by Sarah Crossan
"Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.
Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?"
After reading this, I take the air I breathe a little less for granted. The plot in this dystopian novel is built upon a world where people had used up the earth's resources so badly that oxygen levels are so low no one can breathe without air tanks or living in the "Pod". The people who control the oxygen in the Pod control all the people. It is told from 3 character's points of view. It was interesting to see the change that took place in the 3 characters throughout the course of the book. Alina softened up, Quinn grew up, and Bea had her eyes opened. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, because yes, it is the first book of either a trilogy or a series.
Areas of concern: 3 uses of the "d" word, 1 each of "h" word and "a" word. 2 instances of body part and bodily function crudities. Dystopian violence with several non-graphic deaths and one disturbing death where a 16 year old watches someone get killed by a family member. 3 or 4 kisses.
Booklist: Grades 7-10
Kirkus Reviews: Ages 12+