“At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?” (via Goodreads)
Teen readers—especially those from marginalized communities—need more stories like We Set the Dark on Fire. We adults need to show them that they don’t have to settle for what’s always been done. Not everyone is ready or willing to stand on the front lines and fight toe to toe, but everyone can do their part to dismantle an unjust system. We the targeted, we the marginalized, we the minorities who outnumber the majority, we have the power to change the world. We don’t need to wait for those in charge to relinquish control; we can work to take it for ourselves…
Read the rest of my review at Tor.com.
Daniela Vargas woke at the first whisper of footsteps coming up the road.
By the time the sound of shattering glass in the courtyard alerted the campus to the presence of intruders, she was dressed and ready. For what? She wasn’t sure. After a childhood of heavy-footed military police in close pursuit, she knew better than to mistake the luxury of her surroundings for safety.
She was only as safe as she was vigilant.
The shouting grew louder. There had been rumors of riots at the border for months, in the capital for weeks, but Dani hadn’t thought they’d make it as far as the Medio School for Girls’ gated sanctuary. The campus was private and insulated: white stone, lush greenery. A place where the country’s brightest and most promising young women could train to become the wives Medio’s future husbands deserved.
Dani had been here five years. Enough time to rise to the top of her class, to secure placement as Primera to the capital’s most promising young politico. Graduation was only two days away, and then she would begin the life her parents had sacrificed family, home and more to give her.
Assuming what was happening outside didn’t get her arrested or killed first.
Thanks to Katherine Tegen for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.