Dear Mystery Agent:
Maya doesn't have a last name. In the Sprawl, no one needs a last name. No one needs an education, or electricity, or running water. No one needs a reason to live, because their only purpose is to die.
In Maya's city, a fiery barrier divides the Sprawl from the rest of the metropolis, which is a sector filled with sciences, politics, and extreme opulence. Maya isn't meant for that world across the barrier. She was born to be drafted, just another body waiting to fall in the Neverending War.
Maya's a fighter. She believes in survival, and in herself, but she doesn't dare believe in hope - hope is too dangerous. No one's ever been able to escape the Sprawl or desert the army, and Maya isn't going to be the next idiot to try.
One boy changes that. A boy who shouldn't follow Maya into the war, shouldn't fall in love with her, and shouldn't ignite the desire for revolution in her.
But he does.
With Sam by her side, Maya finds hope. At any cost, she'll escape the Sprawl. Escape the draft. Escape to a place where she's worth something.
She'll shatter the constraints that have held her for seventeen years. And in the process, she'll create a new world.
PARTITION (89,000 words) is a dystopian romance for young adults. As per the rules of this wonderful contest, I have pasted the first 250 words of my manuscript below. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
No one sneaks into the Glass City and returns unscathed, especially not us Pewts. My best friend told me not to come. He said this was stupid and reckless, and he was probably right, but I gotta try.
I wish he was here. H***, I wish any of my friends had the guts to climb up with me.
But it’s probably less the climbing part and more the breaking-into-prison part that scared ‘em off.
As I pull myself up, my bare feet struggle to grip the glass pillar. My biceps burn like acid, and I spit a curse into the darkness, reminding myself that this pain is probably nothing next to what’s coming. If I get back without some sorta serious injury, it’ll be a g**d*** miracle.
I look down. My throat yanks shut like the neck of a drawstring bag. This height is dizzying, painful, and being so close to the top is totally unreal. I’ve seen the City my whole life from below, seen it sitting smug on these glass anchors like it’s balanced on a forest of fat crystal straws. Beautiful, especially compared to the filth of the Sprawl.
The City’s stilts are linked together by a webwork of shining metal struts, which make solid footholds. So it’s possible to climb up, but that sure as h*** doesn’t mean it’s easy. Someone told me the anchors aren’t real glass--knowing the Glass City, it’s probably some sorta special-engineered material.