in the story, I found myself uninterested multiple times. I definitely won't be investing in the rest of the series, but I suppose it isn't the worst casual read I've ever encountered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave it five stars because it read very well, made me wish for a series.
BookReaperCS More than 1 year ago
Okay, let me be honest, at first I was not connecting with the book. I don't know if I was having an off day,but it just wasn't interesting me. However, I kept on hoping this book would spark my interest. But you know that saying, &quot;Leave the best for last.&quot; Well this book did exactly that. I absolutley fell in love with it. *Patting myself on the back for not giving up* What first intrigued with this book, was the living style. Uderground, below the city. Something that I would hope never to turn to. But you got to do, what you got to do. However, I kept thinking of one word, trapped. The second this that really caught my interest was what they would call the &quot;freaks.&quot; How they lived, and how throughout the book, they bacame aware of their enemy and being to adapt to their livings. The plot continued to quicken throughout the story and by the end it left me wanting more. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series and what it could bring for the three travelers. Filled with action, adventure, betrayal, all readers should come check out this book. Ms. Augirre is an author of talented words. I give this book 4 souls!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good. The beginning was the best part to me. Once it reached a certain point though it seemed like the same stuff just kept happening to the people. Just in a diff setting. That was boring to me. It has a happy ending though. I wish I wouldn't have bought it and checked it out of the library instead.