The Place Inside the Storm by Bradley W. Wright
It’s 2038, and Tara Rivers is fourteen years old, a bit rebellious, and socially awkward. Her family has recently moved to Los Angeles from the Pacific Northwest “rogue” clusters. Tara feels alone and confused. She doesn’t have any friends here, except her cat, Xel, a sophisticated robot with artificial intelligence. The corporation where Tara’s parents work makes an offer they can’t refuse—let them put an implant in Tara’s brain to “cure” her autism and make her neurotypical, or Tara’s father will be prosecuted for manufactured crimes. Tara overhears her parents speaking with the doctors and decides to run away with Xel. She plans to head back to the Pacific Northwest and her grandmother, but first she must escape Los Angeles and the corporation—with all their high-tech locating devices—dodge street gangs and wild dogs, and traverse an unknown wilderness full of unimaginable dangers. Will she ever find a place where she is accepted for who and what she is, or is she doomed to be an outcast from society forever?