Jaqueline Cole is seventeen when her life explodes in a flurry of family drama and bad choices. Jaq’s Mom has a midlife crisis, her troubled older brother runs away, and out of frustration, Jaq’s Dad doubles down on his paranoid, penny-pinching, over-parenting. Jaq finally has enough. No more perfect, pretty daughter and popular, honor-roll, cheerleader. Jaqueline starts acting out in violent and destructive ways, letting her family and everybody else know how it feels to have your life ruined.After a criminal act of shameful vandalism, Jaq is arrested. Her father, tired of her rebellious ways, makes a difficult decision, and Jaq finds herself dropped off in the middle of the Idaho Badlands with a bunch of other problem teens. Her Dad hopes that the thirty-day survival program will reform Jaq. At first it’s nothing but struggle for her, but just as she thinks it might not be all bad, kids and counselors begin turning up murdered, and what starts out as an adventure in wilderness survival becomes a real life-and-death ordeal. One way or the other, the Badlands will change Jaq forever.

a YA Thriller


Jo Schaffer Layton


Coming Fall 2023