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For sixteen-year-old Geth Montego, zero o’clock begins on March 11, 2020. By June, she wonders if it will ever end.
“An insightful, eye-opening, and inventive story. C.J. Farley has penned a novel that sheds an important light on real issues facing young people today.” —Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give
In early March 2020 in New Rochelle, New York, teenager Geth Montego is fumbling with the present and uncertain about her future. She only has three friends: her best friend Tovah, who’s been acting weird ever since they started applying to college; Diego, who she wants to ask to prom; and the K-pop band BTS, because the group always seems to be there for her when she needs them (at least in her head).
She could use some help now. Geth’s small city becomes one of the first COVID-19 containment zones in the US. As her community is upended by the virus and stirred up by the growing Black Lives Matter protests, Geth faces a choice and a question: Is she willing to risk everything to fight for her beliefs? And if so, what exactly does she believe in? C.J. Farley captures a moment in spring 2020 no teenager will ever forget. It sucks watching the world fall apart. But sometimes you have to start from zero.
About the Author
C.J. FARLEY was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and lives in New Rochelle, NY. A graduate of Harvard University, Farley is the author of the acclaimed fantasy adventure novel Game World and the best-selling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, which was adapted into a hit Lifetime movie. Farley’s young adult novel Around Harvard Square won an NAACP Image Award and was named a 2020 Honor Book by the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. His latest novel is Zero O’Clock.
[Farley’s] brilliance is in getting into the mind of a 16-year-old Black girl and giving her a vivid voice.
Geth is a likable, smart Gen Z protagonist in this modern epistolary work that combines diary entries, text messages, news reports, emails, and English lit essays to immersive effect . . . Farley offers readers undeniable value in this retelling of recent, unforgettable history.
— Kirkus Reviews
Zero O’Clock is going to go down as one of the texts we will use in the future to make sense of this moment we’re in.
— Tonya Mosley, host, WBUR Here & Now