Summary from Goodreads:
Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant
In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.
The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.
When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.
Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their “talents” came to be in the first place.
When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.
“Nah. Do you believe in fate?”
“Like, one true loves? Not really.” I’d never thought much about it, honestly. The future of a Cavy isn’t a concrete thing; it’s not a given. Haint, who’d been born with the kind of suspicion the rest of us had to work at, thought maybe the Philosopher and his staff would get rid of us one day, either by accident with their tests, or on purpose when we became a liability. Or they’d decide to sell us. The useful ones, at least.
“Not just with romance. I believe in all kinds. Like, people who are supposed to meet will meet, and it’s all predetermined whether they’ll be enemies, or hardly notice each other, if they’ll be friends. Whether friendships last until they die or just long enough to accomplish something specific.”
“Hmm.” It’s hard to keep up, but her patter is interesting. Maya’s not boring, that’s for sure. “And which kind are we?”
“Friends, definitely. Too soon to say how long it’ll last, I suppose. Que sera sera and all— Hey, what the hell?” Maya nearly slams into a man, older than the two of us by at least ten years, maybe more.
He smells like urine and sweat, like someone who hasn’t seen the inside of a shower in more than a few days. His black hair sticks out from his head in tufts and his skin is a few shades too dark for winter—like a patchy, permanent tan. Maya and I recoil in tandem, falling over each other in our scramble to move away, to turn the corner, to escape. It’s pure luck I don’t wind up seeing her number, too. The alley we turn down is barren, nothing but crunchy brown leaves tripping across the asphalt and into the grass.
“Are you Norah Jane Crespo?”
The sound of my name, rasped in an unfamiliar, demanding voice, halts my progress. Despite Maya’s hissed protest I stop, looking at the man following us. Maybe I know him, or my father sent him to check on me or something, because literally no one knows my whole name except my dad, the school, and the cops.
My pause, my squint, is all the confirmation he needs. All the time he needs, too.
A needle glints in his left hand as it slices down, jabbing me in the base of my neck.
I shriek when it plunges into my flesh, more from the surprise than the pain, although the needle isn’t small. Being injected isn’t weird for me, but it’s been a long time since anyone did it without warning.
Through the haze of shock, I see Maya swing her backpack at my assailant, but he’s not sticking around to get clobbered. He’s halfway down the alley before she gets out her first curse word, and when he disappears she squats next to me, reaching out a hand.
I recoil, keeping my fingers pressed on the affected area, and she drops her arm.
“My heavenly days, are you okay?” She pants, her face pale white with bright-red dots on the apples of her cheeks, making her look more like a doll than ever. “Who was that guy?”
“I have no idea.” My legs shake, my heart pounds, and bitter bile coats the back of my tongue. Every throb in my chest pushes the contents of the needle, unknown and foreboding, deeper into my bloodstream.
“Sweet fancy Moses I’m gonna pass out.” Despite her words, Maya’s bright eyes snap with intelligence as she recovers from the shock and starts to analyze. “He knew your name. What was that all about?”
“I don’t know.” I don’t—never seen him before in my life—but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to your normal, average, everyday high school junior. It has to have something to do with Darley, with the Cavies.
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Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.
Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.
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