Evan Evans can’t decide what scares him more: keeling over from his rare liver disorder or dying a virgin. When he gets drunk to ask a girl out at a party, he ends up with disturbing dreams, a hangover, and a video of his escapades on a gossip blog.
Now Evan’s grounded. His liver’s failing. And his secretive virtual support group is pissed that the video highlights his symptoms. Things go from bad to weird when the hangover-induced nightmares start coming true, including a make out session with the blogger and a classmate’s death.
Falling for the girl who exposed him, confronted by a specialist conducting unregulated clinical trials, and wanted by a government informant desperate to record his dreams, Evan must face his disease and its effect on everyone he cares about. Will he choose a longer life on someone else’s terms, or freedom with no hope of recovery?
PERCEPTION is a 76,000 word YA contemporary with a speculative twist. The wry humor will appeal to fans of Holly Black’s White Cat, the take on relationships resembles Jennifer Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and the light touch of fantasy is reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report.”
That first sip tasted like change, cool with only a hint of bitter.
No one at the party expected me to take a beer, least of all me. But after hours at the beach, alone by the fire and surrounded by couples making out, I fished a can from the cooler and cracked it open before my conscience could stop me. I’d wasted three years in the shadows. Before senior year started, I had to ask a girl out. A little liquid courage seemed like a step in the right direction.
“Oh, shit! Evan Evans has a beer! Somebody take a picture.” Jake Morgan laughed.
I flipped Jake off and walked to the shoreline. We’d snuck into Hanna Park through the woods, far from the lights of the condos farther south. Away from the bonfire, the night was all black water and white moonlight catching on the breakers. The memory of coconut sunscreen clung to the breeze, warm but welcome.
I chugged the rest of the beer, ignoring my churning stomach. Powdery dry sand weighed down my feet, and my toe caught when I crossed onto the hard-packed dampness. I pulled a thin red ribbon from beneath my foot. It slipped from my fingers and caught on the wind, twisting and swirling toward a girl hunched over alone on a rental chair.
I couldn’t tell who it was, but I started toward her. Better to talk one-on-one than to crash and burn in front of the crowd.