In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.
For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or "Imps." A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother's legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he's a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father's campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis's friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.
Hastings's cluttered debut introduces a segregated society divided into elite Priors, engineered in utero for perfection, and the oppressed Gens who serve and resent them. Cole, a Gen cage-fighter in the brutal FEUDS competition, is hired to get close to Davis Morrow, an up-and-coming ballerina whose father is running for election on a pro-segregation platform. A photo of Davis fraternizing with a Gen would destroy her father's political career. Cole falls for Davis, and his thoughts on the matter are equally predictable: he had "assumed... all Priors were the same. But now he'd met one, gotten to know one... and he couldn't get her out of his head." Meanwhile, Davis is endangered by a spreading virus that only attacks Priors, and her society goes into denial, dumping the bodies in Gen neighborhoods and refusing to admit that anyone is ill. The disparate elements of the story line, a familiar combination of dystopian adventure and forbidden romance, don't cohere smoothly. This trilogy opener ends on a cliffhanger. A Paper Lantern Lit property. Ages 12 up.