Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster
Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal—a star burned into her hand. That’s the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation.
Now her mother’s body is displayed above Traitor’s Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she’s more valuable alive than dead.
When the government blames Sev for a horrific bombing, she must escape the city or face the chopping block. Unimaginable dangers lurk outside the city walls, and Sev’s only hope of survival lies with the most unlikely person—Howl, the chairman’s son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can’t help but wonder if he knows more about her past—and her mother’s crimes—than he lets on.
But in a hostile world, trust is a luxury. Even when Sev’s life and the lives of everyone she loves may hang in the balance.
Sev is an outcast and living like a criminal, even though it was her mother who was the traitor. When she’s blamed for a bombing, Sev is rescued by a boy named Howl; and the two flee to the land outside the city walls, completely foreign to her.
Last Star Burning is a YA dystopia, set in a land where a plague has spread, creating fear and control of the population. Sev is a relateable and likable girl who has been told lies her entire life, and can’t really trust anyone she meets. And there’s a good reason. Sure, some of the main mysteries of the plot are pretty predictable, but there are still plenty of shocking twists along the way. It’s a well-paced, exciting and dramatic story that builds momentum throughout. This captivating debut will leave readers eager for the next in the series.