cover image 10 Hours to Go

10 Hours to Go

Keely Parrack. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-7282-5679-5

Three former friends become one another’s only means of survival in this gripping environmental thriller from Parrack (Don’t Let in the Cold). Teenage Lily Williams is wrapping up a visit to Oak Canyon College in Portland, Ore., when her train trip home to California is canceled because of a nearby forest fire. So, Lily’s mother organizes for Lily’s former best friend Natasha, whom she’s barely spoken to since eighth grade, to pick Lily up on her own way home. Lily expects that the drive will be fraught; what she doesn’t expect is for Natasha to also pick up Elke, another former friend whom Lily got expelled in middle school. What Lily thinks of as the “road trip from hell” quickly spirals further as fire-related delays lengthen the already 10-hour journey. Hoping to circumvent traffic, Natasha makes a detour. But things go wrong, slowing and then completely stopping their progress as the forest fire spreads down the coast. By gradually unveiling details about the trio’s tumultuous eighth grade year throughout the tense present-day narrative, Parrack heats up the suspense, skillfully balancing nail-biting survival sequences with angsty character interactions that will have readers hooked. Lily is white, Natasha has tanned skin, and Elke has light-brown skin. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tara Gonzalez, Erin Murphy Literary. (Feb.)