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Alethea Allarey

Official Links


Publisher Putnam Juvenile


Written by Marie Lu

Published by Putnam Juvenile, 2011

2014-2015 Nominee - Young Adult


The story is set in a dystopian society where the United States has split apart and a plague is ravaging Los Angeles. It is told in alternating chapters by two teenagers—Day and June.

Day fights to keep his family supplied with plague suppressant, while June prepares to join the military and to fight the Patriots. Both come from dysfunctional homes and are smart troublemakers who are loyal to their families.

June is sent undercover to kill Day for the death of her brother, but Day is the unknown stranger who rescues June on her first day in the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.

Later, June becomes sympathetic to Day’s cause, eventually helping Day to escape from the firing squad. This is the first in a series of three books set in a futuristic world. 

Meet the Author

Marie Lu was born in 1984 in Beijing, China. Her family moved to the United States in 1989 and she went to college at the University of Southern California. She currently lives in Pasadena with her two Pembroke Welsh Corgis and her boyfriend. She once worked in the video game industry, but now writes young adult novels full time. She says she likes food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books.


  • What is the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist?
  • What would you do to protect your family from a corrupt government? How far would you be willing to go?
  • Could you survive on the streets? What skills are essential to survive day-to-day when you no longer have a home?
  • Would you consider fighting in a branch of the U.S. military? Why or why not? Do you have any friends who have enlisted?
  • What if you fell in love with someone who was considered your enemy? Could you go against your orders to protect that person?
  • What conditions would have to exist in order for the United States to break into two countries?
  • How would you go about protecting yourself and your family if a plague was in the area where you lived? What would you do? 


Climate Change
Relevant Websites containing basic facts:

Books having to do with the issue of climate change:
Cherry, Lynne. How We Know What We Know About our Changing Climate. Dawn Publications, 2008. 
Evans, Kate. Weird Weather. Groundwork Brooks, 2007.

Civil War
Relevant Websites that contain basic facts about the 
American Civil War:

Books that present factual information about the American Civil War: 
McPherson, James M. Fields of Fury: The American Civil War. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.
Murphy, Jim. The Boys’ War. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1993.
Starchak, John. Civil War. DK Publications, 2000. 

Relevant Websites that contain general information about the nature of plagues:

Books of fiction and fact with a plague theme:
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793. Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers. 2002.
Brooks, Geraldine. Year of Wonders. Penguin Group, 2002.
Dahme, Joanne. The Plague. Running Press Book Publishers, 2009.
Hirsch, Jeff. The Eleventh Plague. Scholastic, 2012.
Smith, Sherri. Orleans. Putnam Juvenile, 2013.

Dystopian novels:
Collins, Susan. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Press, 2008.
Condie, Ally. Matched. Penguin Group, 2010.
Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. Random House Children’s Books, 2014.
Estes, David. The Moon Dwellers. CreateSpace, 2012.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

For more information, please check the 2014-2015 Resource Guide - Young Adult.

Book Trailer