(Under Ground, #1)
Publication date: October 30th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Love is a taboo, a mere fantasy— foreign, unreachable, and dangerous.
Raised in a society where women have no rights, seventeen-year-old Thia Clay holds little hope for a bright future. When her parents sell her into marriage to elite member William Fox, Thia slowly gives in to despair. William is nothing but a cruel, selfish young man with no other interest than to serve his own.
Born illegally and forced to hide from the authorities his entire life, nineteen-year-old Chi Richards is an active member of the Underground—a rebellious group seeking to overthrow the government.
Chi only has one goal—to rescue his parents from the work camp they were forced into.
Meeting Thia was never part of the plan, and neither was falling in love with her.
If caught in their forbidden relationship, Thia and Chi could face a death sentence, and when devastating secrets surface from Chi’s past, Thia has to rely on her instincts to make a choice that could save her or destroy her forever.
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When five p.m. finally arrives, I tell Melissa that I’m going home. I leave school and cut through the woods. I walk up the path until I reach the monument. When I arrive, Chi is standing in front of the Arch, with his thumbs in his pockets. He hears me, turns around, and smiles in that debonair attitude that I’ve grown to enjoy so much.
My name on his lips makes me shiver, spreading delightful goose bumps all over my skin. I sit down quickly before he notices my reaction.
“How were your classes today?” I ask.
He comes to sit by my side and spreads out his legs. He leans backward and props himself up with his arms stretched out behind him. “All right, I guess. I’m still getting used to this whole system. It’s kinda hard to adapt after being homeschooled for so long.”
“You were homeschooled?” I blink at him.
“Yeah, a story for another time. How was it for you?”
I roll my eyes. “Today, I learned how to be a proper lady and show reverence for a man who will never grant me any importance.”
Chi chuckles at that. “Is that all they tried to teach you? The usual misogynistic idiocies?”
“No. I also had a music class, which I actually enjoy. Women do need to entertain their guests after all,” I continue with a stiff upper-lip, my tone haughty, and my back held straight in a feigned proud mannerism, “for lack of any thoughtful opinion to share about things that actually matter.”
Chi lets out a loud breath that sounds like a snort. “You really are entertaining, Thia, you know that?” He shoots me a smile so charming that my breath hitches.
When a flush rises to my cheeks, I shift the course of my thoughts. “You still haven’t told me your last name, you know.”
“Like I said before, it’s not my real name.” He shrugs, not caring to elaborate. His eyebrows crease. “Did you ever wonder what happens to children who are born over the number allowed?” His sudden change in subject takes me by surprise. I don’t know how to respond.
“No one has children above the number allowed” I reply, matter-of-factly. “It just doesn’t happen.”
“Doesn’t it, though?” he asks.
“No, it doesn’t,” I assert.
“You may want to think about it before affirming things you know nothing about!” His remark is harsh, stinging like acid. Is he implying that I’m stupid? I’ve never seen him irritated before; his frustration feels like a blow. It angers me too. I want to find some snide response, but I can’t think of anything smart to throw back at him.
He continues, his eyes and voice soft now, “Let me tell you something. It does happen. People do have children above the number allowed. I would know. I’m one of them.”
Alice Rachel is the author of the YA Forbidden Romance/ Dystopian Romance Series “Under Ground.”
Her time is divided between teaching French, writing, reading, drawing, and spending time with her hubby and guinea pigs.
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