Seventeen is a dystopian young adult novel that follows the path of Lexi and her younger sister, Hadley. The story follows the two sisters, as they endeavour to survive in the West Australian outback, after the accidental release of the deadliest biological weapon ever known. The virus causes dire consequences for the girls and the rest of the world.
Lexi is a typical 21st century teenager growing up in Perth, where family BBQs and days at the beach fill her weekends. When the virus unexpectantly spreads to Australia, Lexi’s future is changed forever. She must quickly learn to adapt in this new world, where every day threatens to be her last.
The lethal virus sweeps rapidly across the world, eventually killing every adult on the planet. Lexi and Hadley’s parents die, as do their neighbours. Their friend’s flee Perth, hoping to outrun the fatal disease, and the girls are left alone and vulnerable. Shops are abandoned, government departments shut down, television and the internet are silent. Police and hospitals cease to function and the sisters are abandoned to a terrifying future, where law breaking youths make the girl’s struggle for survival all the more difficult.
Driven from their home by the increasing threat in the city, the girls steal their neighbour’s car and try to make it to the small town of Jasper’s Bay in the Western Australian countryside. Somewhere, they hope, is far enough away from the city to be safe. Along the way they pick up Jason, a loner looking for security and a safe place to live. He travels with them to Jasper’s Bay, which they soon discover is being run by a group of children, who are just as terrified and confused as they are. Within a few short days, life in the town hurls more challengers, fears and triumphs at them, than they could have ever anticipated. Food is scarce and the children are persistently threatened by a gang of unruly delinquents. The virus that has decimated the adult population begins to mutate, causing frightening changes for some of the older teenagers.
Confusion and fear run high as lives are threatened and family members are betrayed. In this new world where there are no adults, no rules and no protection, Lexi must learn to adapt. She must draw on her courage and inner resources if she is to help the town, and her new friends in their struggle for survival. She must become a leader.
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Author profile: Suzanne Lowe
I was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult, grew up in the small country town of Tom Price, situated in the outback of Western Australia. The summers were often very hot and dusty and I would spend my weekends with my friends, swimming in the cool water of the gorges, trying to escape the heat. As I grew to adulthood I travelled extensively throughout Australia and grew to love the unique and diverse landscapes of the country. My current home, is back in Perth with my husband, two teenage daughters and our black and white cat Abby.
I have a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sport Science and have worked as a library assistant, personal trainer and barista.
When I’m not working, writing or being a mum, I love to travel to new places. I’m also a keen photographer and always end up taking way too many photographs. My favourite genres are definitely sci-fi and fantasy and I particularly enjoy watching movies and reading books with dystopian style scenarios. Some of my favourite authors include, John Marsden, Suzanne Collins, Anne Rice, Stephen Donaldson and of course J.K Rowling.
I enjoy going to Comicon and Sci fi conventions whenever they come to Perth.
My novel, Seventeen, came about as I wanted to write a story for young adults, that featured two sisters having to survive in a world, that was suddenly vastly different from one they had grown up in. One without adults or any rules. This was a scenario that my own two teenage daughters would often discuss and theorise about at the dinner table. I wanted to set the story in Australia, somewhere that is quite isolated and a unique setting for most dystopian stories.
I am currently writing a non-fictional book about travelling, and plan to write a follow up book to Seventeen in the future.