Author: Christine Manzari
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.
Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.
When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.
Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?
The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.
Deviation on B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deviation-christine-manzari/1116503777
Deviation on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/345818
I could hear Arabella’s and Sterling’s warnings to stay away from Ozzy echoing in my thoughts, but my lips seemed to have a mind of their own. I leaned into him and my mouth met Ozzy’s once, twice, three times. And when my lips parted in invitation, his arms tightened around me and his breath quickened as his kissing became more eager, as if he was dying of thirst and only I could quench it. His tongue slid across my top lip and then he sucked on my bottom one.
He gently walked me backwards until my back pressed up against the clothes hanging from the rack behind me. I dropped my pajamas and toiletries to the floor and my hands went to his chest, roaming inside his jacket, working their way under his shirt to touch the tight skin of his stomach. Even knowing how dangerous this boy was and what he was capable of, I couldn’t stop myself from touching him. The light graze of my fingertips caused his kissing to become more insistent. I reached up and tried to pull his jacket down his arms. There was too much clothing between us; I wanted to feel the muscles of his arms, the warmth of his skin.
When he continued to kiss me and run his hands through my hair, ignoring my desire to get his jacket off, I swung him around and roughly pushed him up against the clothes rack, ripping the offending clothing off his shoulders and throwing it to the floor. My less than gentle treatment caused him to smile through the kiss, our teeth grazing briefly.
“Flame Fatale,” he murmured against my lips. “You’re an animal.”
I was surprised at my own actions. I certainly had never acted like this before. I’d tried kissing one of the Homework Harpies once, just to see what all the fuss was about, and I hadn’t been impressed.
But Ozzy . . . Ozzy’s kisses tasted like mystery, and danger, and promises of things I never knew I wanted. His breath was intoxicating, his hands were persuasive, and I wondered why I’d been trying to prevent this from happening in the first place. I was crazy to push him away and I was crazy with the thought that he might pull away and take his kisses with him.