Sixteen-year-old Jessa Hughes is a former-nerd-turned-hot-shrew whose parents force her to attend a month-long wilderness camp in Northern California. There she meets fifteen-year-old Isaac, an ugly boy who teaches her about the beauty within and who just might be Bigfoot.
Isaac has spent his whole life living in a cave with his mother and hiding from people who would harm him. When Isaac’s curiosity overcomes caution, Jessa accidentally becomes the first stranger who has ever looked him in the eye.
Repulsed by Isaac’s appearance but intrigued by his innocence and strength, Jessa sneaks away from camp almost every day to explore the forest with him. He shows her how he survives on forest plants, takes her to a summit so high you can see the ocean, and teaches her how to swim in a mountaintop lake. Jessa begins to have feelings for Isaac but is disgusted with herself for being so desperate that she would go for someone so revolting.
When Isaac saves Jessa from the attack of a malevolent camp counselor, Isaac gets stabbed. With his life on the line, Jessa realizes she loves him despite his appearance. She knows he will die if she doesn’t take him to a hospital. But if Isaac leaves the forest, he can never go back or risk endangering his family.
FOOTPRINTS takes a new spin on the “Beauty and the Beast” plot and draws on the latest scientific evidence suggesting the existence of “the North American primate” known as Bigfoot.
First 150 Words:
We could barely see the “Welcome to Camp Mit’ah” sign as we drove under its arch in the darkness. We had left civilization a long time ago, and although I was safe in a locked car with my parents, the dark forest seemed to press in on me and make me think I had suddenly become claustrophobic.
We should have arrived at Camp Mit’ah hours ago, while the sun was still up. We would have if I hadn’t played chicken with my parents for four hours. I figured if I didn’t get in the car then I wouldn’t have to go to the happyville wilderness “adventure” in the Trinity Alps Mountains of Northern California.
“Jessa, you need to get away from it all for a while,” Dad had said when they informed me I didn’t have a choice about going.
“Yes, darling,” Mom agreed in her airy English accent. “You just need some time to reconnect with nature."