Natalie Abernathy was born into a world where the lines on your skin tell everyone who you are. They appear like tattoos and change with every choice you make, every person you meet.
Only one line remains constant. Your love line. The only colored line on the human's skin, a blood red mixed in with the black.
Natalie's world is consumed with The Sickness, the next stage in human evolution that can strike you when you are fourteen. Or doesn't.
If you survive The Sickness, you become one of the Elite, faster, stronger, smarter than the humans who don't get The Sickness. The Elite's lines are colorful, beautiful in their own way. A mixture of deepest purples, the darkest blues, and dominate greens. They cover the black lines the Elite were given at birth, rewriting their destinies forever.
As Natalie comes to find, the Elite aren't what they seem. The Sickness is not what it seems. Her heart is broken by the loss of her best friend Cecil McCourt, who succumbed to The Sickness days before their shared fifteenth birthday.
Her friends surround her, trying to fill the void left by Cecil. Time moved on, carrying Natalie along with it. Now it's three years later, everyone's senior year. Days before school starts, Natalie befriends the new boy in town, Union Davidson. Cecil (now known as Cyrus) is quick to warn her away from him. At first she thinks it's a trick but as things start to happen, Natalie finds herself trapped between the thing she wants most in the world and something else quite darker than she imagined.
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Finalist in the Watty's 2012