S. A. Bodeen is the author of the acclaimed teen novels The Compound, The Gardener, and The Raft. She lives in Oregon with her family.
Excerpt from book:
The stale air in the overheated boardroom at YK Industries made my red silk tie feel tight. Way too tight. With trembling fingers, I tried to loosen the noose slowly strangling me. Finally, I yanked hard enough to release the knot, and then just let the tie hang there as I sucked in a breath.
Sitting next to me on one side of the long oak table was my twin brother, Eddy. Like me, he wore a black blazer and white button-down shirt, but his tie was blue. He’d gotten his hair cut about the same length as mine, but gel made his stand straight up, so at least we didn’t look as identical as we could have. Mom was on the other side of Eddy, along with our lawyer, John something or other. He was trying to explain to Mom why Phil was still running our family’s billion-dollar software company.
Phil. The right-hand man of my father, Rex Yanakakis, founder of YK, his own Yanakakis family legacy. Together, they kept our family in the Compound.
Roughly two thousand days. Two thousand days of my life spent underground. And why?
Because my father lied.
Lied to all of us. To my mom, to my sisters. To me.
He made us believe there was a nuclear attack and our only hope for survival was to enter the Compound, the lavish underground refuge he had built, so we could survive what no one else on the planet could. We were desperate; we willingly entered that silver door beyond which lay a sanctuary of my father’s making. A place of the kind of luxury and excess that we were used to.
A place of safety.
Were we stupid? To enter so blindly?
The memory of that night had dimmed. My ninth birthday. I remember the fire, the screams. I remember my heart pounding so hard I thought I would die. I remember running until I thought my legs would give out. And the terror in the eyes of my mother and my two sisters, terror that mirrored my own.
Mostly I remember my relief as the silver door closed. The screaming was done. And the fire, the apocalypse: They were outside.
As was my brother, Eddy. My twin. My other half.
I was not whole without him. And my own selfishness had been the reason he was not with us. I had set him up, lied to him, so that he hid in the car with our grandma as she drove away. So, when the time came to enter the Compound, neither of them was there.
I was the reason Eddy was left on the outside. All those years underground, I believed he was dead. And I blamed myself for his death.
The rest of us were safe. Six years we stayed there, believing it was our only choice. The rest of the world was gone.
Or so we thought.
My father’s lies were good. Better than good. His lies were brilliant. And his planning was nothing short of genius.
Planning he could only have done with Phil working for him on the outside. While we were stuck on the inside.
But my father didn’t count on me figuring out it was all just a game. Figuring out my twin brother was still alive, alive and living in the world that was still there, still oh-so-totally frickin’ there. And my father didn’t count on me being strong enough to get us all out: my mother; my little sister, Reese; my older sister, Lexie; and … the ones born inside.
The Supplements: Four-year-old Lucas. Two-year-old Cara. And Quinn, nearly one year old.
They were the ones who lived behind the yellow door. They were the ones created for an unmentionable, unholy purpose.
The ones who never knew the other world. The ones who only knew the Compound.
My brothers and sisters gave me the strength to stand up to my father, find the code that opened the
"A psychological thriller." —Booklist