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"Jenna Strong is a futuristic Jason Bourne."—Justine MagazineFans of Matched and Divergent will be hooked by this fast-paced, nail-biting survival story, featuring an unforgettable heroine...
"Jenna Strong is a futuristic Jason Bourne."—Justine MagazineFans of Matched and Divergent will be hooked by this fast-paced, nail-biting survival story, featuring an unforgettable heroine...
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  • "Jenna Strong is a futuristic Jason Bourne."—Justine Magazine
    Fans of Matched and Divergent will be hooked by this fast-paced, nail-biting survival story, featuring an unforgettable heroine reminiscent of Katniss Everdeen and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander.


    The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They've taken her life, her freedom, and her memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?
    Winner of the North East Teenage Book Award
    "Great suspense . . . excellent characters and gripping action."—TheGuardian.com
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book

    CHAPTER 1

    Mileway Maximum Security Prison, Outer London

    12 April 2113



    The first time I notice the new inmate is when we’re all lined up outside our cells for morning head count. He’s standing five doors down from me, sneaking glances at the rest of us as the guards wave their wrist-scanners across our hips to read the spytags that are implanted when we first get here.

    His blond hair is cropped close and the white T-shirt straining across his gut is crisp and fresh; he must have arrived in the night. When his gaze lands on me, he does a double take, just as I knew he would. Watching him out of the corner of my eye, I can tell what he’s thinking as clearly as if he’d said it out loud: A girl? Here? What the hell?

    And then, so quickly I almost miss it, a smile flickers across his lips, his eyes narrowing as his surprise turns to anticipation. A girl. Here. What’re the chances?

    I curl my lip into a snarl, half tempted to go over there and introduce him to my fists. What a creep. But what did I expect? At Mileway, I stand out like . . . well, like a seventeen-year-old female in a prison full of men.

    One of the guards, dressed in a black ACID uniform, reaches me. “Strong, Jenna--Prisoner ID 4347X,” he intones. I clasp my hands behind my back, gazing straight ahead, feeling Creep’s stare drilling into me. “What’s she in for?” I hear him ask one of the other guards. The guard doesn’t answer, just scans his hip and moves on down the line.

    After the count, breakfast is served: cereal and watery substitute milk. A lot of the food we get here is sub–super-cheap, made out of synthetic protein. Real food isn’t worth wasting on criminals. As usual, I eat standing up, leaning against a pillar by the catwalk in front of the cells, one foot tucked up behind me. “This crap gets worse every day,” one of the guys at a nearby table grumbles, lifting up his spoon and letting the mushy gray cereal plop back into his bowl. Neil Rennick, ex–Anarchy Regiment, who, ten years ago, blew up an ACID van with fifteen agents inside it, before going on the run. ACID finally caught up with him last year, and a month after his arrival he tried to corner me in my cell, which is how he got the scar that runs from his right eyebrow to the corner of his jaw. I got five weeks in solitary, but it was worth it. Now he leaves me alone, just like everyone else.

    “They’re trying to kill us, is what they’re trying to do,” Rennick says loudly, looking around, trying to gather an audience. “And you know what? They can go--”

    A guard hears him and steps forward. “Watch that mouth of yours, Rennick,” he says, jabbing the muzzle of his pulse gun between Rennick’s shoulder blades and flipping the charger switch back.

    The gun powers up with a whine. Rennick clenches his jaw, and after a few moments the guard steps away. Every so often, the inmates’ hatred will spill over, and they’ll riot. It’s happened four times since I came here--although I’m not stupid or suicidal enough to have been involved--but at this time of day, everyone’s still half asleep. Rennick finishes his cereal in silence. I see Creep staring at him and the guard. Rennick sees too, and gives him the finger.

    When I’ve eaten my breakfast, I return to my cell. The other inmates have to share theirs with five, sometimes even six other people, but I have mine to myself--the one and only concession the prison have made to my gender. Peering into the square of...

About the Author-

  • EMMA PASS has been creating stories for as long as she can remember. She works in a library and lives with her husband and their dog in England.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 13, 2014
    The question dogging Pass’s debut is, “Why?” Why has 17-year-old Jenna Strong an escapee from a maximum-security prison two years after being sentenced to life for murdering her parents? Why is she given an elaborate new identity by mysterious strangers and sent to hide in a squalid ghetto of 2113 London, now a police state? It’s a long time before these basic motivational questions are addressed. Meanwhile, Jenna becomes entangled with the son of the man who broke her out of prison, her cover goes wrong, and she winds up on the run from the agents of ACID—the Agency for Crime Investigation and Defense—the new masters of England. It’s a standard totalitarian dystopia fraught with the usual perils for a protagonist living outside the rules, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s not particularly twisty or intriguing, either, and with no apparent rationale for the action, the book relies on readers’ genre expectations to carry the plot until some of the questions begin to be framed. Ages 14–up. Agent: Carolyn Whitaker, London Independent Books.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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