You all know how I enjoyed Forget Tomorrow and how much I raved about On the Verge, so I was so pleased to host this excerpt of Pintip Dunn’s most recent book, Seize Today. It is the 3rd after Forget Tomorrow and while I haven’t caught up yet (because I’m truly shameful) I have every intention of doing so. Without more rambling from me, or excuses, here you go!
Conclusion to the New York Times bestselling and award-winning series, Forget Tomorrow.
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Dresden is a precognitive. Since different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn’t have to believe in human decency. She can see the way for everyone to be their best self-if only they would make the right decisions. No one is more conflicted than her mother, and Olivia can only watch as Chairwoman Dresden chooses the dark, destructive course every time. Yet Olivia remains fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.
But when the chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, the striking and strong-willed boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia sees a vision of her own imminent death…at Ryder’s hand. Despite her bleak fate, she rescues Ryder and flees with him, drawing her mother’s fury and sparking a romance as doomed as Olivia herself. As the full extent of Chairwoman Dresden’s gruesome plan is revealed, Olivia must find the courage to live in the present-and stop her mother before she destroys the world.
Ryder laughs, short and loud and harsh. “That’s what you’ll never understand, Chairwoman. We’re a family. That means we stick together.”
“Suit yourself.” She shrugs, as if she didn’t want him to cave so easily anyway. She fastens her eyes on her personal assistant. “I thought you’d cut emotional ties with your family, Jessa. That they were all but dead to you. At least, that’s what you told me. Remind me again whose side you’re on?”
Jessa blinks rapidly, as if she’s being roused from a dream. “I’m on your side, Chairwoman. You know that.”
“Prove it.” My mother picks up the case of black chips and holds it out to her.
Jessa looks from Ryder to the chairwoman and then back again. “What…what do you mean?”
“Prove you’re still loyal to me.” The chairwoman’s mouth twists up, and it chills me to the bone. “Prove you won’t let old relationships interfere with your duties. Prove you’re the assistant I thought you were these last six months.”
The breath whooshes out of my body, as the implications of my mother’s words hit me in the stomach.
“How am I going to do that?” Jessa asks faintly, as though she knows exactly what the chairwoman is saying but is still hoping she’s wrong.
“Easy. I’m not going to torture your friend by making him live other people’s nightmares,” my mother says. “You are.”
Jessa slumps forward, and her shirt lifts, revealing the handprint birthmark at her waist and the curve of her spine.
I flash forward to her futures. This is an impossible situation for Jessa. Impossible. She can’t jeopardize the trust she’s built over the last six months. She’s sacrificed so much to get this position, and now, she’s poised to stop the chairwoman from committing genocide. And yet, she can’t torture her best friend, either. She may have betrayed her family, but this would cross a line she won’t be able to uncross.
This moment, this decision, will break something inside her. No matter what she chooses, she will hate herself for the rest of her life. I see the hollow shell she becomes. The shadow of the strong and selfless girl she used to be.
She’ll turn into…me. A girl living on the edge of life. Only observing but never acting. Helpless to bring about the change she so desperately wants. Reliant on other people to do what she thinks is right.
And it makes me want to weep.
I may never have loved anyone as much as Jessa loves Ryder. But I’ve seen a nearly infinite number of futures, and I know what love is. And, as I stand here beside Jessa, something happens to me. Her heart reaches inside my heart and squeezes, squeezes, squeezes. Until my entire chest is one big ache. Until my pathways shrink down to a narrow and precise tunnel.
Until I know that there’s only one decision I can possibly make.
“I’ll do it,” I say, stepping forward. “I’ll torture our captive.”
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
Pintip’s novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. It is also a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, the MASL Truman Award, and the Tome Society It list. In addition, THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, SEIZE TODAY, and GIRL ON THE VERGE.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.
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