The Race by Nina Allan
In the future there are many possibilities, this could be one of them. Sapphire is a place, much like the outskirts of London where it had been a beautiful place to live - before the fracking took place. As a once idyllic holiday resort it had been a part of the good old days, ones where Jenna can only see on photographs. Now there is nothing about Sapphire that is great or beautiful. Instead, the land became polluted and no one in their right minds wants to live there unless they are being paid danger money to do so. Jenna only remembers the now, how floods of immigrants were sent there and illegal dog racing took over the town.
Allan's dystopian world could reflect on our own as fracking is starting to become the new topic to protest about as it can cause tremors in the Earth and expose toxic gasses to cause pollution, plus it has the ability to pollute the water supply. Jenna's world is small right now, but it will soon have several people in it after her brother, Del wants to find Lumey, a missing girl he liked from the moment he met her. Jenna doesn't get on with Del, he scares her though he's only the product of her mother who left them early on in their lives. This novel concentrates on several characters who have families and problems to sort out. There are four sections dedicated to each of the characters; Jenna, Christy, Alex and Marie with an appendix called Brook Island.
Unlike Jenna, Christy believes she created Sapphire as an escape from the real world she was already in. She was so interested in the town that she wrote stories about it from being a teenager, but wouldn't show them to anyone. Her mother had also walked out on her when she was young, leaving her to daydream and conquer her fear of what was around, yet not the mutant rats. Alex had split-up with his girlfriend in Scotland, missing her after three months. He finally relents and phones her out of desperation as so far, she has ignored him. He thought he could rekindle their relationship, but there was a problem in the form of another boyfriend who was the jealous type. Another month later, Alex had become estranged from her and another friendship with Christy formed out of nowhere, taking him to a place he hadn't thought of being. Marie leaves her home and never looks back, even has a tattoo to commemorate a friend and takes a trip somewhere uncertain, but better than where she was.
All four characters are ordinary people put into unusual situations in a futuristic setting that doesn't detract too much from the one we all know. Here we all have similar emotions to these people, and each chapter has its own conclusions. And all of the characters are talked about in other chapters so there is a sense of knitting the stories together.