{Guest Post} NIL ON FIRE by Lynne Matson: "What would you accomplish if you only had the certainty of 365 days of life remaining?"



Lynne Matson is the author of the acclaimed Nil series, a thrilling trilogy in which teens trapped on a mysterious island have exactly 365 days to escape, or die. NIL was awarded a VOYA Perfect 10 for 2014 and a starred review, and was selected as a TEEN Vogue hot summer read. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently nominated for numerous state awards. A former lawyer, Lynne is now a full-time writer. She lives in Florida with her husband and four sons.  Cookies are her kryptonite, especially Thin Mints.

Visit Lynne on her website

What would you accomplish if you only had the certainty of 365 days of life remaining?

by Lynne Matson

Lynne previously stopped by A Backwards Story
during her first ever blog tour
to reveal secrets about the island world of Nil!!! 

Lynne, I'm SO HAPPY to have you back and be on tour again,
this time for the final book in the series!!!!

What would I do if my days were numbered? What would I accomplish—or hope to accomplish in my final year?  How would the fact that I KNEW my days were numbered change the way I lived out my remaining days—or would it?  What would I do with this knowledge?

I love this prompt SO MUCH because this question is a HUGE part of the Nil world.

As y’all may know, the teens on Nil have exactly one year to escape the island, or they die. And how they choose to spend their days on the island is a big part of each book. Do they make connections with other teens? Do they risk growing close to someone or falling in love, knowing that they might not have a future together? Do they choose to hope? Do they choose to help one another or simply fend for themselves? How do they fight the unknown? Or do they give up? How do they cope every day with the knowledge their clock is winding down?

For the teens on the island of Nil, death isn’t guaranteed, but neither is life. And if they do escape, they’ll have to live with the consequences of decisions made back on Nil. On Nil, time--especially the lack of it--colors every character’s decision, but each character makes very different choices. Some selfless, some selfish. Some perhaps, a mix of both. Throughout the entire NIL series, the pressure of time—of dwindling time—adds another layer to every decision the characters make. Time is a worthy adversary all its own.

Here’s a quote from NIL, where Thad talks about his awareness of dwindling time, and how it impacts how they live on the island.

Emotion flickered in Thad’s eyes, like a ghost. “Don’t you see, Charley? That’s part of Nil’s fun.” He laughed, but it sounded choked. “That’s part of what I needed to get my head around this past week. The fact that I’d met the perfect girl, here, in the one place where there’s no future. Where the only given is that we can’t stay.”

Both Thad and Charley wrestle with their feelings, knowing that they’re living in a place that has no future…and falling for someone who may not have a future either.

In NIL UNLOCKED, Rives wrestles with whether to risk his heart again, when his time is short and his responsibilities seem endless. As Leader, the risks that Rives takes are to help others, but each one comes at a greater personal cost.  And for her part, Skye makes choices that impact everyone’s time clocks, not just her own, ultimately risking Rives’ life in a way she’d never anticipated. The lack of time makes each victory sweeter and each defeat that much more painful.

NIL ON FIRE continues that thread—with Skye facing the ultimate choice, with no time left on the clock.

So how would I spend my life if I knew I only had 365 days to live?

If I were stuck on the island of Nil, I know I’d spend a good chunk of my time foraging for food, running from tigers and other crazy things on Nil, and generally fighting a sense of impending doom in paradise. I’d like to think I’d stay strong, although at times, it would be hard to maintain hope as time ran out. But at the same time, hope and faith are a huge part of my life, so I know somehow I wouldn’t give up.

But how would I spend my life here, in this world, if I knew I only had 365 days to live? I should answer that I’d live just like I do now, because you never know when your time is up, right? I mean, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. But I think if I KNEW I had only a year to live, I’d really let the small stuff go . . . the stuff that doesn’t matter. Hug more people, stop to appreciate life’s blessings, both big and small. Tell everyone I love that I love them, thank the people who have touched my life, try something new, read ALL THE BOOKS, go to more concerts, hug and kiss and stay up late with my boys as much as I could, eat more cookies, and take a trip to Hawaii with all my boys and super cute husband…because that’s where the idea for the Nil world was born. ^_^

As I write this post, I’m think I’m going to work on this . . . going for more hugs, books, and cookies. . .  more quiet moments. Less worrying about the small stuff. More time with the people I care about, and more thanks to those who impacted my life in the most wonderful of ways . . . including all the awesome bloggers and readers who’ve made the world of Nil come alive—like you!

Thanks, Bonnie, for having me on your blog! And thank you sweet readers, for sticking around to the end.NIL ON FIRE is for you. ^_^

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Lynne Matson
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.  / Macmillan

Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As Skye fights to keep her mind intact, she realizes that to finally break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.
Who will return to Nil, and in the end, who will survive? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher: everyone's fate hangs in the balance, including Nil's own--and Nil will fight to the death. When the full force of the island is unleashed, Skye faces an impossible choice, a cruel one she'd never imagined she'd have to make. Soon one Nil truth becomes painfully clear: only one side can win.
Losing isn't an option, but winning will cost Skye everything.
Perfect for fans of Lost and survivalist stories, NIL ON FIRE is a stunning conclusion to the Nil trilogy that will leave readers breathless.