Synopses & Reviews
Immortality with the boy you love sounds dreamy but it’s a nightmare in Preble’s (Finding Paris) intriguing if overplotted thriller. It’s 1913 and 17 year olds Emma O’Neill and Charlie Ryan have been in love for years. Their happiness evaporates when a strange man persuades their families to drink his homebrewed anti polio potion; while it wards off polio it also prevents them from aging. After tragedy strikes Emma and Charlie flee Florida to avoid the evangelical Church of Light whose members believe that their immortality is a sign of the devil. In a move meant to be noble but that instead paints him as deeply unsympathetic Charlie parts ways with Emma. In the present day Emma becomes a private investigator determined to find her lost love and the church members who are killing teenage girls in an attempt to draw her out. Preble’s memorable characters and unusual take on being forever young are mired in a tangle of unneeded story lines including Charlie’s stint as a war pilot and the church’s dubious scheme to find Emma. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Rofé Andrea Brown Literary Agency.(May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
In 1916, Emma O'Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging--as do the Ryans, her family's business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she's in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O'Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder--Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders--whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her--indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma's hope for finding the boy she's certain is still out there . . .