When The Moon Was Ours Blog Tour – Excerpt

Hi everyone. I am posting (a bit late) for the When The Moon Was Ours blog tour. I’ve heard countless praise and from what I’ve read of it, it’s all quite warranted. It’s extremely lyrical and poetic. I’ll be sharing an excerpt of it below along with some information about it first:

When The Moon Was OursWhen The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published By: St. Martin’s Thomas Dunne on October 4th, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 288

Goodreads Summary: 

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.


-sea of clouds-

As far as he knew, she had come from the water. But even about that, he couldn’t be sure.

It didn’t matter how many nights they’d met on the untilled land between their houses; the last farm didn’t rotate its crops, and stripped the soil until nothing but wild grasses would grow. It didn’t matter how many stories he and Miel had told each other when they could not sleep, him passing on his mother’s fables of moon bears that aided lost travelers, Miel making up tales about his moon lamps falling in love with stars. Sam didn’t know any more than anyone else about where she’d come from before he found her in the brush field. She seemed to have been made of water one minute and the next, became a girl.

Someday, he and Miel would be nothing but a fairy tale. When they were gone from this town, no one would remember the exact brown of Miel’s eyes, or the way she spiced recado rojo with cloves, or even that Sam and his mother were Pakistani. At best, they would remember a dark- eyed girl, and a boy whose family had come from somewhere else. They would remember only that Miel and Sam had been called Honey and Moon, a girl and a boy woven into the folklore of this place.

This is the story that mothers would tell their children:

There was once a very old water tower. Rust had turned its metal such a deep orange that the whole tank looked like a pumpkin, an enormous copy of the fruit that grew in the fields where it cast its shadow. No one tended this water tower anymore, not since a few strikes from a summer of lightning storms left it leaning to one side as though it were tired and slouching. Years ago, they had filled it from the river, but now rust and minerals choked the pipes. When they opened the valve at the base of the tower, nothing more than a few drops trickled out. The bolts and sheeting looked weak enough that one autumn windstorm might crumble the whole thing.

So the town decided that they would build a new water tower, and that the old one would come down. But the only way to drain it would be to tip it over like a cup. They would have to be ready for the whole tower to crash to the ground, all that rusted metal, those thousands of gallons of dirty, rushing water spilling out over the land.

For the fall, they chose the side of the tower where a field of brush was so dry, a single spark would catch and light it all. All that water, they thought, might bring a little green. From that field, they dug up wildflowers, chicory and Indian paintbrush and larkspur, replant-ing them alongside the road, so they would not be drowned or smashed. They feared that if they were not kind to the beautiful things that grew wild, their own farms would wither and die.

Children ran through the brush fields, chasing away squirrels and young deer so that when the water tower came down, they would not be crushed. Among these children was a boy called Moon because he was always painting lunar seas and shadows onto glass and paper and anything he could make glow. Moon knew to keep his steps and his voice gentle, so he would not startle the rabbits, but would stir them to bound back toward their burrows.

When the animals and the wild flowers were gone from the brush field, the men of the town took their axes and hammers and mallets to the base of the water tower, until it fell like a tree. It arced toward the ground, its fall slow, as though it were leaning forward to touch its own shadow. When it hit, the rusted top broke off, and all that water rushed out.

For a minute the water, brown as a forgotten cup of tea, hid the brush that looked like pale wheat stubble. But when it slid and spread out over the field, flattening the brittle stalks, soaking into the dry ground, every one watching made out the shape of a small body.

A girl huddled in the wet brush, her hair stuck to her face, her eyes wide and round as amber marbles. She had on a thin nightgown, which must have once been white, now stained cream by the water. But she covered herself with her arms, cowering like she was naked and looking at every one like they were all baring their teeth.

At first a few of the mothers shrieked, wondering whose child had been left in the water tower’s path. But then they realized that they did not know this girl. She was not their daughter, or the daughter of any of the mothers in town.

No one would come near her. The ring of those who had come to see the tower taken down widened a little more the longer they watched her. Each minute they put a little more space between her and them, more afraid of this small girl than of so much falling water and rusted metal. And she stared at them, seeming to meet all their eyes at once, her look both vicious and frightened.

But the boy called Moon came forward and knelt in front of her. He took off his jacket and put it on her. Talked to her in a voice soft enough that no one else could hear it. Every one drew back, expecting her to bite him or to slash her fingernails across his face. But she looked at him, and listened to him, his words stripping the feral look out of her eyes.

After that day, anyone who had not been at the water tower thought she was the same as any other child, little different from the boy she was always with. But if they looked closely, they could see the hem of her skirt, always a little damp, never quite drying no matter how much the sun warmed it.

This would be the story, a neat distillation of what had happened. It would weed out all the things that did not fit. It would not mention how Miel, soaking wet and smelling of rust, screamed into her hands with every one watching. Because every one was watching, and she wanted to soak into the ground like the spilled water and vanish. How Sam crouched in front of her saying, “Okay, okay,” keeping his words slow and level so she would know what he meant. You can stop screaming; I hear you, I understand. And because she believed him, that he heard her, and understood, she did stop.

It would leave out the part about the Bonner sisters. The four of them, from eight- year- old Chloe to three- year- old Peyton, had been there to see the water tower come down, all of them lined up so their hair looked like a forest of autumn trees. Peyton had been holding a small gray pumpkin that, in that light, looked almost blue. She had it cradled in one arm, and with the other hand was petting it like a bird. When she’d taken a step toward Miel, clutching that pumpkin, Miel’s screaming turned raw and broken, and Peyton startled back to her sisters.

Once Sam knew about Miel’s fear of pumpkins, he understood, how Peyton treating it like it was alive made Miel afraid not only of Peyton but of all of them. But that part would never make it into the story.

This version would also strip away the part about Sam trying to take Miel home like she was a stray cat.

You can purchase it at: Barnes and Noble / Book Depository  / Amazon 

October New Release Giveaway Hop

Hi everyone! I’m participating n the October New Release Giveaway Hop hosted by Shannon. I’ve never done one a giveaway hop before, but I entered a lot before when I first started blogging. Ha. I’m a bit excited to participate in one.


I’ll be giving away an ARC of The Weight of Zero, a novel about a girl who has bipolar disorder and slowly learns how to deal with that. I recently read this and liked it a lot!

Here’s some more information from Goodreads if you’d like it:

Seventeen-year-old Cath knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles meds, preparing to take her own life when Zero next arrives.

But Zero’s return is delayed. Unexpected relationships along with the care of a new psychiatrist start to alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis. But will this be enough? This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

The manuscript was awarded the 2014 SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant in the Contemporary YA category, named a finalist in the 2015 Tassey-Walden Awards and won the Serendipity Literary Agency 2013 YA First Page/Novel Discovery Contest.


1. U.S. Only (I’m sorry international people!)

2. Email me within 48 hours

Have at it! Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter.

If you click below, you’ll be taken to the linky with the rest of the blogs participating in the hop.

Top Ten Albums I Really Love

Top Ten Tuesday

I almost forgot to do this post, it’s a good thing I remembered…fifteen minutes until Tuesday. Oops. Anyway, if you’re unfamiliar with this pretty massive meme, it is created by the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish. They make a new list for people to participate in every week. For more information on that, you can go here.

This is another one of my favorite topics: Audio


All About Audio freebie —  aka top ten audiobooks you should listen to, 10 books I want to listen to on audio,10 bands you should check out, 10 podcasts you should be listening to, 10 of my all time favorite albums, 10 songs I love, really whatever you can come up with.

I don’t listen to audiobooks and I’m sure if I listed the books I did want to listen to on audio, it’d be a repeat of half my TTTs, haha.

I decided to go with ten of my favorite albums so far. I went in order from year of influence.



Breakaway has been a constant staple in my life since middle school. I’ve always found it really relatable in every circumstance of my life, which is amazing because middle school was over teen years ago now. Kelly’s such an angel.

Favorite Songs: Because Of You, Hear Me, You Found Me, Beautiful Disaster



I got into Panic! At The Disco in my freshmen year after hearing I Write Sins Not Tragedies (who hasn’t?). I was so happy to hear that I loved other songs even more. Once again, I found a couple of these songs pretty relatable. The song writing on it is just amazing. It’s one reason why I will always, always, always miss Ryan Ross being in P!ATD. It’s seriously heartbreaking to me that he’s not involved anymore because his lyrics were so insightful and personal to his own life.

Favorite Songs: Camisado, Time To Dance



I became interested in Crossfade sometime during the summer after my Sophomore year. It seriously could not have come at a better time. It was super relatable to everything in my life. It still is, so it has staying power.

Or I need to change things, ha.

One of the two.

Favorite Songs: Someday, Already Gone, Everything’s Wrong, Breathing Slowly, Never Coming Home



I knew of Fall Out Boy since Middle School with their song Dance, Dance, which I never did and still don’t care for. This is the album that made me super into them. Thriller is a classic and so many of the songs are so, original. I believe this is their most ‘mainstream’ album so some don’t like it, but it’s my favorite FOB album.

Favorite Songs: Thriller,, The (After) Life of The Party, You’re Crashing But You’re No Wave



I will admit that I found this album in a random download I did. I downloaded it and only started listening a few months later. That was awful, I should have listened to it RIGHT AWAY. This album is a total gem. I love the dark-sounding songs.

Favorite Songs: Laura Palmer, Icarus



Speaking of dark albums and albums I randomly downloaded…I’m now on Exile. This is the first Hurts album I listened to. It really made me more interested in electropop and duos. It’s very melancholy too.

Favorite Songs: Only You, The Rope, Help



This was the last album Framing Hanley made and the first (and only, so far) album that I really got into. The whole album is so re-playable. It’s a rock album with a couple darker songs but some light stuff too. I love the sound.

Favorite Songs: Collide, No Saving Me, Streetlights & Silhouettes


Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion

Carly Carly Carly

Oh, right, reasons I listened to and love this album…

I’ll admit when I heard Call Me Maybe I blew her off. I hated the song, I rolled my eyes when it came on. Now I’m just like “20 year old Amber, what is WRONG with you?”

I don’t know what prompted me to listen to this other than I recognized her name and saw she had a new album coming out on a PopJustice forum.

I ended up following that thread forever and was amazed at her album.

Emotion is pop perfection. It is. It is the best pop album of last year and one of the best EVER. EVER.

It’s so good. It is. It really really is. Listen to it, give her a chance, just do it.

Favorite Songs: Your Type, Making The Most of The Night, Let’s Get Lost, Boy Problems. I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance


Breathe In Breathe Out Hilary Duff

Oh my gosh. You already know what I think about this album. This album made me dedicate an entire post to Hilary Duff and her album. This is her first album in eight years and it, like Emotion, is almost pop perfection. The latter half of the album takes on a folk sound but oh my gosh, the first six songs are such bops. I love this album so much.

Favorite Songs: Confetti, Breathe In. Breathe. Out., Arms Around A Memory


A-ha Cast In Steel

I was familiar with Take On Me by a-ha, but nothing else. Like Emotion, I noticed this album name and bad title being mentioned on PopJustice and decided to check it out. I think I actually blindly bought this album too. Possibly. Maybe not.

Anyway, it’s an amazing album that I love and adore and relate to. This album sounds really 80s, I heard that it’s because a lot of the material here was from 80s songwriting/music making stuff.

Favorite Songs: Cast In Steel. Under The Makeup, Objects in The Mirror, She’s Humming A Tune

And with that, I am finished! What are some of your favorite albums? Have you heard of any of the ones I listened to? If not will you PLEASE LISTEN TO EMOTION? (And SideB).

August ‘ 16 Recap

~My Life~

I am forever trying to figure out the balance between work and blogging. I mean to write posts on my day off, but I enjoy the break too much to do so. It’s a huge problem and I don’t like it.😦


WordPress Followers: N/A, I don’t know that information due to waiting so long to look.

BlogLovin’ Followers: N/A, same as the above. 

# of Views/Visitors: 1,696/1,247

# of Blog Posts: Only 4. I’m so sad.

# of Reviews: N/A

# of Likes: 21

# of Comments: Roughly 30

Most Viewed Post: It’s My Second Blogoversary (130)

Most Viewed Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before review (338)

~Book Stats~

# of Books Read: 0

# of Books Started: 0

# of Books For Review: 7

 The_Possibility_Of_Somewhere breakaway the_boy_who_killed_grant_parker When The Moon Was Ours Seven Days Of Youa_tragic_kind_of_wonderfulcloudwish

Thanks go to St. Martin’s and Little Brown/Hachette.

# of Books Won: 2

The_Possibility_Of_Somewhere it_started_with_goodbye

I won an ARC of The Possibility of Somewhere from the author on Twitter before I received the above ARC. 

I also received an ARC of It Started With Goodbye from the author on Twitter.

# of Books Traded/Given: 3

Still_Life_With_Tornado Unscripted Joss Byrd Winter

For trades, I received Still Life with Tornado from Sylvie and Unscripted Joss Byrd from Lena.

Winter was given to me by my fantastic Secret Sister.

~What I Posted~


August 2: Top Ten Books I Would Buy With A Gift Card

August 9: Top Twelve Books I Never Reviewed

Other Posts:

August 19: The Olympic Book Tag

August 22: I’m Joining Bout of Books #17

~Favorite Post~

I have so many posts to choose from, it’s such a hard decision…

I’ll go with Top Twelve Books I Never Reviewed

~Blogosphere Participation~

I tried and failed with Bout of Books.😦 I thought I’d be able to handle reading before and after work, but I should have known better. I was always so tired or worrying about other things to read.

I sent and received my first #OTSPSecretSister package for the month, which was really great. My SS picked a winter theme and I loved it.

~New Music~

~Favorite Album~


~Album I Wish Had Gotten More Love~

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Side B

It deserves all the listens.

And I wish I had listened to Britney’s Glory.

~Musical News~

Anastasia releases its artwork for Broadway.

~TV News~

Pretty Little Liars is cancelled.

It’s a little sad but also not because that show’s long over-due. Though, it was one of the two-four shows I had left that I was regularly watching.

~Interesting Articles~

I saw these two articles being shared around Twitter and I really liked the insight. I think culture and mental health topics go really under the radar with as much attention they get.

As Suicide Rates For Black Children Rise, Protecting Emotional Health is Vital

I Don’t Need To Pray About It, I Need To Go To Therapy

~My Addictions~

Carly Rae Jepsen Side B

~Music Purchases~

Cry, Roses and Store by Carly Rae Jepsen

~TV Show/Movie Purchases~

I bought New York Minute, seasons 1-3 of Gilmore Girls, Awkward season 1 and completed my season 2 of Veronica Mars on Itunes.

Itunes also had season 2 of Black-Ish on sale so I picked that up as well.

~What I’ve Been Watching~

I started Inuyasha on the 7th and now I’m up to 74. I would be much higher, but I kind of took two weeks off watching it. And the website I watched it on has the videos messed up.😦 Sad.

I’m somewhat back to watching Buffy, which I’m enjoying after making it through that one episode that took three tries…

How was your last month? Did you read any really good books or receive good books? Do you have trouble with blogging with “real life” going on? Any tips for that? I could use them.

Top Twelve Favorite Contemporary

Top Ten TuesdayHi everyone! Long time, no post, I know. I’m, eh, moving on…

It’s Tuesday which means it’s Top Ten Tuesday Time. Every week the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish have a new bookish list for the book blogosphere (and others) to participate in. You can see previous and future lists here.

I like today’s list because it lets me shout out some titles in my favorite genre.

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre (I know, I know. Picking all time faves. I’m MEAN. But I like knowing people’s definitive faves). Can also break it down into sub-genre if that helps?

My list is going to be over YA Contemporary.


All The Bright Places


I'll Meet You There


Perks of Being A Wallflower


Fans of The Impossible Life


More Happy Than Not


The Night We Said Yes


Emmy and Oliver




A Midsummer's Nightmare


If I Stay Where She Went


Faking Normal


What We Saw


I just thought of two other titles that have to be on here:

Falling Into Place Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe

I know, none of these books are really surprising to anyone who’s been around here before. Haha. Several of these books have made end of year lists and previous Top Ten Tuesdays. A sign I need to read more Contemporary? For sure. Still though, these books are golden.

What are some of your favorite Contemporaries? Or what are some books from your favorite genre?

Top Ten Tuesday About All The Shows

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they have a list for people to post about on their blogs and such. You can read more about that here. They’re usually book-related because “bookish”, NOT THIS WEEK THOUGH. 

This week is TV related.

In honor of Fall Tv, do a tv-themed topic! Top ten favorite tv shows of all time, ten new shows coming out this Fall that are on my radar, tv shows I wish never got cancelled, tv shows I would recommend to book characters, books I wish would be tv shows, ten favorite shows from the late 90’s or early 2000’s, ten tv shows for every fantasy lover, etc.

This is totally my kind of TTT list. Despite the fact that there are SEVERAL shows I haven’t watched, I had all kinds of lists to pick from. So, I’m going to share a couple of them!

Note: I’ll add picture of shows later today.

My first list is:

Top Ten Teen Shows To Watch:

I love teen shows, I really do. I think it’s because I still think of myself as a teen, even though I am anything, but. I constantly rewatch Degrassi and Boy Meets World trying to soak up the “magic” (Envy).

Freaks and Geeks

My So-Called Life

I have heard Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life are basically cult classics that were tragically cancelled after only one season. I like that it’s a short show, though from unfortunate circumstances.

Dawson’s Creek

Ah, yes, Kevin Williamson. I discovered who he was when watching The Vampire Diaries. I loved the first couple seasons of The Vampire Diaries, especially the writing. I need to watch more of Kevin’s work so here we are.

Plus Dawson’s Creek is another one of those classics.

Gossip Girl

So, I’m awful with spoilers and discovered who the, er, secret person was. Oops. I still am really interested in this whole premise though.

The fact that Veronica Mars Kristen Bell does the narrating doesn’t hurt things.


i am a little into “spin-offs” of shows, especially when they’re (Degrassi:) the next generation ones. Shenae Grimes (Degrassi alumni, just saying) is one of the main characters for an unknown (to me) period of time which means I must watch it. I need to figure out what happened to Darcy.

One Tree Hill

Okay, now I’m cheating a little. I did watch the first two seasons and roughly half of the third.

Much like Gossip Girl, I accidentally did that thing where I put myself in situations (on webpages) where spoils abound! It’s no one’s fault but my own.

For the record, I’m Team Brucas. Lucases are the worst with love triangles.


This was one of U.K.’s finest teen dramas. It’s written by teens which means the dialogue and such is supposed to be really, you know, realistic.

The O.C.

I bought the first season of this when it was on sale for $4.99 on Itunes!

Ahem, again, I love that it’s a short show, though, as far as I know, it wasn’t cancelled, it just finished.


I’ve seen some of this show. I used to always mock it as a Degrassi rip-off “Oh, this is this show’s Ashley/Paige/etc.) and I’d laugh and laugh.

And now I want to watch because I believe (after only watching one) foreign teen shows are better than U.S. ones.


MTV’s newest teen show is a must watch for me. I like that it’s like Pretty Little Liars (which was recently cancelled). I hear this show is actually pretty good though and much better than PLL’s newer seasons.

Sorry, PLL.

Now for my next list!

Top Ten Shows I Need To Finish:

Gilmore Girls

I remember I left off on one really good episode of this show, then my Netflix account ended. This was around a year and a half ago. I haven’t gone back to it yet because Why isn’t MY life like that?

It makes me want to be a single parent to a teen girl I’m only a 16 year old age difference from.

Well THAT’S not going to happen, clearly.

One Tree Hill

Did I mention I totally ruined this show for me?

Like everything.

I know what happens to every character, who they end up with, who’s in what season, just, everything.

Did I mention I saw the finale before ever watching a single episode?

Yes. I was home for the summer a couple years ago, it was on TV, it seemed like a monumental event, so I watched it.

I had no idea who the characters were, but it all comes back now that I’ve watched a few seasons of it.

How To Get Away With Murder

I was really into this show up until I started looking it up on IMDB and saw how quite a few things didn’t make sense. I still think it’s pretty good, plus Paris is in it.

Here is my live-tweet thread up to season 2 and a half, I think? The winter finale.

Grey’s Anatomy

This show.

I’ve had such a love/hate relationship with this show, this is all I’ll say.

My thread for season 1-4:

My thread for season 5+: 

My thread for season 7: 

The 100

My live-tweeting thread 

The episode, Demons ruined this show for me. I can’t get past the episode. Oh my goshhhh.

I also read a spoiler or two about the finale.

Darn it! This always happens!


I don’t know what got me watching this show again. It was late at night, I believe I read someone talking about it

online somewhere. I decided to watch it and fell a little in love. I’m around five episodes in.


I was at home and this song came on that a character sings in the show and it made me really sad.

Bojack Horseman

This is the newest recent show I started randomly on Netflix one night. Except it wasn’t so randomly because people on a Pop forum were talking about how sad and realistic it was and I’m like “Sad and realistic, that’s me.”

So far so good.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

I’m back to watching this which I started a little over a year ago. I knocked episodes out left and right.

Then episode 7 of season 2 happened and I couldn’t anymore.

I pushed through it though! Now I’m still on the second season, sigh.

I love it. I found spoilers for this show too. Rather, TWITTER informed me of a same spoiler multiple times. This person didn’t say it to me, but like, it’s just ‘there’. Without a warning!

My twitter thread.

Veronica Mars

It’s not over, stop lying!

I am in denial, guys. I’ve seen the first two seasons, roughly 16 episodes of the third season and the movie. I just can’t manage to push through the whole third season because it’s so CRUELLY ENDED.

I despise it even more after hearing the plan Rob Thomas had for the fourth season and now my head is full of “What ifs?” It’s tragic.

I started rewatching this during BEA Adventures, but haven’t finished yet. I’ll finish the series off as soon as I, you know, start watching it again.

So, what are some shows you want to watch or you think I need to watch? Odds are I’ll have them on my ridiculously long list of shows to sometime finish or watch. Have you seen any of these shows? I imagine you’ll have at least seen one, right?🙂

Blog Tour: The Possibility of Somewhere

Hi everyone.

I have a blog tour for you today featuring The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day.

Here is some information about the book:


The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin on September 6th, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Theme: Socioeconomic background, College

Pages: 320

Goodreads Summary: 

Together is somewhere they long to be.

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / Amazon

I’ll be sharing an excerpt of it., which I hope you’ll enjoy.


An Exercise in Probabilities


My normal dress code was designed to keep me invisible, but today I made an exception. I wore a teal shirt (stolen from my dad) over jeans that had only been owned by me. I finished off with my best sneakers, freshly bleached.

After yanking my hair into a ponytail, I grabbed my backpack, charged out of my bedroom, and screeched to a halt in the den. The trailer smelled like toast and bacon. Why?

I crossed to the table and stared down at the plate of food waiting there.

My stepmom came out of the kitchen, holding two mugs of coffee. She offered one to me.

I took it as my backpack slid to the floor with a thud. “You made me breakfast?”

She laughed. “I’ve done this before.”

“When I was nine, maybe.” The bacon looked like it had been fried to crispy perfection. I parked my butt on the chair and snagged a slice. “What’s the occasion?”

Her smile wobbled. “It’s the first day of your last year of high school.”

Oh, damn. She was going to get emotional on me. This day must remind her that I’d be gone in a few months. It wouldn’t be a good idea to act all happy about escaping town soon. Better change the mood fast. “Breakfast is amazing. You can repeat it whenever you want.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” She set her mug on the table and pointed at my ponytail. “Can I do something special with your hair?”

Clearly she wanted to, so sure. “That’d be great.”

While I finished my toast, she twisted my hair into a thick French braid. It took only a couple of minutes before she pressed a kiss to the top of my head. “There you are, sweetie. Now go on, or you’ll miss the bus.”

“Okay.” I stood, gave her a quick hug, and slung my backpack over one shoulder. “Thanks, Marnie. For everything.”

*   *   *

The bus dropped us off fifteen minutes early, something that would never happen again. I went straight to my first-period class. AP English Lit with my favorite teacher.

“Morning, Ms. Barrie,” I said.

She didn’t look up from her computer. “Hello, Eden.”

I slipped into a desk in the back row and watched as my classmates trickled in.

My next class would be statistics, although it had been a recent change. I’d realized in middle school that college was my best route out of Heron, and I wouldn’t get to college without serious scholarships. So I’d mapped out my high school curriculum in seventh grade, picking each course to maximize my GPA. Everything had gone according to plan until three weeks ago, when I’d switched to a different math class and elective. The decision had seemed bold at the time. Now, it felt crazy.

After English, I dropped by my locker and arrived late for second period. With nervous anticipation, I smiled at my statistics teacher and turned toward the back.

“Wait, Eden. Sit there.” Mrs. Menzies gestured at an empty seat on the front row.

I paused, looking from the desk to her. She eyed me steadily, a challenge in her expression.

Did she expect me to argue with her? I certainly wanted to.

Swallowing hard, I took my seat.

“All right, everyone. I’m glad that you’ve chosen to take Advanced Placement Statistics…”

I tuned out what she said, too annoyed to listen to whatever welcoming remarks she had for us. They would be on her syllabus anyway. I was consumed with shrugging off how much it bothered me to sit in the front with a dozen pairs of eyes behind me. Were they watching me? Probably not, but I didn’t like that it was a possibility.

Even deep breaths betrayed me, because they filled my head with the soapy-clean, spicy-cologne scent of Ash Gupta. Why did Mrs. Menzies have me sitting next to him?

“… you’ll have one group project and one individual assignment due each week…”

I glanced at her. Group projects already? Was that why we had assigned seats?

“… that’s it for now. Form into your teams. I’ll hand out your first project.”

The sounds of dragging chairs and laughing voices filled the room. I checked around. Was I the only one who didn’t know what to do?

Ash was looking at me, pained resignation on his face. “You’re with us, Eden.”

I dragged my desk into the circle beside him. There were five of us in the group. Upala and Dev were Ash’s friends. A built-in alliance. They would vote as a bloc even if I could get the last guy on my side.

The next few minutes blurred into the rhythms of a project team pretending to become cohesive. I didn’t join in, listening instead to Ash control the discussion and watching as Mrs. Menzies went from group to group, dropping off a large bag of M&Ms, several paper bowls, and the project sheet. When she finally arrived at our circle, she described what she wanted and then gave me a hard stare.

“I want collaboration from everyone.”

Message received—although it was unnecessary. I participated when it mattered. Reaching for the M&M bag, I filled a bowl and began separating the candies by color. An exercise in probabilities.

“Before we go any further,” Ash was saying, “we should pick a leader for the team. How do we want to choose?”

“Might as well cut the bullshit, Ash,” I said without looking up. “You want the job. No one’s going to fight you. Just take it by acclamation.”

Silence greeted my speech. I glanced at him. His gaze held mine for a second before he frowned at his notebook, picked up a pen, and began drawing tiny perfect squares, one after the other. I looked at the rest of the team. Upala and Dev glared at me but didn’t disagree with my suggestion. Probably hated that it had come from me, though.

About the Author

JULIA DAY lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two twenty-something daughters and one geeky old husband. When she’s not writing software or stories, Julia enjoys traveling with her family, watching dance reality shows on TV, and dreaming about which restaurant ought to get her business that night.

I’ve started reading this (curtesy of Griffin Teen) and so far I find the differing socio-economic background to be interesting and I’m hoping it delves deeper into that.

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