GENRE: YA Thriller
Alanna Stephens' latent ability to manipulate the four elements can only be triggered by agonizing pain. An off-the-books CIA operation — led by Alanna's adoptive father — exploits her powers with torture, forcing her to create natural disasters. But when a rogue agent threatens to expose Project Lynchpin, Alanna's next target becomes a volcano. She has only ten days to gain control over her powers and escape, or she will be forced to kill the agent — along with one thousand innocent people.
I’m perpetually late to gym class, and senior year is no exception.
I’ve joked to Noelle that there’s no point in being on time if I’m not actually able to participate, but really, the emptier the locker room, the less likely it is that someone will see if my skin shows evidence of a Lynchpin session.
I rush in with a frazzled, apologetic look on my face, just in case Ms. Finley is there. The coast is clear, so I stroll to my locker and drop my bag on the bench where Noelle sits, tying her shoelaces. She shakes her head when she sees me.
“Alanna! It’s the second day!”
I shrug. “Tardiness is a side effect of my condition.”
According to my doctor’s note, I’ve been diagnosed with severe asthma and mild hemophilia, a combination that’s excused me from every gym class since elementary school. Both are lies, but the truth is worse.
“I can’t see Finley buying that one, but good luck.”
As if on cue, a whistle trills in the gym — the thirty second warning.
"Go ahead," I say, shooing Noelle away, "I'll meet you out there."
By the time I’ve spun my combination lock left, right, and left again, I’m the last one in the room. I grab the regulation Blue Ridge Academy t-shirt and pull it on over the three-quarter-sleeve shirt I wore today. The movement tugs the edges of the red, puckered burn scar on my right upper arm.