“A novel exploration of societal roles, gender, and equality.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this “daring and dramatic” (Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling) dystopian novel about sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make in order to survive.
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.
Sixteen-year-old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but Nala quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega Towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang the Ashé Riders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles crews and her own doubts but the closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone—she cares about.
Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of numerous young adult novels, including The Education of Margot Sanchez, We Light Up the Sky, Never Look Back, and Dealing In Dreams. She is also author of the middle grade Goldie Vance books. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post,The New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at LilliamRivera.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 5, 2019)
Length: 336 pages
Grades: 9 and up
Ages: 14 - 99
Lexile ® HL550L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
Taking cues from Judge Dredd, Mad Max, and The Hunger Games, Rivera...has created a uniquely brutal hellscape...Readers are left with a more ambiguous—and ambitious—tale that will have them questioning what kinds of people they’d be if freed from society’s mores.
– Booklist, Starred
There is plenty of gritty action to propel readers through the plot, but it is Chief Rocka’s internal struggles and vulnerabilities that are the most compelling and memorable. Rivera effectively presents the complexity of female relationships, which will resonate strongly with readers....A novel exploration of societal roles, gender, and equality through the eyes of captivating lead.
– School Library Journal, Starred
Rivera weaves a story of self-discovery, blood relations and chosen families, substance addiction, and race into her sci-fi tale, including details from Afro and Indigenous Caribbean culture and history, showing resistance and survival—and blasting it to the future. A dystopian mixtape of boldness, sisterhood, and questioning the status quo...this book leaves readers wanting more of Nalah and Las Mal Criadas.
– Horn Book Magazine
Rivera showcases multiple intricate character arcs and details several societies through impressive worldbuilding; young readers drawn to complex action novels that challenge conventions will find this read rewarding.
– Publishers Weekly
Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez, 2017) crafts a feminist, futurist Latinx dystopia.