I’m not going to lie. The first time I read the back of this book, I thought “This could be Top Gun” for teens. It didn’t feel too far off in parts. This one was sent by Valerie at Sourcebooks. Valerie has a great affinity for picking out young adult titles that I seem to love unconditionally. That’s true of this book. You don’t have to wait for this one, kids, it came out March 10, 2015. So run, run, run to your local bookstore and pick up a copy. The book advises age 14 and up, but I think a mature 12 year old could definitely read this and handle it.
Chase, code name “Nyx”, is one of the ace pilots that the junior US Air Force has at its forefront. This is America in the year 2048, and we’re caught up in another Cold War the likes we haven’t seen since the 1980’s. Chase is one of the chosen who get to fly the experimental “Streaker” jets (the name made me think of, well, streakers, which made me giggle. This is not quite a giggle book, so at least I found immature humor in here somewhere!). Chase has a rep for being feisty, an independent super-fast thinker and doer, and no one really knows that underneath that exterior, she has a dark and lonely past. Chase isn’t real popular in the friend zone, more like a heroine with great expectations placed on her shoulders. They expect her to win the upcoming Streaker (laughs) trials and prove that the experimental jet is what they need to win their battle against the enemy. It seems like all these people want is for her to do their work, and move on. No one really cares about being friends with this brash, firebrand. That made me terribly sad. The weight of lofty expectations on a young person can weigh them down, make them take unnecessary risks, and overcome them. Instead, Chase takes this and runs with it. And winds up cracking a military secret; there’s a third, hidden Streaker, with a young hotshot pilot named Tristan at the helm. Of course, both Chase and Tristan have similar personalities and there are some clashes. Chase isn’t the sort of girl who gets along well with competitors she views as threats, even though Chase and Tristan are technically on the same team. Or are they? Can they get along for common good, or will the animosity burn the whole thing to the ground and cost them any chance of winning the Cold War? Or will it make things worse? Definitely not a dull moment in this one, readers. It begins with a bang and ends with a bang. That’s what I liked about it; once you got going, you’re sucked in immediately. There are no plodding chapters in this book. Definitely a cliffhanger throughout the book. Chase? Great, inspiring female lead. And you can never have enough of those in a genre that wholeheartedly embraced glitter vampires.
Cori McCarthy must have some ties to the aviation field, because her love of all things airborne is obvious from the first page. She has crafted probably one of my favorite female teen leads ever (The hell with you, Katniss!) and Tristan, well, it’s nice to see that they gave Chase a formidable foil who can hold his own. America in 2048 is so well written, you feel as if you are there right now. Not an easy feat for an author to pull off, but McCarthy does that. I cannot tell you enough that this was one of my favorite books so far this year, at least in the young adult genre. And I’ve read a few, thanks to Holly’s getting all these great ARC’s at the store. I strongly recommend this book if you like young adult with a touch of adventure, nail-biting scenarios, and just a fantastically crafted plot. You won’t be sorry.