Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Barry Lyga, Peter Facinelli, Robert DeFranco
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
The world is dying and the humans are trying to survive on what they can. As Deedra is out scavenging for more food and resources, she sees a boy crossing a river separating the territories. When she goes to help him from being swept down the river she notices that he doesn't have any marks on his body identifying where he came from. She discovers his name is Rose before he suddenly disappears. She doesn't see him again for a while, but then he saves her life and they start to get to know each other. Rose stays at her apartment one night and discovers he's part plant. He can grow vines and thorns, just like a real rose. Rose gets convicted of murder but Deedra knows he's innocent and tries to free him. However she gets caught herself and Rose is killed. After some time of being free, she finds Rose again in a lab growing back into himself. As they run away, he tells her that they can bring the Earth back to life. They only need a little time before they can start growing things again.
These three authors do a wonderful job of writing about a world with no atmosphere and vegetation, showing the dangers of not taking care of the planet. Although we may never have a "red rain" we can see the effects of society on the world today. The authors bring to light and knowledge what our world could be like in an action-packed and engaging way. We can see how Deedra and other humans struggle to survive in a dying world that has toxic water, mutant animals, contaminated air, and no natural food. Even though the story isn't about Rose it is interesting seeing a human-hybrid that has conformed to the conditions of the Earth in order to survive. Deedra begins as a lonely and perhaps doubtful person, but when she finds Rose she finds something to fight for. The authors also make an interesting comment on the political corruption and situation with the government, and show just how far they are willing to go for answers. The description of the world is also amazing and the setting is well flushed out. This is a wonderful book to read about overcoming your fears and adversity and always fighting for what you believe in, even if no one else will.
*Contains severe language, severe violence, and moderate sexual content