Pressia barely remembers life before the Detonations. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, as her birthday approaches, she remembers beautiful parks, birthday parties, fathers and mothers. Now, all is ash and dust, scars and damaged bodies -- and at sixteen, the age when all are required to turn themselves over to the militia, Pressia decides to run.
Partridge is a "Pure" -- one of the few who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. The "Pures" are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects them, and Partridge's father is one of their leaders. Despite a relatively easy life, Partridge feels isolated and lonely, and he thinks a great deal about loss. His father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his beloved mother never made it inside the Dome.
So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive on the outside, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome in the hope that he'll find her. The day Pressia meets Partridge is the day their worlds begin to shatter all over again.