"It's a fast paced fantasy, sci-fi story full of exciting characters with their own fascinating abilities and background stories. [...] I love the way even the minor characters can create such intense emotions while reading. The background story for each character is so interesting and you immediately feel connected with their pasts and everything they went through." - Goodreads, Rebekka
Release Date: July 18th, 2016
Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.
Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.
Publishing A Political YA Book During An Election
My upcoming release features an election. Even more startling, there are eerie similarities to what is happening in my sci-fi dystopian novel and what is happening today…despite the fact that the original released almost a decade ago.
There’s talk of building and tearing down a wall that separates cities, there are debates about the economic crisis and the impacts it has on the lower classes, and there are people fighting for rights they’ve been denied for too long.
There is pain and talk and laughter, but most of all, there is hope. And all of these emotions come down to a single moment at the end of November—our election month and the very month the entire Bad Bloods books take place in.
Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.
Writing a YA novel where a single election affects the lives (or the deaths) of a group of young people has been important to me since the first day I started writing it. As many people know, Bad Bloods was originally published in 2007 when I was only 16, and despite the dark nature of the story, I was only 11 when I began planning it. Why would I start writing political YA when I was so young? Because political decisions affect the young, and the young have little to no say about it. To me, I choose to focus on children, because children are the most affected, least able to change it, and hold the hope for our future. And sadly, a world where children are discriminated against, held back, and/or killed is not only found in science fiction. It’s found in our very real world, all around us.
Despite the similarities in Bad Bloods and in today’s upcoming election, my hope is that readers will still read Bad Bloods as Bad Bloods, and not as a social-political commentary on the current state. Strange, I know, but I didn’t write this book with Trump and Hilary and the current state of the world in mind. I wrote this book to show the pain of genocide, of discrimination against the innocent, and of what can happen to our youth when we don’t keep our future in mind.
It should be discussed until it is changed, and it should be changed until we don’t have to debate these issues anymore.
Maybe, one day, that will happen, and 11-year-old girls won’t feel the need to write books about politics in order to understand how a world could be more interested in having debates than by helping the real lives affected by it.
Maybe, one day, 11-year-old girls can write fairy tales and be kids again.
Then again, we should remind ourselves that kids are powerful. Kids can like politics. Kids can read about politics. Kids can debate opinions.
Let them speak,
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