Genre: YA fantasy
Word count: 89,000
Days before graduation, sixteen-year-old Bruno Nazaire makes the worst mistake a Blue can make--he grabs the hand of a suicidal Green, saving the boy’s life and forever altering his own.
In Télesphore, the glowing color of a person's palm determines their place in society, and touching hands with another mixes the colors permanently. Changing identities might not be so bad for the weirdoes and wallflowers, but Bruno is the most popular guy on the rugby team. Or, was. Now with a turquoise palm, the best he can hope for is a backbreaking life in the sewers. Only a last-minute arranged marriage to another Blue might save him. The problem is, he's already fallen for Véronique, a girl from the Red Slums who's opened his eyes to the suffering of the lower colors.
As classifications approach, Bruno sees only two choices: turn his back on the oppressed and embrace the posh life he was meant to live; or leave his family, hide from the law, and continue imparting his blue to give the less fortunate a chance at a better life. When he learns Véronique is in danger of falling victim to a lecherous member of the Royal Council, Bruno decides neither option will do, and he'll face the fight of his life to tear down the color boundaries and win the girl of his dreams.
The exam hit my desk like a textbook.
“Good luck, Bruno,” Madame Axelle said.
I tried to smile, but only managed a grimace. This was it, the last test before classification. I should’ve gotten up earlier to study. Maybe then I would’ve remembered the protein bars. Only two hours past lunch and I was already hungry.
The room went dark.
“Begin,” Madame Axelle said.
I picked at my eraser and waited for my eyes to adjust. I knew the school just wanted to make it harder for us to see our neighbor’s answers, but I’d never been any good at writing by firelight.
I flipped the test over and read the first question by the bluish light of my palm:
1. According to Télesphorian legend, how did the first man and woman populate the world?
a. One at a time through natural reproductive means
b. Teaching wolves to walk upright and speak
c. Bringing stones to life by touching them
d. Planting their severed fingers in the soil to grow children
I grinned. Every kid in Télesphore knew the story of the couple that had wandered the planet touching rocks and turning them into people. Maybe this test would be easier than I thought.
I was already through two more questions when I noticed a folded piece of paper at the corner of my desk. I glanced behind me, where Drea sat smirking.
Yeah, right. Even if she was one of the prettiest Blues in class, there was no way I was going to get caught cheating for her.