Nil

Hardcover | May 30, 2017

byLynne Matson

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On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape-or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn't know the rules. She doesn't even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she's naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad's time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly, in this thrilling debut novel by Lynne Matson.

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On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape-or you die.Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn't know the rules. She doesn't even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she's naked in an empty rock field.Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other ...

Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. She attended the University of Florida, where she met and married her husband, the cutest boy she's ever seen. Now, Lynne is mother to four amazing boys. After a career as an attorney, Lynne is thrilled to be making her debut in YA fiction wi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.44 × 6.39 × 1.35 inPublished:May 30, 2017Publisher:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0805097716

ISBN - 13:9780805097719

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER1CHARLEYAUGUST 10, NOON  Heat.Inexplicable, consuming heat—choking like smoke, burning like fire.That was my last memory before the invisible flames spiked into icy nothingness, along with the crazy thought that if I survived this bewildering bonfire, my dad would freak when I was late returning his new car.CHARLEYAUGUST 10, 11:56 A.M.Dang, it’s hot.I’d been out of the car for all of one minute, and I was already roasting like a skinny rotisserie chicken. The asphalt radiated heat. Shifting my feet, I fumbled with Dad’s keys, dying to climb back into his Volvo with its arctic air-conditioning and new car smell.Instead, I grabbed the plastic bag from the back seat and slammed the door. I had fifty dollars’ worth of clothes to return. Fifty dollars of my hard-earned summer babysitting money, wasted on two silly skirts I never should’ve bought in the first place. The minis were crazy short, and on me, they looked downright skanky. I’d never wear them, and had Em or Jen been with me, they wouldn’t have let me put the darn skirts in the cart.But yesterday, like today, it was just me.Well, crap, I thought, biting my lip as I stared at the empty car. I hated being alone. I always had, and I hated that I hated it. I mean, I’d never even gone to see a movie by myself and secretly envied people who could. The truth was, I’d never had to be alone. My sister, Em, was always around, or Jen, my best friend since second grade. Or both.Until now.A fresh wave of loneliness washed over me with the heat; it was the same wave I’d felt when we’d dropped Em off at college last week, and again yesterday when I’d watched Jen board a plane bound for Milan. My two favorite people, gone.Not forever, I reminded myself. I refused to pitch a pity party in the Target lot. It’s just a few months, four at the most. Jen’s study abroad program ended in December. By Christmas, life would be good, and our senior spring would rock. Until then, I had volleyball. Practices would keep me busy, and games would keep me focused. And I’d visit Em in Athens every chance I could.Feeling slightly better, I locked Dad’s car and faced the open lot. Asphalt as black as coal stretched before me, broken only by lonely white lines. Park in the far corner, Dad had said, tossing me his keys with a wink. Catching the keys, I’d smiled. I love you too, Dad.Of course I’d parked in the far corner. No other car was anywhere close.Now that I was walking, far wasn’t the word. It was like I’d parked in dadgum Egypt, and I’d swear it was just as hot. Not that I’d ever been to Egypt, but I couldn’t imagine it was any hotter than Georgia in August. The Target bull’s-eye flashed like fire in the distance. Near the lot’s center, the asphalt shimmered in the heat. I watched the ground blur, absently thinking of a desert oasis. It was the kind of shimmer that moves with you … moves away, always out of reach.Not this one. This shimmer stretched into the air, rippling like a wall of wavy glass. Then it rolled.Swiftly.Strangely.Toward me.In the time it took to blink, the air in front of me melted. It undulated, like a wave of liquid crystal, and before I could breathe, the wave engulfed me in a silent rush.Hot air gripped me like a vise, then burst into flames. Every speck of skin screamed; every nerve ending exploded.I’m being flash-fried in the Target lot! The thought ripped through my brain as the invisible flames drove deeper. I tried to scream, but choked on the heat; it was in my mouth, in my lungs, in me, like a living darkness I couldn’t shake. Blistering tar coursed through my veins, then filled my chest, stealing my air and slicking behind my eyes.A darkness blacker than asphalt rushed at me; I fell to meet it. My last sensation was of icy cold. A biting cold as raw and as painful as the heat had been seconds before, and then—nothing.No light. No sound.No air. Text copyright © 2014 Lynne Mason

Editorial Reviews

"What elevates this survival romance is Charley's strong, smart character . . . most readers will be too busy devouring the book in one sitting." -Booklist"*Matson brings a unique twist to a survival story with similarities to the TV reality show Survivor . . . a strongly written fantasty." -VOYA, STARRED REVIEW"The reader is swept along with the characters in just rooting for survival in a setting where taking too long to ponder answers could mean you don't live long enough to do anything with your newfound revelations." -BCCB"The concept of Nil is very interesting and well-constructed . . . Overall, this book hits its mark." -School Library Journal"Matson makes a strong debut with this tense, cinematic struggle for survival on a peril-filled island that may have some readers flashing back to episodes of Lost." -Publishers Weekly"Nil is a page-turner and compulsively readable. Lynne Matson has created a winning story with the perfect mix of edge-of-your-seat suspense, romance, humor." -Mary E. Pearson, author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles"Like Survivor with a body count. Nil is an addicting, fast-paced, thrill of a ride." -Kasie West, author of Pivot Point"Matson's eye for detail and skillful characterizations fuel a fast-pased story that blends beauty, horror, romance and adventure." -Publishers Weekly