ACID, by Emma Pass, recounts the tale of Jenna Strong (aka Mia), a 17 year-old escaped felon wrongly convicted of killing her parents who lives in a dystopian future Britain (the Independent Republic of Britain--IRB) contolled by the dictatorial organization called the Agency for Crime Investigation and Defence (the ACID of the title). ACID controls every aspect of people's lives; career, life partner, all the news, communications, entertainment... you name it and ACID has it under its thumb.
Jenna's father was high up in the ACID hierarchy, until one night both he and her mother were murdered and she was framed for it. Despite being a juvenile and female to boot, ACID hustles her off to serve a life sentence without possibility of parole. In prison, she learns mad skills like nun-chuck skills and bo staff skills and how to beat people up and shade upper lips. She also develops a bad-ass attitude and hard shell exterior (that hides a sensitive and caring soul) while getting lots of cool scars in all her cool fights where she kicks the asses of every grown man who looks at her sideways!
Despite being half their size!
Unknown to her, she is THE ONLY ONE who can help the resistance or underground or the rebellion or whatever overthrow ACID and restore Freedom. So she's busted out of prison by the rebels, given a new face and body (bye bye cool scars) as well as a new identity. So she finds herself in league with the group who wants to overthrow ACID and restore Freedom and save the Britain no matter how many people they have to kill to do it!
Sound like a decent set-up? Indeed.
Let's run through the Young Adult Best Selling Story Checklist:
- Normal teenage girl who turns out to be anything but - CHECK!
- Parents dead or missing - CHECK!
- Socially inept but really a sweetie - CHECK!
- Manifest destiny as THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO IT - CHECK!
- Love interest (with green or blue eyes) who's unattainable/wrong for the protagonist but with whom she feels an immediate attraction to despite them disliking each other when they first meet - CHECK!
- Lots and lots of violence - CHECK!
- Absolutely, positively no activities that might even accidentally be construed to be of a sexual nature - CHECK!
So there you have it, the plan for a sure-fire young adult best seller.
Just like ACID.