Navigate between myth and chaos in this “journey filled with peril, self-discovery, and terrifying moments” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Sixteen-year-old Scotch struggles to fit in—at home she’s the perfect daughter, at school she’s provocatively sassy, and thanks to her mixed heritage, she doesn’t feel she belongs with the Caribbeans, whites, or blacks. And even more troubling, lately her skin is becoming covered in a sticky black substance that can’t be removed.
While trying to cope with this creepiness, she goes out with her brother—and he disappears. A mysterious bubble of light just swallows him up, and Scotch has no idea how to find him. Soon, the Chaos that has claimed her brother affects the city at large, until it seems like everyone is turning into crazy creatures. Scotch needs to get to the bottom of this supernatural situation ASAP before the Chaos consumes everything she’s ever known—and she knows that the black shadowy entity that’s begun trailing her every move is probably not going to help.
A blend of fantasy and Caribbean folklore, at its heart this tale is about identity and self-acceptance—because only by acknowledging her imperfections can Scotch hope to save her brother.
Mixing mythology and massively surreal events, adult fantasy author Hop kinson (The Salt Roads) explores questions of identity and image in her YA debut, set against the backdrop of a world gone mad. Canadian 16-year-old Sojourner "Scotch" Smith is trying to find her place, with her mixed Jamaican, black, and white heritage making it hard for her to fit in. Her relationships with her family, friends, and ex are in flux, weird black spots are growing on her skin, and she sees floating horse heads wherever she goes. Then, in a heartbeat, the planet is thrown into bedlam, with reality running wild and nightmares stalking the streets ("in London, Big Ben was now blowing giant soap bubbles.... There appeared to be a new island off the coast of Jamaica, and it seemed to be made of gumdrops"). Scotch must find her lost friends and family and come to terms with her own changing nature in a journey filled with peril, self-discovery, and terrifying moments. Hopkinson's use of language and imagery is almost magical, and her characters add much-appreciated diversity to the genre. Ages 14 up.