cover image Hell Followed with Us

Hell Followed with Us

Andrew Joseph White. Peachtree Teen, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-68263-324-3

Billions are killed when the Angels, a majority-white ecofascist cult, “cleanse” the earth with a deadly virus in White’s gripping near-future dystopian debut. After creating the Flood, a fatal infection responsible for humankind’s decimation, the Angels force 16-year-old white trans boy Benjamin Woodside to become the perfected virus’s host, turning him into a living bioweapon. Having escaped the Angels’ experimentation and emotional abuse, which includes frequently misgendering him, Benji is rescued by white, autistic sharpshooter Nick and his ragtag band of queer rebels, who call Pennsylvania’s Acheson LGBTQ+ Center home. Together, Benji and the revolutionaries fight for survival amid crumbling infrastructure, even as Benji struggles to contain the virus as it mutates his body from the inside out. While told primarily from Benji’s perspective, brief chapters from supporting characters, including Nick, provide intriguing insight. Using evocative and visceral language, compact storytelling, and inventive worldbuilding, White delivers a transformative depiction of apocalypse through a queer lens. This debut is a moving and timely tale of queer perseverance, offering hope for those fighting for the right to exist without apology. Supporting characters are racially diverse and variously queer. Ages 14–up. Agent: Zabé Ellor, Jennifer De ChiaraLiterary. (June)