Read an excerpt from Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

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Two dimensions - And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

 Since she was created.

 With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

As she uncovers…Eugenica.

Excerpt

Dylan’s quiet. He taps his finger on his lips, stops like he might say something, and then taps again. After an eternity of silence, and more bad ideas on my side, he snaps his fingers. “Isn’t there a mock trial event coming up this week in Washington DC?”

I furrow my brows. Who cares? We need to be coming up with ideas to get us north, not all the way across the country. “I think so. But what does that have to do with us?”

“If our parents believe we’re going, they won’t think anything when we aren’t here. And it’ll give us five whole days to get up there and back.” He crosses his arms over his chest like he’s just come up with the best idea in the world. He hasn’t.

“And how exactly are we going to convince them at the last minute that we’re on the team and we’re going on this trip?”

“The school sends out emails to parents about this stuff. All we need to do is get a message into their email accounts from a few weeks ago saying we’re going. Your mom’s so busy she’ll think she missed it somehow, and my mom never checks her email. It’s perfect.” He sounds so confident, but he’s so wrong.

“Perfect, huh? And how do you suppose we’re going to get these magical emails to them?” Now it’s my turn to cross my arms.

“You can do it.”

“Me? How am I supposed to do that?”

“Drea, I’ve seen you do things you’ve never done before.” He leans down to my level and puts his hands on the bed. “Whatever is going on with you makes you stronger and smarter than anyone I know. Look at this.” He sits next to me, right-clicks the webpage, and clicks on “view source.” “Every website, everything on here is all made up of codes, kind of like its own language, telling it what to do. Look at it, and I mean really look at it. I bet you can figure it out.”

He’s staring at me, with those deep brown eyes. He believes in me. He thinks I can do it, so I have to try. I make a sharp nod, focus back on the computer screen, and push everything else out of my mind.

It takes a minute, but it all comes together. This whole other language. Just like Spanish or French, but different, and I understand everything. I type away at the keyboard. Thirty minutes and a thumping migraine later, I’ve done it. Two emails, one for each of us in our parents’ inboxes, from the school telling them we’re going on the mock trial trip. And two emails to the school excusing us for the week from our parents.

I close the laptop and place it on the floor. My head is pounding so hard all I want to do is close my eyes. “Done.”

“Perfect,” he says and I let out a deep yawn. “I’ll go so you can get some sleep. If you need anything, I’ll be on the couch.” He starts to get up, but I stop him.

“Stay. Please?” 

He considers me. Our eyes meet, but he quickly looks away, and turns toward my painting on the wall. I should look away, too, but I don’t. I can’t. He must feel the warmth of my gaze because slowly his head swivels until our eyes lock.

“Drea…I…”

My heart stutters as emotions I can’t possibly decipher contort his expression.

He lets out a breath, pushes himself up on one arm like he’s going to leave, but instead he reaches over, flips off the light, and lays back down. “Sometimes it’s so exhausting.” His voice is so soft I’m not sure if he’s talking to me or to himself. 

“What?” 

“Nothing. I just… Forget it.” He puts his arm around me, but it isn’t warm or comforting. He’s hesitant to touch me, and his body’s rigid. His arm’s draped over me like a tree branch. It’s crushing me. Not the weight of him, the weight of knowledge. He’s exactly where I’ve always wanted him, except he doesn’t want to be here. And that hurts more than his heavy arm.

“Dylan, I’m sorry. You don’t have to stay.” My voice shakes a little; my lip does, too. “I was being silly.” I push at his arm, but he doesn’t move. 

“I’m tired. That’s all.” His hand flattens against my stomach, drawing me closer to him, and my pulse responds. Sometimes I wish it wouldn’t. That I could somehow control the way I feel. But being here pressed up against him is the best feeling in the world, and this part of me doesn’t want to give up hope that maybe we could be more.

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About A.M. Rose

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A.M. Rose is the author of Road to Eugenica, and writer of young adult novels of all genres as long as they have a hint of romance, the drinker of too much coffee (with way too much coconut creamer), and lover of all carbohydrates.

Currently, she lives in Houston, TX with her three boys (yes, her husband is in that count) and three cats. When she isn’t writing about swoony boys or ways for her MC to get into trouble, she is an avid reader, critiquer, (is that even a word?) and trampoline enthusiast.

A.M. Rose is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication and a minor in underwater basket weaving. (Okay, maybe not the basket weaving part.)

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