scifi/fantasy; boy forced to leave home city

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scifi/fantasy; boy forced to leave home city

Jun. 2, 2023, 11:26 pm

I'm desperately trying to find a book that I read either the summer of 2003 or 2004.
It is fiction, geared towards teens/young adults, sci-fi or fantasy base. Possibly post apocalyptic.

From what I remembered, the book started with a boy, approximately 13 years old, being forced to leave his home city because the city was under threat. I cannot remember if it was aliens, fantastic war, generalized collapsed, or just ambiguous.
The boy then wanders around the wasteland before eventually meeting up with a girl around his age who also is a refugee, but possibly from a different city. There was some awkward tension between them, as the boy was unsure if the two of them would eventually get together to start a new society.

I vaguely remember the cover:
It had a red sun (or moon) in the upper right corner. The rest of the colors were more muted, dark blues, black and grays, and white as well.
I believe there was a boy in the lower right hand corner who was crouching/kneeling/sitting with his arms around his legs.
The rest of the cover had a wasteland-esque vibe to it, possibly with barren trees well.

No idea what the title was or who the author was. I read the book in English, and while I'll bet it was originally written in English, I cannot say that for sure.

I cannot remember how I obtained this book. The condition of the book that I had in 2003/04 was good. Which makes me think that I obtained a new copy of the book, therefore it was either a re-print of an older book or a newer release. Or someone had an old book that they took care of rather well. Considering that I read this book along side one of Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising books, which was also in good condition, I probably bought a re-print or it was a newer release.

I do not recall ever seeing someone else with this book, which makes me think that it never became a "popular" book. (I live under a rock, so it's hard to tell when things become part of the cultural zeitgeist).

Any help would be appreciated.