In this high concept YA novel debut that’s We All Looked Up meets The Sun Is Also a Star, three teens must face down the mistakes of their past after they learn that life on Earth might end in less than a week.
News stations across the country are reporting mysterious messages that Earth has been receiving from a planet—Alma—claiming to be its creator. If they’re being interpreted correctly, in seven days Alma will hit the kill switch on their “colony” Earth.
True or not, for teenagers Jesse Hewitt, Cate Collins, and Adeem Khan, the prospect of this ticking time bomb will change their lives forever.
Jesse, who has been dealt one bad blow after another, wonders if it even matters what happens to the world. Cate, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she never met. And Adeem, who hasn’t spoken to his estranged sister in years, must find out if he has it in him to forgive her for leaving.
With only a week to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide as their worlds are pulled apart.
When humans are notified via a coded message that the fate of Earth is to be decided in one week by an interplanetary jury of 13 Scions (randomly selected citizens of the planet Alma), things on Earth veer into chaos. Earth or Project Epoch is deemed a failed experiment, and the Alma believe it's time to end it, unless the Scions determine otherwise. Adeem, a Muslim teen from Carson City, is en route to Roswell to find his sister Leyla, who ran away soon after coming out. San Francisco teen Cate decides to find her father; based on limited details from her mentally ill mother, she heads to track him down. Rounding out the cast is Roswell native Jesse, who boots up one of his late father's inventions to allegedly send messages to Alma on behalf of desperate, paying customers. As news spreads about Jesse and his machine, he unwittingly provides hope to many, and Roswell becomes a destination point for those trying to make the most of their time left. Part road trip story and part tale of human resilience, this debut examines human nature and how people react in the most desperate of times. Though Rishi's cast of characters are seemingly strangers, clues throughout show how lives can intersect. Through inserted transcripts from the jury's debate and the actions of the teens and those who help them along the way, Rishi paints a clear picture of why humankind is worth saving. Ages 13 up.