(YA/Spec Fiction) Being born with gigantism means your world is shrunk by half. It means people are staring at you from birth, at all the food you eat, at the special shoes you wear, at the mistakes you make. Being a giant means, even on your best days - even on your well-behaved days - they're still going to point and call you, "monster."
Dorothy, named so after her mother's favorite, long-forgotten Golden Girl, is just such a monster. As an indigenous teen on a tiny, tourist-town island, Dorothy's growing pains and oft-targeted race have already notched two strikes to her name. Her dream of wrestling professionally in the States is her lone chance at escaping a third. It's also what keeps her temper mostly in check and her ass-kicking mostly on the mat - until a strange foreign boy falls victim to her lifelong bullies and Dorothy intervenes and blows it all to hell.
With her dream ruined and a stint in jail all but inevitable, Dorothy decides to pair the hidden, serrated scars along her ribs with something a little more final. Like a gun. Only when she finally pulls the trigger, the strange little boy stops the bullet with his bare hand. This particular boy is foreign by way of outerspace. He's also a superpowered pacifist who ran, as fast as he could, from his warlord father.
With no time to spare and no one else up to the monstrous task of saving him, Dorothy, for all her faults and failures, is the closest thing the soft-spoken boy's got to a chance. Or a hero.
(YA/Spec Fiction) It's been twenty years since the last superheroes died and the power went out in Old Chicago. To the teenagers that have been born on the other side of it all, life seems to oscillate between two very specific moments: moments where you can almost catch your breath and moments where you're not sure you should even bother.
Fifteen-year-old Glenn is just such a teenager. Forced to look out for a drug-addled mother and his poor, bullied mountain-of-a-boyfriend, Glenn preaches a life of risk-averse routine and, should anything too big and ugly rear its head, all Glenn has to do is flash the barrel of his father's revolver... Until the day a mysterious old man teases permanent salvation: electricity can be restored. Fueled by their own fantasies, fears and dreams, the two teenagers embark on an epic journey through the ruins of Old Chicago and New as they search for the remains of the city's fallen superheroes and the key to restoring the light. Jumping between present day and a mash of decades-old diary entries from the mysterious old man, the boys happen upon a secret even bigger than the ones the superheroes kept: the old man doesn't intend to restore electricity at all. After a long life of political and sexual persecution, all the old man wants before his heart finally quits is for the world to know him as its first and last supervillain.
Moving through five decades of fictionalized real-world history in Chicago, this story combines the historical depth and specificity of Michael Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY with the poetic, apocalyptic beauty of Emily St. John Mandel's STATION ELEVEN.