Oh, how I LOVED this book! A relevant, inspiring, staggering tale in many ways, this is the story of two young people who become inextricably tied to one another by a single moment in time that rewrites their fates forever and changes them irreversibly. This was a decidedly different direction for Kylie Scott, but one that felt right from the start, and resulting in a sensitively told, gripping, angst-ridden, optimistic tale of love, life, death, fate, and self-empowerment—a story that will undoubtedly appeal to readers of all ages. It releases in one week and I have an excerpt for you! Click to read my 5-star review »
“’The hell you doing hiding in the shrubbery?” John ducked and weaved to get through the garden planted at the water’s edge.
“Oh, hi. Just getting back to nature. You know.”
“Sure.” He did not sound convinced.
“So you came.” I smiled.
“You too.” He sat down beside me, leaning back on his hands. Damn, he looked good, effortlessly so with his hair tied back, Converse, jeans, and a dark blue T-shirt. To think I’d labored over my makeup for almost an hour and changed outfits three times before settling on this dress. It’d probably taken him all of two minutes to get ready.
“I’m not hiding,” I said, taking a sip of beer. Ew. Still not my favorite thing, but it was what they had.
He just looked at me. Whatever; the boy could think what he liked.
For a while, we sat in silence, watching the party, listening to the music. It felt horribly right, having him at my side. I did my best to ignore those feelings.
“If you must know, I’m sitting down at this end because Anders was splashing around like crazy and I didn’t want to get soaked.” I smoothed the skirt of my dress down over my thighs. “He’s like a duck having a fit or something. It’s actually kind of scary.”
“So that’s why I’m here,” I said with a smile. Because all of the bikinis and cool people hadn’t set my insecurities to high alert at all. “What about you, shouldn’t you be over there hanging out with Bree?”
He said nothing. Probably felt sorry for me or something. That made sense.
“You don’t need to keep me company, you know,” I said. “I’m fine on my own.”
“Am I bothering you?” he asked, forehead lined.
“No. I just thought . . .”
“Ignore me.” I sighed. “I don’t even know what I’m going on about and I’m going to stop talking now.”
He blinked. “Okay.”
Silence lasted all of about a minute. Probably less.
“It’s just that you said you probably weren’t going to talk to me in public,” I pointed out. “And this is the second time since you said that where we’ve basically talked in public.”
More frowning. “Yeah, well, there aren’t any teachers here. Besides, we’re not exactly in public. We’re hiding among foliage in a dark corner at a party.”
“So you admit it about the hiding?” he asked.
“Anyway,” he said, holding back a smile. “I’m not dealing anymore. They’ll get the message eventually. You didn’t seem too worried about them bothering you, so . . .”
“I’m not. Really.”
A nod. “That’s your friend with Anders, right?”
“You don’t like swimming?” he asked.
I wrinkled my nose. “No. Well, not really in front of a crowd. I’m more of a non–public performance swimmer. I mean, yes, I do like the water. A lot actually, and I’m quite . . . just not in this sort of instance, basically.”
“Um, Edie?” His brow wrinkled. “That was confusing.”
“Okay.” I sighed. “Can we just pretend that didn’t happen and change the topic?”
A steady supply of John-centric information had been flowing my way all week, care of Hang. How he rarely slept with the same girl twice. There’d been great debate as to whether boredom or attempts of female possessiveness were to blame. How he’d inherited the marijuana trade when his brother left high school and moved on to other things. How he’d stopped skipping school and turned up on time every day since the Drop Stop. Due to a sudden belief in education or continued police monitoring, Hang and the girls weren’t sure.
He made me curious; I just did my best to not let it show. Apparently my best sucked if Hang’s preoccupation with the subject was any indicator.
“You mind?” The man/boy in question nodded toward my drink.
I handed over the cup of beer. “Help yourself. No cooties, I promise. Just plain old girl germs.”
His smile slayed me. Then his face scrunched up something awful and he handed back the drink. “You’ve been here a while, haven’t you?”
“Yeah. It’s pretty warm.” I laughed. “And beer’s not really my thing, so . . . anyway. I don’t know why I even keep trying it; I guess it’s just what’s available. Yeah. Sorry.”
He cocked his head. “Do I make you nervous or something?”
Shit. “What? No! Of course not.”
He just stared at me.
“It’s just that you keep going to say stuff and then stopping and . . . yeah.”
“Like what you just did?” I asked in a wry tone.
“Exactly like what I just did.”
“You make me sort of nervous too.” He didn’t look at me; he didn’t have to. “If that helps.”
I stopped laughing and started having a tiny heart attack.