In Russia, after a race war has decimated the planet, the Superiors who control the compounds of the Woodlands are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race, convinced it is the only way to avoid war. Collecting troublemakers for use in their high-tech breeding program, they should have lifted the claw when it passed over sixteen year old Rosa’s head. She is strong. She is loved. She will fight.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; The Woodlands was under consideration at a very prestigious literary agency that had signed some of the major YA novels of the past five years (think vampire saga). I was super excited. However, the agent wanted me to revise my manuscript so that my main character was 'sufficiently brainwashed'. Therefore when she met the male protagonist, she would have a 'sudden' change of heart about buying into the whole Woodlands philosophy. I couldn't do it. My main character is a rebel right from the start and that's one thing that sets her apart from some of the mainstream dystopians. Rosa is also from a mixed race, non-white background. Couple that with a lot of attitude and humour and The Woodlands stands out as refreshing twist on the traditional dystopian.