YA MYSTERY (Futuristic)
As children, best friends Sadie and Brandt invented a treasure-hunting game to train for positions on their floating city’s reconnaissance force. But when Brandt drowned outside their ocean home, the trail of clues he’d hidden — and the treasure at its end — were lost. Sadie has spent two years searching for the trail, but when she stumbles upon it on her sixteenth birthday, she realizes this wasn't one of Brandt’s usual games.
His cryptic riddles lead Sadie to Emery, a visitor from another seaborne city who suspects the clues could lead to information about his sister's disappearance. They work together to solve Brandt’s paper puzzles, but his clues reveal a startling secret: The citizens of their floating nation aren't the only ones who survived Earth's rising seas. It's a secret the government will kill to protect.
When Emery confesses that he's from the very land Sadie believes is gone, she realizes the conspiracy runs deeper than the ocean that holds her captive. And when he tells her how he arrived in her city, the final piece of the puzzle falls into place. Now that Sadie knows what Brandt was hiding she must make a choice. Can she live with the lies of her home? Or should she put her faith in the boy who deceived her and escape into a world she thought had drowned?
First 150 Words:
As I flip through the faded photos, the book's ancient pages curl around my finger, clinging to me just as I cling to their contents. I try to smooth the glossy paper, but age persists and I abandon the attempt, turning my attention back to the pictures of long-dead species before me.
Mom said nothing is ever truly gone as long as you remember it, and I think that’s why she gave me this book. To have the memories of trees and plants and flowers live on even if they’re not our memories.
The biochip buzzes in my wrist and I drop the book, spilling its forbidden words across my bedroom floor. I’ve had the implant since I was two years old, but I still can’t get used to the tiny vibrations that rattle me whenever we’re called to assemble. Above me, the alarm blares and the lights flash their insistence.