I had been looking forward to going to France in the Easter holidays for weeks. Admittedly it meant going with Mum and her annoying, yuckily young, French boyfriend, Almond. But I knew we would be staying at Almond’s parents’ place: A CHATEAU! Everyone knows ‘chat’ means ‘cat’ in French – so I couldn’t wait… 2 whole weeks in a houseful of cats! I love animals!
Tragically things NEVER work out as you expect. Instead of a houseful of cats it turned out to be a houseful of Almond’s annoying, totally weird French family. Before I had time to squeak ‘murder,’ I was on the ghastly trail of a heartless criminal. Could I, Polly Price, uncover the truth? Well – not if I was the chief suspect. And not if I starved to death trying to find my way through long, murky corridors to breakfast. I knew I was in a race against time. And I didn’t even have a watch.
Polly Price didn’t think it was possible for her actress mother, Arabella Diamonte, to be any more embarrassing than on the trip to San Francisco last summer. That is, until she agrees to take part in a television program called Celebrity Home Watch and a camera crew arrives at their home to film. Her mother lacks volume control at the best of times, so this is truly a reality TV nightmare—with no escape for Polly!
Polly Price is so embarrassed by her actor mother, who loves to draw attention to herself and hog the limelight. Now Polly’s worst nightmare has come true as her mother heads to America to appear in a play and Polly has to go with her! Not only that, but she’s forced to hang around with the young stars of the show, who aren’t exactly lining up to be her friends.
The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.
As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?
Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don’t make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn’t have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.
Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe.
Tully has been kept away from water all her life.
When she and her father are kidnapped and taken to a lab,
she discovers that the reasons for this are far more terrifying and remarkable than she could have imagined:
Tully is not entirely human, and now that she has been introduced to water she can never go back to the life she had.
She, and the others in the lab, must find a way to escape the fate of dangerous enslavement, but time is running out.