Blurb: Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…
Klick on "Read More" for the Happily Ever Ending Summary. Careful: SPOILERS! Don't read if you haven't read the book yet!!
You start this book together with the female lead Alessa who's starting in a college far beneath her own standards and abilities, because in the past half year she was in a deep depression after losing her parents in a car accident, therefore her grades dropped and thus ended her dreams of the Ivy League. Now she's just trying to fit in, to start over, maybe find her motivation again.
However, things aren't exactly easy when she starts seeing the ghost of a handsome young men from the 20th century in her sorority house, Zeta Epsilon Pi, who sparks her curiousity besides the fear she feels when he appears. Her only friend and sorority house member Janie is the only one Alessa can confide in with her rather strange story, but she believes her. When Alessa's encounters with the ghost grow more frequent, intense and devastating, she decides to find out more about him. She learns that his name is Isaac Mason, one of the sons of Mason Manor, which is now her sorority house, and that the whole family died in a barn fire in 1917. Now Alessa is determined to send him a message, warn and safe him. So it's more than convinient when her professor, who's mid term exam she simply rocked, who's working on examining worm holes with the idea to expand them and than somehow travel through time, wants her to be his new lab assistant. Alessa figures she'd steal his equipment as soon as he is on parental leave, and hopefully make it work for her purposes.
However, Janie freaks out on her as she reveals her plan -- totally not as Alessa had expected. But just the next day, Janie pulls Alessa into a room full of high tech equipment which is ususally perfectly concealed, Alessa hadn't even noticed it. There Janie reveals that Alessa is living an artificial life, that she had been "stitched" to believe that this is her real life. In reality, it's 2114 and she is just another prisoner on a set where she is watched and filmed 24/7, and which is used to entertain the regular population in Paragon. Paragon, formerly a quarantine shelter of a virus outbreak, is now a new form of society where a small Ruling Class holds the power over the rest of the people, who are drugged through their food so they won't notice they're being exploited. Before being stitched, Alessa was part of a small rebel movement within Paragon, and she was working alongside Isaac, who she later fell in love with. That's why Producers decided to work with him on a different set and have the time travelling work in their story, because some deep connections, like your own name or feelings towards certain people, cannot be removed with the stitch, only the source of the feelings can be reprogrammed. What Alessa was stitched to believe to be a depression after her parents' sudden death was actually how she felt regarding the rebel movement after they lost Joe, Isaac's older brother and Alessa's crush. Alessa was also immediatly fond of Janie, because Janie is actually her sister. However, she only led the Producers to believe she had been stitched while she's working for the rebel movent from the insides of the set.
The reason Janie was placed on the same set as her sister was a plot to free both Alessa and Isaac. Janie rattled Alessa in certain ways so she regained her memory, then she is supposed to work the plot of the Producers by being moved to Isaac's set 'through the time machine'. There she is to follow a map in her pocket that will take them outside into the wilderness, where the virus might still lurk, but at least they would be free. And they have a mission: to find a new operation basis for the rebels.
The plan works, although Alessa loses time as she has to make Isaac trust her enough so that he will believe the truth she is telling, and finally unlocking his memories from before the stitch. As they both follow the map, they are intercepted, which means there is a mole in the ranks of the rebels -- someone inside the Ruling Class. However, Isaac and Alessa make it outside, find their small survival kits, and are now on their own outside, but they're together again.
If I missed anything of upmost importance, please feel free to add details in the comments. =)