“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” – Mary Shelley
When I eased open the accordion door to the bedroomette, the sky outside our porthole-shaped window was still dark, the silhouettes of the redwoods just a shade blacker. I tiptoed into the hallway and a river of cold air whooshed over me. The Airstream rocked in the storm and I stretched my hands out, touching both walls to steady myself.
"Ivy?" I said softly.
There it was again: the knocking that had woken me up at quarter to five. Seeing that my older sister wasn't in her bed, I figured she must have snuck out and forgotten her key. I needed to let her in fast. Our mom was a heavy sleeper – especially if she'd smoked a "medicinal" joint before bed – but there were limits to what she could tune out.
I hurried to the front of the trailer, but the door was wide open, the screen banging in the wind. I stepped out onto the top cinderblock stair, straining to see through the rain. "Ivy?" I called into the darkness, but no one answered. The icy wind cut through my pajamas and I shuddered, wrapping my arms around myself.
Someone must have left the door unlocked, and the storm had blown it open. Still, it creeped me out to think that anyone could've walked in from the woods while we were asleep. I wasn't used to living in a tin can on the edge of civilization. Our new property bumped up against the state park. We had no neighbors for miles, but hikers, tramps and the occasional poacher liked to use our land as their playground. Mom said that we were safer out here than if we lived in some apartment in town.
Statistically, there were fewer weirdos in the vicinity.
But all it took was one.
Get a grip, I told myself. No way could anyone have dragged Ivy out of the trailer in the middle of the night. Our beds were like two inches apart. Besides, this was the third time since school started this fall that I'd woken up before dawn to find her stuffed lion strategically tucked under her quilt, its yellow mane arranged on the pillow as a decoy.
I closed the door, leaving it unlocked in case she really had forgotten her key. It was unlike her to be so careless – but this was just another item to add to a growing list of ways that she'd been acting out of character lately.
I was too worked up to go back to sleep. Besides, I hated being in the bedroomette by myself. It would've been cramped for one person, but somehow, when Ivy was there, she made it feel bigger. I couldn't risk waking Mom by turning on a light, but the sky was fading to a steely gray, and I thought I could see well enough to write while I waited for Ivy to get home, so I grabbed my notebook and sat down at our red Formica dining table. If I didn't look around, I could almost pretend that I was still in the house where we'd lived until last summer.
I uncapped my gel tip pen and flipped open my notebook to the first blank page, but my hand froze and I couldn't...
“Sparked is a masterful mélange of action, the supernatural, and teen romance. Every character is unique and every twist is unexpected. The story, told with wit and candor, just kept accelerating until its rip-roaring ending. I tore through this book.”
– Katie Crouch, author of New York Times bestseller Girls in Trucks and The Magnolia League series
“A rush of missing sisters, supernatural powers, breathless crushes, ancient prophecies and deadly secrets revealed at glamorous parties...spooky and fun!”
– Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events
“Sparked is that rare thing – a gripping mystery with psychological depth. It's a hauntingly accurate portrayal of the complex relationships between sisters and the lengths that the younger will go to save her older sister. I was riveted from the beginning and hooked to the satisfying end.”
– Erica Lorraine Scheidt, author of Uses for Boys