Genre: YA Adventure
Word Count: 76,000
If you told Caddy a week ago that she’d scale the side of a sixty-story prison with a reckless orphan boy, she’d laugh in your face and walk off with your wallet. But that’s before a sandstorm rocks the seventeen-year-old pickpocket’s world. Before the vigilante boy, Twist, drags her into the secret ruins beneath the city. Before the Service—the civil police—starts pulling people off the streets in search of a stolen diamond. As tensions between the citizens and the Service grow to suffocating heights above ground, Caddy fights to keep herself from getting too close to Twist below. If there’s anything she’s learned on the streets—it’s to avoid attachment.
But when the Service arrest her brother after he lies to protect her, Caddy's desperate to save what little family she has left. And she knows there’s only one person who can help break her brother out of prison: Twist. But when her actions risk not only her life, but that of Twist, she is faced with a decision that could cost her everything.
DIVINE will appeal to readers of Marie Lu’s Legend and Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I have been a member of the Thurber House Young Writers’ Studio in Columbus, Ohio for four years. The first 250 words of DIVINE are below.
Heat presses against me. I duck my head as I scan the swarm of bodies packed tight in the streets through the orange haze. People keep coughing as they move from one merchant to the other. The dust is high today. Another sand storm is coming.
Exhausted, I try to focus. I can’t let the heat get to my head. At this rate I’ll never bring home enough to support the four of us. I stick to the shade of the massive glass buildings. I would call them skyscrapers, but the name doesn’t do them justice. In Cidy, they all penetrate the indigo sea above me.
My head pounds from the cries of barterers, and I tuck a strand of red hair behind my ear. It’s Mercy – the third Wednesday of the month. Today, thousands of people will be on the streets to trade what they have for what they need. Meaning the Service will be on high alert for pickpockets.
I trudge down another block. Merchants carry sacks on their backs and chests, wandering aimlessly over the pavement. I scowl, watching as two men shove each other over a worn pair of shoes.
The fact that they’re squabbling over something so worthless means that Syd hasn’t done much for the economy over the last month. A golden plate in a man’s hand reflects the sunlight, a deadened tarnish in comparison to the glass around me, but I’m not searching for the worthless alloy.
I’m after something much brighter.