• Bex Drate

Current Project: Half Tree

Updated: May 27

Just be yourself. That's what everyone says when seventeen-year-old Allison Keller is forced to spend fall semester in her mom’s tiny hometown. But Allie knows what people really think—literally. Since witnessing a spaceship crash when she was eleven, Allie has had the unpleasant experience of hearing the thoughts of everyone nearby. To protect herself, she follows a strict set of rules. The most important? No one can know about her mind-reading.

Easy enough. Until she’s forced to face the one person she never could lie to—her (wow, he got tall) childhood friend, JD. If she can avoid him for a few months, she’ll be back to the crowded anonymity of her suburban high school. But Allie’s not the only one in town with secrets. When Allie uses her mind-reading to uncover a plot to murder JD, she is forced to pick between warning him, and keeping her secret.

HALF TREE combines the very real science of human super senses (I personally noticed an uptick in hearing and smell after the birth of my son) with the research-backed, yet unexplained, power of positive thought and meditation. Set in a world where superpowers are lurking in our genetic code, HALF TREE explores what it means to truly be yourself when your DNA can be rewritten.

HALF TREE is a 91,000-word YA grounded sci-fi novel that channels the speculative mystery of WHEN THE SKY FELL ON SPLENDOR by Emily Henry, with the ethically gray antagonist and futuristic biotech of THIS MORTAL COIL by Emily Suvada, all set in RIVERDALE’s eerie Americana.

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