Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word count: 77,000
Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey can float, but she can’t make herself fly. When almost everyone else is a Super, with at least two powers, or a Normal, with none, being a One is the worst kind of in-between.
All Merrin wants to do is land an internship at the Supers’ Biotech Hub, where she might finally figure out how to fix herself. But when she meets Elias VanDyne, son of the Vice President of the Hub – and another One – all of her plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.
When Elias disappears, leaving only a panicked note, Merrin knows exactly where he’s been taken. The Hub’s been conducting experiments on him since he was a little kid, and now it’s up to her to save him. But if she chooses to break into the Hub to save the boy who helps her soar, she’ll have to abandon her dreams of ever flying solo – of ever being more than a One.
Dad slows the car as Normal High - Nelson High, I remind myself - comes into view. It's about a third of the size of Superhero High, and its face is shot through with mossy cracks, dull with years of dirt they didn't bother to power wash before the first day. I stare at it, but I can feel my dad's eyes on me from the driver's seat.
“Dad.” I pat his knee, a little awkwardly. “I’m just going to high school. A different one, but still just school. I’ll be fine. Maybe better. You know…than I was.” I say, trying to make my voice sound like I believe a word of what I said.
Dad looks at me. He doesn’t believe it, but he’s going to pretend he does.
I clear my throat. “You could have let me drive myself.”
“What if you didn’t get a pass? Or couldn’t find a spot? Best to figure out the lay of the land...”
“The lay of the land” is one of the phrases Dad uses when he’s worried. To be honest, I’m worried myself.
It’s been ten years since my first power - going weightless - showed up. Seven years since Mom and Dad started to worry, in whispered voices, that I’d never get a Second, like the other kids. Only one year since I’d pretty masterfully failed at Superhero High. One year since we all knew I was only going to float instead of learning to fly – knew I was always only going to be a One.