This book revolves around a girl who couldn’t touch people, or allow people to touch her, or bad things happened – when she touched someone, she received a jolt of power, but she drained the life out of them if they stayed in contact long enough. Throughout her life, in this crazy post-something world – I think it was sort of a riff on nasty climate change, poisoning of the earth, water, etc. that allowed a group to come in and try and get rid of the past and start over in an authoritarian new government of haves and have nots – she was shunned, bullied, and abused. Her own parents locked her in her room, and called her names. Eventually something bad happened and she was taken away and left in an mental institution, a dark, forbidding place, where for most of the time she was left alone, with her thoughts, and her writings. Then one day she got a roommate, and that’s when the story really begins – who is this roommate, what is the roommate’s reason for being there, etc., and how does this current quasi government thats running the place come to be, and is there a resistance. All these questions are answered, at least in part – so although I hope there are more books, I am satisfied with what I have.
One thing about the book that almost in the beginning had me put it down and not finish, something I rarely do, is the style in which it was written – very first person, in the moment, and full of random thoughts and tons of imagery. But as you went along, you became used to the way her thoughts ran – after all, she was a bruised and battered spirit, and afraid of herself, and of others. And the imagery became a powerful force in the book, makes some scenes much more deep than otherwise they might be. So if you try it, stick with it at least for several chapters – you might find yourself drawn to the plot as I was, and come to like the stylistic prose.