YA light sci-fi
Sixteen-year-old Renna Healy is confident she can control her temper. It took her doctor-dad dragging her to an impoverished African village to get a grip on reality. After two years in Kenya, Renna’s feeling calm and focused, and ready to return to the states. That all changes when her dad is killed and Renna is injured by a diseased lion. She contracts a virus from the lion, which mutates her DNA giving her increased senses, strength, and agility. Worst of all, her temper has returned with a vengeance, only now when she reacts to something irrationally, destruction and remorse are left behind.
Without a guardian in Africa, Renna moves to Wisconsin to live with her uncle. Her goal is to harness her inner beast before she kills someone simply because they piss her off. What makes the goal nearly impossible is being the new girl in the hardest place to hide her secret-side and control her anger—high school.
First 150 Words:
Insects skittered across the shower curtain. Renna ignored them and focused on the warm bucket of water running through the spout over her head. After two years in Kenya she had the timing down. Three minutes. Shampoo. Soap. Rinse. Fast.
She couldn't remember how many days it had been since she’d thoroughly washed. The village was a dusty place and water was heavy to carry. She knew it was stupid to bathe before her last hiking date with her dad, but showering had benefits. Renna knew her boyfriend, Sean couldn’t resist running his fingers through her thick brown hair after she conditioned. Only one week, she thought, and I have to say goodbye. She bit her lip to keep from crying, again.
A lime green beetle, about the length of her pointer finger, distracted Renna as it climbed to the middle of the shower curtain. She’d never seen a specimen like it.