Stay hidden, stay alert, stay alive.

Never leave someone behind: It’s a promise easier made than kept, especially when seventeen-year-old Pip takes headstrong twelve-year-old Iris under her protection in the wake of an earth-shattering plague.

When they’re captured by a violent gang, Pip and Iris meet Fly, a stubborn and courageous older girl that might just steal Pip’s heart.

While grappling with secrets that threaten to break them apart, Pip, Iris, and Fly struggle to survive in the nearly unrecognizable remains of Spokane, Washington. Pip’s vow to never leave someone behind seems impossible, but it might be the key to finding love and acceptance in the ashes of what came before.


“Unrelentingly fierce. Kerr’s novel is a gut punch in all the best ways. I ached for Pip, a girl desperate to live as herself in a ravaged, unforgiving city. Her quest for safety and belonging may be set in a post-apocalyptic world, but it’s 100% relatable. Forced to choose between identity and survival, love and friendship, Pip—like all of us—must decide when to fight for herself and when to stand up for someone else. Devastating and hopeful, Pip’s urgency pulses off the page.”

Meagan Macvie, author of The Ocean in My Ears

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The dynamics between the protagonist and supporting cast are what make the book such a fascinating read. It’s the story of the family forged when people take a stand and fight for who they are.

— Meagan Kimberley, The Lesbrary

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“THE NAMES WE TAKE has it all: unforgettable characters, Post-apocalyptic adventure, and a queer love story…Trace Kerr is an exciting new voice in YA.”

–Nora Olsen, author of Frenemy of the People

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“It’s beautifully written, well plotted, and offers much needed LGBTQIA+ representation in the dystopian fiction space. I felt deeply invested in Pip. Iris, and Fly.”

–Kelly McWilliams author of Agnes At The End Of The World