Seize Today (Forget Tomorrow #3)
by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Dresden is a precognitive. Since different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn’t have to believe in human decency. She can see the way for everyone to be their best self-if only they would make the right decisions. No one is more conflicted than her mother, and Olivia can only watch as Chairwoman Dresden chooses the dark, destructive course every time. Yet Olivia remains fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.
But when the chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, the striking and strong-willed boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia sees a vision of her own imminent death…at Ryder’s hand. Despite her bleak fate, she rescues Ryder and flees with him, drawing her mother’s fury and sparking a romance as doomed as Olivia herself. As the full extent of Chairwoman Dresden’s gruesome plan is revealed, Olivia must find the courage to live in the present-and stop her mother before she destroys the world.
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Eleven years earlier…
I pull the lever of the cage, switching the tunnel onto a different track, trying to confuse the mice.
I know exactly how the future will play out, of course. I know which mice will fall down the trap and which ones will smack into the see-through glass wall. I know which mice will get hopelessly lost. I even know which ones will run the maze correctly on the very first try.
I like watching them anyway. They wriggle over one another like worms, and their whiskers twitch when they’re at a corner between two paths. But what I like most is how they come to me when I call.
Picking up a mouse, I run my fingers over its soft fur and warm body. It looks at me with unblinking pink eyes, and I think it could be my friend.
Of course, I can see which mice will come, so I know which ones to call. Rodents are predictable like that. Humans, not so much. They have too many wants, too many feelings. I don’t see any one future for people. Rather, I see them all—every single pathway their futures might take, flickering before my eyes.
So I have to guess which of my human classmates will want to play with me. Most of the time, I guess wrong.
“Are you bothering my mice again?” a little boy’s voice says. “Fates, Livvy. How many times do I have to tell you? Leave them alone!”
Startled, I let go of the mouse and look up at Tanner Callahan, the other six-year-old who hangs around the scientists’ labs. I’m here because my mom’s the head of the Future Memory Agency, or FuMA, and he’s here…I guess ’cause he has nowhere else to be.
He’s got black hair that pokes up in the back, and his skin sticks too closely to his bones. I thought this meant he wasn’t eating enough, but MK, our child-minder, said that grief over his parents’ deaths had burrowed holes through his resources.
This makes me think of the mice digging through the straw, and my chest aches. I flash forward to his futures. He still has hundreds of branches remaining, but in most of them, one thing is the same: he will be sad and lonely until he kisses our classmate Jessa ten years in the future.
I don’t know why kissing should change anything. But I do know how it feels to be lonely and sad.
We don’t have to be like this. I could be his friend. I just have to figure out the right thing to say.
“Jessa and I are going to rule the world one day.” It can’t hurt to bring up the girl he smushes lips with. Maybe if he thinks she and I are friends, he’ll like me, too. “You know Jessa, right? The girl with the teardrop eyes? She’s my best friend.” Not true. I think Jessa only talks to me because she’s nice. But he doesn’t have to know that.
“Oh yeah? Well someday, I’m going to be the inventor of future memory,” he shoots back. “And then we’ll see who’s more important.”
I bite my lip. That wasn’t what I meant. I wasn’t trying to brag or compare or compete. The futures containing our friendship begin to fall away, one by one. I guessed wrong once again.
Pintip Dunn Interviews Ryder Russell, the Hero of Her Latest Release, SEIZE TODAY
Pintip: Hi everyone! I have a special treat for you today! I’ve pried Ryder from the figments of my imagination, and he’s sitting before me now for an interview. Say hi to everyone, Ryder!
Ryder: Hi to everyone, Ryder!
Pintip: Cute. Very cute. But then, you’ve been giving me trouble since the moment you sprang into my consciousness. Now, I can see you, but our readers can’t, so could you start by describing your physical appearance?
Ryder: Uh… I have dark brown skin and eyes and closely shaven hair. I’m really tall — 6’3” — and I do a lot of manual labor living out in the woods, so I have a lot of muscles.
Pintip: Oooohhh, tell us more about those muscles.
Ryder: *narrows eyes* Are you hitting on me?
Pintip: *sputters* Fates no! Why would you say that? You’re, like, half my age! Less than half!
Ryder: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because when you wrote me, you were inspired by Lincoln from The 100, and you have a total crush on him.
Pintip: *blushing furiously* I do not! Don’t forget, I can see all of your thoughts, not the other way around!
Ryder: Yeah, but you kept rewinding that scene at the beginning of Season 3, when —
Pintip: Moving on! *lowers voice to whisper* I’m the author here. I can make your life a living limbo. So behave. *in normal tone* Where do you call home?
Ryder: Right now? The wilderness. I lived in Eden City, the capitol of North Amerie, until I was six. I came back when I was twelve, for about four years, before I was forced to go on the run with my family again. *pauses* Was that suitably on topic?
Pintip: Very. Do you have a special skill?
Ryder: Oh, sure. Lots. I’ve never met a machine I couldn’t take apart and put back together, and my skills on the hover board make pretty boys like Tanner Callahan weep.
Pintip: Hey, don’t make fun of Tanner!
Ryder: *jumps out of seat* I knew it! I knew Tanner was your favorite hero!
Pintip: *tugs him back down* Oh, relax. You’re all my favorite, and you know it. I tell you so all that time.
Ryder: Does that line actually work on your children?
Pintip: It totally does. Because it’s TRUE. What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?
Ryder: To make it to tomorrow and see the sun rise.
Pintip: Geez, Ryder, don’t be so morbid. You’re going to scare everyone away!
Ryder: I guess living in the wilderness has a way of boiling down your desires to the basics. There are so many things that could go wrong out here — we could run out of food or succumb to infection or get mauled by a wild animal.
Pintip: *softens* Tell them what you really want.
Ryder: You promised you wouldn’t ask me that question.
Pintip: *gives him hard stare* I’m the author. I make you do things you don’t want all the time.
Ryder: I . . . I’d like to be first in someone’s life. To have someone love me the most, to place me highest on their list of priorities. You see, I’ve never had that before. My biological parents…well, I don’t like to talk about them unless it’s absolutely necessary
You know, I’ve never admitted this to anyone but Olivia before. She feels the same way, too, and sometimes, when I catch that same yearning on her face, my heart gives this unsteady bump and I have this completely wild thought that maybe . . . just maybe . . . we could fulfill that role for each other.
Pintip: You could be right.
Ryder: *looks up with hope in his eyes* Really? You’re not just saying that?
Pintip: Maybe. Keep answering my questions, and I’ll see what I can do. Let’s talk about your parents.
Pintip: *chants* Olivia! Olivia! Olivia!
Ryder: Okay, FINE. When I was six, I came to Harmony, the community in the wilderness where psychics and their families went to escape persecution. Everyone thought I was there because my parents had been arrested. They were wrong.
You see, my brother Damien has the ability to read minds with a single touch. Back then, ComA was locking up psychics like lab rats, in order to study them, and my parents were terrified they were going to find out about Damien.
So, they decided to change their identities and hide out in a small town, far away from the nation’s capitol. They knew ComA would be looking for a family with two boys, so the best way to throw them off track was to turn into a family of three. Two parents. One boy. The older, favored one in particular.
They abandoned me. Without a second thought, they left me, even though I begged and pleaded to go with them. That’s how I knew that they didn’t love me – and maybe they never did.
Pintip: *gently* It’s okay, Ryder. Other people love you now. Mikey, Angela. Jessa. In time, Olivia. And me. I love you.
Ryder: Ha! I knew you were hitting on me!
Pintip: Oh, for Fates’ sake. I think it’s time we bring this interview to a close. Say good-bye to our friends, Ryder!
Ryder: Good-bye to our friends, Ryder!
Pintip: *rolls eyes* There you have it, everyone. Ryder Russell, in the flesh. Never a dull moment with him, that’s for sure!
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip’s debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at http://www.pintipdunn.com
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