REFUGE (YA Psychological Thriller)
For sixteen-year-old Pax Thomas, life in The Refuge—the Virginia eco-commune where she was born—revolves around her large family. The intrusive thoughts and tics she can’t control make her wary of most everyone else.
But when Pax sees the commune’s director, Samsun Conner, arguing violently with a female assistant, she can’t shake the feeling that something’s horribly wrong. Fixated on the possibility that her home is not what it seems, Pax becomes desperate to uncover the truth before this new obsession pushes her into madness.
While breaking the rules to access the Internet, she runs into one of the commune’s migrant workers, an eighteen-year-old Filipino named Dakila Aquino. Dak’s been raking the commune for clues about his younger sister’s depression and self-destructive behavior, which began after she spent time at The Refuge and continues in the Philippines, where she’s returned. In the U.S. a second time despite the mysterious objections of his sister, Dak offers to help Pax in exchange for her help sneaking him into the director’s house and lab.
Dak and his family desperately need the money and training The Refuge gives its migrant workers, but he’s also determined to punish those who hurt his sister, even if he has to destroy the commune in the process. For Pax, accepting Dak’s offer means betraying everyone she knows to trust an outsider when she can’t even trust her own mind.
Told in the alternating voices of a girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a migrant worker from the Philippines, REFUGE is GATED meets THE BUTTERFLY CLUES with a dash of ELEANOR AND PARK.