• Bex Drate

Current Project: Half Tree

Updated: Jan 21

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 they really think—literally. Since witnessing the crash of a mysterious spaceship 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 estranged (and 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 breaks uses her mind-reading to uncover a plot to murder JD, she is forced to pick between warning him, and keeping her secret.

In a desperate attempt to do both, Allie digs for tangible proof of the plot by befriending the suspect, mean girl Jillian Collins. But when she discovers Jillian’s motive is connected to her own mind-reading, Allie must embrace her loathed power if she is to save JD, and just maybe, the human race as she knows it.

HALF TREE is a 91,000-word YA grounded sci-fi novel that channels the speculative small-town 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, set in the eerie Americana of STRANGER THINGS.

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