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N o t f o r S a ll e o r Q u o t a t i o n Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and J u n e
keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high 2 0 1 4
school, so when her best friend, Ellie, gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.
When Cole surprises her at the after-party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of . . . and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. But before they get the chance to ’fess up to Ellie, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously
By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.
Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s Lucy’s best friend’s
only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight.
There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love. . . .
SARAH OCKLER is the bestselling author of The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer (a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and an Indie Next List Pick), and Fixing Delilah. Visit her website at SARAHOCKLER.COM, and find her on Twitter and Facebook.
On-sale date: 6.17.14
Ages 14 up, grades 9 up
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THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS
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New York London Toronto Sydney New Delhi This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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The text of this book was set in Perpetua.
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ISBN 978-1-4814-0126-5 (eBook)
because . . . ZOMBIES!
#NOT E V ENCLOSE
f a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture tagged on Miss Demeanor’s Scandal of the Month page is worth about a million. Especially when the story all those words tell is an absolute lie.
Well, mostly a lie.
The part about falling asleep in his arms is sort of true.
I don’t remember the details about the horse, or how it got into the living room exactly, but judging from the smell that morning, that part’s true too. And yes, the Harvard-bound debate team captain definitely cannonballed into the pond wearing only tuxedo socks and silver fairy wings.
got shots of that.
But there’s no way the other stuff happened.
Not like the pictures are saying it did.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO ll AV ENDER
OAKS SWORDFISH ON THE OCCASION
92 talking about this
Friday, April 25
It’s prom weekend, fishes, and you know what that means: Sex! Scandal! And . . . glitter?
Yes, glitter, as you’d expect from Lavender Oaks’s first-ever Mythical Creatures Promenade. I’m not sure what that even means, but everything’s better with sparkle, 2
so let’s raise a glass to the planning committee for spreading a dash of pixie dust on an otherwise pedestrian tradition. Cheers!
For those of you who haven’t planned the ruination of your innocence at one of the many after-parties, may I suggest popping by the east field for the school-sponsored medieval joust and mutton roast? Principal Zeff assures me that while the lances are made of foam, the horses and meat (mutually exclusive, despite recent legislation) are the real deal.
Chain mail not your thing? Rumor has it the (e)lectronic Vanities Intervention League is hosting a postprom reenactment of the fake moon landing on the grassy knoll, but they don’t believe in Facebook; we can neither confirm nor deny reports. Still, if anyone spots any (e)VIll club members at the dance, snap a few pics. I’d love to see those girls rock an updo with their tinfoil hats.
Team Tinfoil Hat pics aside, don’t forget to upload and share your juiciest weekend shots here on the Miss Demeanor page, tagged #scandal to enter my Scandal of the Month contest. This is it, kids—the very last 3
#scandal before graduation. Make it count! Winners will be immortalized with a blinking gold star and, of course, eternal humiliation. Can’t put a price on that!
Speaking of fame and glory, today we crossed the magic number: 2,000 fans! But it’s no time to rest on our überpopular laurels. millions of Americans have yet to profess their loyalty. I’m saying! So do your part and tell a friend, tell an ex, tell a nana to hit that thumbs-up button!
On a serious note, a message from Students Against Substance Abuse: Driving dry is hella fly. The SASA president will personally monitor the punch bowl for suspicious activity, and the VP has the smoking lounge on lockdown in case you have any nontobacco smoking plans. With all that glitter and gossamer, something tells me you won’t need hall ucinogenics to have a funky trip, anyway.
While you’re out bustin’ a move in your satin and sequins tomorrow, I’ll be home reclining in my zebra-print Snuggie, knuckles-deep in a box of Fiddle Faddle.
Not very mythical, perhaps, but I’ve got a date with
Danger’s Little Darling
, and after last week’s killer 4
episode, I can’t wait to see what Angelica Darling has in store. God, I love me some Jayla Heart. That saucy starlet’s the hottest thing to ever come out of Lav-Oaks. Don’t believe me? Check out her fan page, the Jayla Heartthrobs. 200K fans? There’s a girl who knows how to bust a move.
In closing, a Facebook message even Team Tinfoil Hat can’t protest: Have fun this weekend, fishies. Be safe.
And don’t forget to smile for the spy satellites!
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAV ED WITH
GLIT T ER
ay . . .
magic pixie dust
!” Inside the bedazzled Lavender Oaks gym, a photographer blasts me and Cole with the flash of a thousand suns, and the words “terrible” and “mistake” appear in neon bubbles before my eyes.
Dear formerly respectable self: How many lines
you cross tonight? Wearing a dress. Riding in a party Hummer. Striking a pose next to a horse festooned with a plastic unicorn horn.
Prince Freckles is normally reserved for the horseback riding elective, but the Mythical Creatures prom committee lassoed him into mascot duty. He doesn’t seem to mind his makeshift pen—roped-off section near the 6
bleachers, hay on the floor—but the costume is another story. Sequins? Clearly not Prince Freckles’s personal style best.
“Short straw?” I whisper.
He flicks a pink ear in my direction and lets out a pathetic snort.
Don’t let the other horses see me like this.
The camera flashes again, and I wish on some of that magic pixie dust to spirit us both away, far from cowpoke Colorado and the ankle-deep hay and the too-tight hair ornaments.
Sadly, if my fairy godmother’s on the scene, her gossamer-winged butt is parked at the punch bowl, and my wish floats up to the disco balls unfulfilled.
“Aww, cutest couple
,” the photographer says with a final blinding flash.
Cole winks at me across the speckled horse. His copper-green eyes shine with so much fire my chest hurts, and right before I basically
, he gets dragged off by the guys in his band and my half-stalled heart sputters back to life.
, it warns.
“I can’t believe they got an actual unicorn. Miss Demeanor will fa-
when she sees this.” My friend Griffin and her soul-mate-of-the-hour, an elf-costumed kid named Paul from Saint Paul’s Prep, enter the pen. Griff shakes out her dyed platinum curls and tries to snap a 7
selfie, but the phone her parents got her in Helsinki is so complicated, she can never work the camera.
The real photographer takes over, and I find a seat on the bleachers to watch the show of Paul ogling Griffin’s succubus dress, a midnight-blue sheath with a sewn-on devil’s tail and a deep vee down the front. Cute and pointy Legolas ears aside, Paul’s getting the Tarts of Apology tomorrow—Griff’s method of breaking hearts at the corner table at Black & Brew Café. Bad news goes down better with pastries, she always says.
She has a lot of theories. It’s exhausting.
Griffin lets out a high-pitched squeal as Paul palms her ass, and the tea rose corsage near my shoulder tumbles to my lap, scattering petals on the way down. I scoop them into a pile, their edges already curling.
It’s Saturday night. I should be home slaying online zombies and sneaking people food to Night of the Living Dog, not playing dress up in the land of make-believe.
Because fact-check time, for anyone keeping it real: 1. Prince Freckles isn’t really a unicorn.
2. Cole isn’t really my date.
3. This poof of a dress isn’t really my style.
Vintage rockabilly halter, butter-white
chiffon with black cherry print and a
bloodred sash. It’s so pretty I’m practically allergic.
From the horse pen, Griff squeals again, and my gaze darts to the doors behind her. Maybe the Hummer’s still in the parking lot, still shooting iridescent orbs from its rooftop bubble machine. I can sneak out, catch a ride home.
In less than an hour I’ll be out of this pinup gear, sucking down a Dr Pepper and roasting undead hordes with a flamethrower.
My fingers squeeze invisible triggers. . . .
“Don’t tell me my last-minute date’s already bailing.” Cole’s back, crouching in front of me with a smirk. Normally he keeps a little scruff on his face, but he cleaned up for the occasion, and the late-spring sunshine has left his skin tan and smooth. Kissable. “What’s wrong, Luce?” I heft four thousand layers of chiffon over my black thigh-high boots, the only part of the ensemble that’s mine, and crush the fabric in my fists. “I’m a wedding cake topper.”
“Not even.” Cole takes the wilting corsage from my lap. “You look, um,
nice.” He leans in close, messy hair tickling my nose. He smells like outside, like campfire and ripe apples, and—
Prince Freckles’s sequined-covered stomp says it all:
Don’t even think about it!
With a heavy sigh, I flick a lone rose petal from my lap.
I’d love to follow the horse’s advice, but it’s too late. Don’t even think about it? I
thought about it. Every day. For the last four years.
We’ve never kissed, never cuddled, never been anything more than capital-F Friends. Cole Foster broke my heart anyway. Like the perfect dress and the flowers that refuse to stay put, the only boy I’ve ever loved belongs to Eliana Pike.
My best friend.
“Thanks for filling in tonight.” Cole’s breath glances my shoulder as he works to reattach the corsage. Beneath his touch, my heart flops like a beached fish, and I turn my face away from his gaze.
. How am I supposed to survive an entire night of dancing if I can’t even manage eye contact? Honestly, the whole arrangement is getting to be a serious problem.
“Not a problem,” I say.
Get it together, Luce.
Ellie’s in bed with the superflu, missing senior prom—the event she looked forward to more than anything the whole three years she’s been with Cole. All I’m missing is a little online carnage.
Please go with him, Lucy. You’re my surrogate! You have to
send me pictures all night long!
Never one to say no to Ellie, I’ve been following those orders all night.
omg u & griff r stunners
, her last text said, after she reviewed the series my parents snapped in our driveway.
u r totes keeping that dress!
She’s been texting for the play-by-play ever since.
“You sure you’re okay?” Cole’s gaze sweeps the black cherries bodice, and for a moment there’s something in his eyes, something more than the usual mischief.