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"...a compelling, unexpected, thrilling read that elevates the young adult genre with smart and ground-breaking social commentary." 

- Elizabeth Banks, star of The Hunger Games 

"An inventive, and richly layered book -- one that will appeal both to adult and young adult readers." 

- Tim O'Brien, National Book Award-Winner


Fifteen-year-old Mina Clark lives in a future Manhattan that is ruled by extremists. Girls aren’t allowed to get an education, they need permission to speak to boys, and all marriages are negotiated by contract. But Mina’s grandmother has secretly been teaching her to read, leading Mina down a path of rebellion, romance, and danger that not only threatens to destroy her family’s reputation,

it could get Mina killed. 


Suspenseful and empowering, Time Zero is about what it’s like to be powerless, underestimated, and manipulated and what it takes to go against society to assert who you actually want to be.

From the Author

The religion that governs the city in Time Zero is fictional, yet I’ve taken its rules from various religions around the world, including those that originate in the United States.


Each rule Mina follows is governing the life of a girl somewhere in the world right now. Click below to see a list of these rules and their origins. If you find others while reading the book, please submit to me and I'll include it on the website. 


Time Zero is a compelling, unexpected, thrilling read that elevates the young adult genre with smart and ground-breaking social commentary. As the strong-willed heroine who navigates this dangerous and mysterious world, Mina is that unique blend of brains and emotion who delights us and surprises us at every turn.

Time Zero is a compelling, inventive, and richly layered book―one that will appeal both to adult and young adult readers. On top of being an absorbing story, Time Zero is also a cautionary meditation on religious extremism, intolerance, violence, and the effects of fanaticism on the human psyche.

ELIZABETH BANKS,  Star of The Hunger Games & Wet Hot American Summer​

The genius of Time Zero is in its subversion of the reader’s expectations, not only with its wonderful plot twists, but by the way Cohagan deftly folds the themes of sexual empowerment and religious extremism within the telling of a thrilling love story. I look forward to Book Two!

TIM O'BRIEN,  National Book Award–winning author of The Things They Carried

In Time Zero, Carolyn Cohagan brings to life a young heroine who represents countless girls living in today’s world. Mina’s rights and opportunities are restricted, but she is undeterred. Like so many girls and young women around the world, she has the courage and determination to pursue a new future―not only for herself, but for all girls.

MARK RICHARD, Pen/Hemingway Award winning author of Fishboy

A powerfully realized dystopian tale...featuring strong characters and crisp writing, this is a solid first entry in a series worth keeping an eye on.

ALYSE NELSON, President & CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership

Compelling, complex, and cleverly intertwined with an exhilarating love story.


We find suspense and scary moments at every turn, and it’s hard to put this book down. And since it’s the start of a series, we’re left with excitement over what will come next.


This gripping adventure is set in a futuristic NYC where girls aren't allowed to get an education and guys pretty much run everything. (I know: WTF!) But Mina's rebellion against the system is absolutely everything and you won't want to put this one down.


SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE - Voted Time Zero 13 Best New YA Novels for Your Every Summer Mood






  • When: 2-3:30pm

  • Where: Book People - 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

  • More info here



Carolyn Cohagan signing at Dallas Book Festival 

  • When: TBD

  • Where: Dallas Public Library 1515 Young Street Dallas, TX 75201 



Carolyn teaches a class on using the 3-Act Structure when writing a novel

  • When: 5-7pm

  • Where: Half Price Books

  • 555 North Lamar 

     Austin, TX 78751



Reading and signing

  • When: 2-3:30pm

  • Where: The Potter's House

       1658 Columbia Rd. NW

       Washington, DC 20009



Reading and signing

  • When: 7-9pm

  • Where: The Last Bookstore

        453 S Spring St – Ground Floor

        Los Angeles, CA 90013



Reading and signing

  • When: 6-8pm

  • Where: River Oaks Bookstore

  • 3270 Westheimer Road

      Houston TX 77098



Reading and signing

  • When: 6-8pm

  • Where: Books of Wonder

        18 West 18th

        New York, NY 10011



Kids With Pens

Creative Writing Workshop

for kids 8-15

  • When: 11am-12:30pm

  • Where: Housing Works

        126 Crosby Street

        New York, NY 10012



Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career as a stand-up comic, performing in comedy clubs all over the world, including New York, Chicago, London, and Amsterdam. After studying physical theater at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she began to write and perform one-woman shows, traveling to theater festivals from Edinburgh to Adelaide. In Los Angeles, Carolyn wrote and directed short films, worked for Slamdance and the LA Film Festival and was a red carpet host for the Independent Spirit Awards.


Carolyn’s first novel, The Lost Children, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010, became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011, and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award in 2014.


In the fall of 2013, Carolyn traveled to Rwanda as an Arts Envoy working for the U.S. State Department. She taught a vast array of writing workshops, including Teaching Critical Analysis, Using the Three Act Structure in Screenwriting, and How to Use Storytelling in the Classroom.


She has a BA in Art History from Barnard and an MA in Writing from USC. Carolyn has recently returned to her hometown of Austin where she founded Girls With Pens, a creative writing organization for girls 9-17.



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