Powered by Cheyanne Young
Release date: November 28th 2013
Age Group: YA
Summary from Goodreads:
Maci Might’s sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she’s awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City’s elders think it’s best if she doesn’t join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she’s Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA.
When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won’t let them down.
Glancing around, I notice the bookshelf for the first time. In the far corner of the room, diagonally across what would be the sharp corner of the pie slice that is Evan’s bedroom, it spans from floor to ceiling about five feet wide. Every bit of shelf space has a book shoved into it.
As pathetic as it may be, I suddenly feel very small and ignorant. Heroes don’t read books, and I’d grown up trying to be a Hero. Sure, I have a bookshelf at home too. It has all six editions of the Hero manual on it. Along with an assortment of Blu-rays with the shrink-wrap still on them, hair accessories, and random crap Crimson and I collected on that one vacation we took two years ago.
Evan’s bookshelf is stocked with comic books, books about comic books, an entire collection of Batman novels, and every single copy of the Hardy Boys. With a laugh, I reach for the large hardback book with the title this isn’t a secret passageway and pull.
Soundlessly, the massive bookshelf swings open, revealing a hallway that leads to a balcony. The cool early morning air brushes against my face as I take a tentative step onto the glass floor. Evan laughs. He’s standing with his elbows resting on the balcony’s railing, which is also glass, so from my view it appears like he’s floating in air with his body leaning toward the ocean.
I grip the railing. “What kind of freak would design a balcony like this?”
He swings a thumb toward his chest. “This one. Would you like some coffee?”
I decline with a wave of my hand. “You’re drinking coffee? At five in the morning? I thought maybe you were out here because you couldn’t sleep.” I lower my head, get scared of the empty air below me, and refocus my attention on my hands instead. “I’m sorry I took your bed last night. I bet it sucks sleeping on the couch.”
“I slept fine.” I watch him as he gazes out at the sun-tinted ocean. He inhales a long gust of air, closing his eyes as if relishing in the salty taste. When he exhales, I feel his power level weaken. “People waste the best part of the day sleeping. Look,” he says, pointing at the sun as it pokes over the horizon. I glance at it but then look back at Evan because the expression of pure joy on his face is more fascinating than a sunrise. He smiles as the sun reflects in his eyes. “Most people are asleep right now. So it’s like the sun is rising just for you and me.”
“Evan?” I ask.
He closes his eyes as a cool breeze washes over his face. “Hmm?”
“Why did you quit Hero training?”
His eyes fling open and steal a glance at me before he closes them again, this time pressing a hand to his forehead. “I said I didn’t want to talk about it.”
“No, you said that was a story for another time. Now is another time.” I press my shoulder to his, trying to be friendly and persuasive, not mean and demanding. He groans.
“My dad died when I was three. I don’t remember it. He was killed by a villain attack at the canyon entrance where he was a security guard.”
“I remember that,” I say. “Well not personally, but I’ve heard of it. That’s the last time villains tried to infiltrate Central. A lot of people died.”
“Yeah but the villains didn’t succeed.” He doesn’t elaborate but I know what he means. His father did not die in vain. I can already see where this story is going. Evan continues, “Apparently Mom was so devastated by his death that she couldn’t leave the house for weeks. She was always afraid of villain attacks. I don’t remember when I started doing it, but I do remember that my childhood goal was to protect her. I promised to be a Hero for her, and when I turned five I enrolled in Hero training. So she wouldn’t have to be scared anymore.”
Chills prickle down my arms. “So why did you quit?”
He shrugs. “Being a Hero wasn’t in my heart. She knew that. When I turned sixteen and started preparing for my Hero exam, Mom told me that she was proud of me but wanted me to follow my dreams, not hers. She said I could quit if I wanted to. So I did. I signed up for Research that same day.”
I watch him as he stares out at the ocean. I picture a scrawny kid-sized Evan, standing up to protect his mom. “You may not be a real Hero but I bet you’re hers.”
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her daughter, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.