Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.
Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virussomething about her parents' top secret scientific worksomething she shouldn't know.
The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.
About the Author
Alaya Dawn Johnson’s first novel for young adults, THE SUMMER PRINCE, received three starred reviews, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. She grew up in Washington, D.C., attended Columbia University, and now lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The description of this book sounded fabulous to me - I'm a fan of early John Grisham and anything Michael Crichton, so I thought I'd be hooked immediately. But - not so much. The plot and the mystery behind this story were great ideas, but I really struggled with a few things. In the first few pages, so many characters were introduced that by page ten, I was completely lost. Then, to make matters worse, some characters were occasionally referred to by their nicknames, then their real names in other sections which made it difficult to connect with them. The jumps between present day and flashbacks were a little confusing and I'm still unclear about what actually happened to Emily that night. My confusion made it hard to get into this book and I found myself skimming through several parts. I think there was a good story in here, but this book just wasn't for me. This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
This is a stunning book about identity and discovery against the backdrop of a global pandemic and a bourgeoning dystopia. It's the most literary conspiracy thriller I've ever read, with gorgeous language, increasingly high (and very personal) stakes, and gut-wrenching twists. The threats to Bird and the people she loves feel real and frightening, all while balancing world-shattering danger and the mundane — but equally weighty — horrors of navigating high school and finding your own path in life. A beautiful, suspenseful, and moving novel.