Title: NEARLY PERFECT
Genre: Young adult
Word Count: 81,000
Annabelle knows the senior TESTS will determine her fate: whom she marries, her career, and every success in life, but she still shrugs them off like a parka in summer. In the year 2100, seniors take final TESTS in IQ, knowledge, and appearance, to ensure a capable workforce and “eliminate” strife and envy.
Annabelle isn’t surprised when she fails because of her crooked nose and that stupid mole…and she’s never been a math genius either, but the last thing she ever expected was to be thrown into a prison cell when she refuses to conform. She won’t be made into a Barbie doll, and she certainly won’t work for the Mayor in his inner circle.
A prison guard is a secret member of the Rebels. She leads Annabelle to an escape route, which means running from the police and the government’s painful penalties for rebellion. Meanwhile, Annabelle’s friend Xavier uncovers an antique diary, and they commit treason by just reading it since the government controls all relics and knowledge of the past.
Annabelle and Xavier risk their lives to follow the Diary’s clues that could lead them to the truth about the past, and maybe freedom for their future. She finds that Xavier’s smile could light up a moonless night, and voilà—the first fluttering of love, making the ultimate test that much harder: Xavier’s life or hers?
Annabelle must discover if she has the courage to challenge the fate of her world, no matter how impossible the odds.
I have taught high school English for fourteen years and have a master’s in library science. I’m an American citizen teaching at the International School in Kuala Lumpur.
Annabelle had a hard pebble in the pit of her stomach. It felt like she’d eaten a peach whole and forgotten to remove the pit. The senior TEST week was finally here, and she knew she’d probably disappoint her parents. Again. Just like she’d disappointed them when she repeatedly refused to get her mole removed. Tomorrow’s appearance TEST would certainly reveal if that had been a royal mistake, if she even got to the TEST tomorrow. Today’s results would determine if she did. A passing score would move her on to the next exam, but failure meant an immediate exit to another year of study, rinse, repeat.
This week the Mayor’s office would begin to separate the smart from the stupid, the pretty from the ugly, the best from anyone less than that. This threat should have spurred her on somehow, but in fact her knee wouldn’t stop bouncing and her lip kept twitching. Her mother called it test anxiety. She thought it was more like dumbcilitis.
Before she entered the school that morning she’d stopped to puke outside the front door. Breakfast had been little more than a sugarless bowl of oats (all sugar was limited), but even that she couldn’t keep down.
Annabelle rubbed her tired eyes. The TEST had been going on for so many hours, she felt like her brain was freezing up. She knew she should have studied more. All those Sundays spent leisurely reading e-novels when I should have been taking prep-TESTS. Ugh.