Willow Street, published in 2015, is Haley's latest work. Released shortly before her high school graduation, the story was nearly four years in the making. This dystopian novel seeks to explore themes of government corruption, friendship, and the limits of humanity by following the story of Dylin, a teenager living in an immensely oppressive society. Through her interaction with figures of both authority and inferiority Dylin attempts to understand why her world is the way it is - and to possibly alter the status quo forever.
Listen to an author-read excerpt
I gingerly stepped around the shards of broken glass, but I realized it didn’t matter anyway; I was completely numb. It was only out of habit that my feet knew to move slowly. My jagged breaths became more and more painful every second that the truth sunk in, and the fire in my chest burned with an intensity I had never felt before. The only thing I could feel was disbelief as I put my hand up to what used to be the mirror and saw bruised fingers distortedly reflected in the few pieces that remained.
It was over. Over over over over over over over. I repeated the word in my head until it didn’t quite sound like a word anymore, until it felt more like the gibberish I used to chant through laughter when I was little. But this time it wasn’t some made up word meant to represent the password for my treehouse or the name of an imaginary friend; this time it was real.
This time it was crushing. Suffocating. Impossible to fight through, impossible to understand, even as I felt the knowledge sinking into my system.
This time, it was over.
And as I heard the sound of footsteps approaching outside the door, I knew that I was too.