Happy Release Day to
Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley!
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Happy Book Birthday, Jennifer!
Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders. Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeal’s are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.
Seth rolls his eyes. He clearly doesn’t get it.
So I inch closer to him. “For centuries holy people … nuns … monks … hermits … they locked themselves away and took on the sins of the world. They were living sacrifices of prayer, and it made the whole world better. They kept knowledge alive through the Dark Ages. Vestals are living sacrifices too. We are reminders that you don’t need chips and you don’t need texts, and you shouldn’t give away every last piece of yourself for one more hit.”
“Because selling yourself is so much better?”
I square my shoulders. “Yes.”
“But you’ll never have a normal life. Doesn’t that bother you?”
Two weeks of cloistering. Two weeks of pacing my room, dusting the bookshelves, and pressing my face against the windowpanes, unable to see anything but the walled courtyard below. Two weeks of hoping Fatima, Beau, and Ethan didn’t know about my disgraced situation. Two weeks of reciting my favorite verse from the Vestal Code of Ethics over and over again.
Wrap me in silk, twirl me around, and tie up my chest with diamonds. My bare arms are cold, even though Cal has every fireplace in the house burning. I lean into his shoulder and drape my wrist around his arm. His wool jacket is scratchy but warm.
“I didn’t think I’d be so nervous,” Cal says as we descend the stairs. There are executives everywhere, filling up the great hall. The McNeal Solar Enterprises board of directors is out in full force, watching my every step.
“You’ll be fine.” I try to sound reassuring, but I’m not used to so many strangers. Invisible butterflies beat in my stomach. In mere seconds, an older lady in a sequined top approaches, her black hair pulled tight in a French twist with a fleur-de-lis inked on her neck.
Cal whispers in my ear. “Here comes Nancy Robinson, my attorney. Don’t let her manners fool you. Nancy is a shark, and the whole board listens to her opinions.”
Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her debut YA novel, “Genesis Girl” will be published by Month9Books on June 14, 2016, with the sequel releasing in 2017. “Genesis Girl” is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 20,000 followers on Facebook, and 15,000 followers on Instagram. On Facebook, she hosts the weekly instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where YA Gal friends geek out, share pictures of what they are reading, and chat about books. Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle, WA where she enjoys spending time with her family and her poodle, Merlin.
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