Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday - 11/26/14

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting for Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt. It looks and sounds fantastic and I'm really really excited for it. The whole having to wait though is not fun whatsoever but I'll deal...maybe...anyways I'm so ready for this book to come out! Happy Reading.

Publication: May 19th, 2015
Summary: Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

Cover Reveal: Lying, Cheating Heart by Mindy Ruiz



Eep you guys! I'm so excited to reveal the cover for Lying, Cheating Heart. I loved the first book and am so excited for this book too!!


Summary: No More Lies!
Cassie Vera thought the biggest threat to her life disappeared the night her boyfriend, A.J. Vasillios, used his one-time-use power and saved her from certain death.
She was wrong. 
The mythological hit list she was on is nothing compared to her freshman year at the University of Las Vegas. Rooming with Vegas’s future female royalty has pushed her estrogen tolerance to its limit. Worse, Cassie must take place in a time-honored tradition that tests her faith, while her boyfriend’s new job threatens to shatter her heart.
When age-old traditions change  … 
  Cassie’s school year is interrupted when the future queens are ordered to represent their houses in an annual high-stakes competition. While at her ancestral home in Malaga, Spain, Cassie discovers the Greek gods have gifted her with new abilities. Cassie takes matters of righting an eighteen-year-old wrong into her hands. However, actions have consequences, and Cassie’s may very well end up costing her and the House of Hearts everything. 
With her family’s future at stake and the love of her life choosing sides, Cassie must cheat death one more time.
When duty requires you to do the unthinkable, where will your loyalties lie? 
Only a Cheating Heart Knows.
Buy Links: 
 Full Jacket:



About Mindy Ruiz:

Mindy Ruiz lives in a sleepy Beach Town in Southern California. When she’s not writing, she spends her time chasing after three boys, making flirty eyes at her hunky husband, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, and hanging out at the beach with her very large and loud Italian family.

Her career in publishing started in the 4th grade with a story about a magic, museum-hopping, chair. Now, Mindy writes young adult, new adult, and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include tormented heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of swoon-y moments that will put a smile on your face or make your heart race. Mindy is the lover of a good romance, the underdog and John Hugh’s 80′s teen movies.
When her toes aren’t in the sand or her mind isn’t in the clouds, Mindy loves hearing from readers.


Links:

Instagram  Instagram.com/MindyRuiz

Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Tour: Anomaly by Tonya Kuper




Release Date: 11/25/14
Entangled Teen


Summary from Goodreads:



Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…


Buy Links:


My Review:  

Initial Thoughts: Anomaly was really refreshing to read. It had action, fun and quirky characters that have powers that are really awesome, romance, plot twists, humor... It had a bit of everything and that everything fit together pretty well.


The Characters: Josie. I really liked Josie. She was nerdy (a language I speak and understand perfectly), funny, sweet, a thinker, strong-willed, honest, does what's right, and still only a seventeen year old girl. She was a really well developed, likable character!
Reid. I don't know what it is recently about me just falling in love with the main guy when the first words out of his mouth are swear words but...seriously, I am, not that I'm complaining, but Reid is no exception. First words he says: "Are you sh*tting me?" It must have been the whole situation but I fell in love right then and there. Now don't worry, he's a pretty awesome guy who is also sweet and works really hard and even seems to have a crush on Josie. It's pretty adorable. And he's pretty hot too.

The Story: Josie has been having a really crappy birthday. Just one bad thing after the other until, hello, new hot dude on a motorcycle (that sounds really cliche when I put it like that). But Reid and his friend Santos pulling into school is only the beginning for Josie. Josie has started exhibiting powers that she has no idea she had and the weird mishaps that happen, she just convinces herself they were nothing. But Reid was sent by her mother to help train her and hone her abilities. But there are lots of twists and, of course, secrets and lies hidden and interwoven throughout the book that made it so exciting!

The abilities in this book are really cool. It basically that whatever you’ve seen, you visualize and then Push that image and it becomes real. You can then also retract the image and make the object disappear. How it’s explained in the book made perfect sense to me, then again I’m also a very sciencey person, but you all would still understand it too! So in the book, there are people who can Push, people who can Retract, and people who can do both, which is rare. Those that can do both are called...anomalies! And in my opinion get the better end of the deal :) There are consequences to using too much of one’s powers to quickly though. Eventually everyone loses their abilities, it’s just a matter of when.

The Romance: The book is told in alternating POV between Josie and Reid. It was great seeing where both of them were coming from and if they had anything to hide from the other, which Reid does... So they both had issues they had to work out but I liked how well they worked together whether it be in training or just in general. They have a very solid relationship though it might have taken a bit of tug-o-war on both ends to get to that point, darn stubborn people. In the end, they work well together, and are sweet, funny, and lovable.

End Thoughts: I had lots of fun reading Anomaly. I laughed a lot and totally did *not* cry a few times either. I would recommend this for anyone if it’s something you like to read about. Well done! 4.5 stars.

About the Author

Tonya Kuper's debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger's Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook





GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog Tour Organized by:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Recs. - 11/24/14

Whoohoo, I'm back and this week will be fun. I have a blog tour tomorrow and other stuff planned for the week and I really just have a lot of time on my hands that I plan on spending for writing posts and reviews cause I have a lot of those to write. So this week I'm recommending Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis which I actually started and finished today but LOVED. I think I might even love it a bit more than the Lunar Chronicles...I'll need to do a reread of those books first...but I truly enjoy the book from start to finish and put in my top reads of the year. So, I guess you should check it out! Happy Reading.

Summary: Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday - 11/19/14

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted on Monday or Tuesday. I was out of town, a whole state away, and didn't have internet connection or a computer to write any posts. But the good news is I have all next week off of school so that means a whole week to write tons of posts! Okay then, this week I'm waiting for Magonia by Maria Headley. I really like the cover and it sounds really interesting so I can't wait for it to come out!! Happy Reading.

Publication: April 25th, 2015 
Summary: Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker

Summary: Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps.


As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to.

BECOMING RAIN US BUY LINKS:

UK BUY LINKS/BECOMING RAIN:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple
Google
Waterstones
Foyles

And don’t forget BURYING WATER, the first book in this thrilling series…

Summary: The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

Buy Links:

 Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo ** IndieBound


 About K.A. Tucker:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday - 11/12/14

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm impatiently waiting for Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4) by Wendy Higgins. Hehe, it's the fourth book in a trilogy! No seriously it is, it's the POV of the guy, Kaidan, from all three books. I'm sooooo excited for it as I loved all three books and want to read them in his POV!! Any Sweet Evil fans out there? Well, if you haven't I recommend these books! Happy Reading! Ps. It doesn't have a cover yet :)

Publication: September 8th, 2015 (It's so...far.......away.........)
Summary: Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he’s enjoys it. 

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve. 

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Author Note:
Sweet Temptation will encompass parts from the entire trilogy, beginning with Kai's life before he met Anna, and taking us through the epilogue of Sweet Reckoning. Fitting three books into one means not every detail will get shown - I've got to carefully pick and choose. 
This book is not meant to be a stand alone novel. It will definitely be a richer experience if you've read the original trilogy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - 11/11/14


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The teaser I'm giving is actually the two chapters of Two Breathes Too Late by Rochelle Maya Callen which she had posted on her page today. I really like this author's books but this book is not one I plan on reading ever in the future just because I know I would cry the whole book because it would be beautiful...but I really don't want to cry a whole book. Be warned, if you ever read it, a lot of crying will happen because that's basically what people have said they have done when reading it. Happy Reading.


1
Death,
You aren't a tunnel of light, a choir of angels, or even an ascension of the soul. You are a twitching leg, a spasm of breath, a moment of fear when I realize that the noose I tied didn't snap my neck and I am left dangling with the chair tipped over too far from my toes. You are blackness blotting out my vision, my lungs heaving in breaths that aren't there, because the rope cuts into my throat choking the life out of me, slowly.
Too slowly.
My fingers claw at the rope that I found in the closet behind liquor bottles and expired cans of vegetables. Life seeps out of me; the oxygen choked out, the carbon dioxide choked in. Where was the peace and quiet? Where was the release? The absence of fear? That is why I hid the rope under my mattress, why I waited till Mom and Dad left for work, why I climbed on a chair and tied the noose, why I wrapped it around my neck and pulled it tightly, said a prayer, squeezed my eyes shut, and stepped off the chair.
Leaving the screams, the bruises, the scars, the secrets and loneliness behind.
But you aren't taking me away.
I am suffocating in silent screams and the ash in the air. The floor is too far and I am too high. My chest caves in, and just as blackness eats my last sliver of consciousness, I realize I regret. I am too late. Death, you aren't beautiful, free, or romantic like in all of the novels I have read. You are a girl who had no hope left, dangling from a ceiling beam, who two breaths too late, realized she wanted to live.
I thought you would save me, Death.
But you are a liar.
Just like everyone else.
2
Life,
It is too quiet. The kind of quiet that isn't quiet at all. It is the smothering silence, which bleeds into everything; the kind of absence that mocks, prods, and stares you down until you are withered down to your bones. I swallow hard, because my throat feels raw, my neck sore and aching. I rub at it, trying to soothe the pain. I feel groggy. The room still looks dark, too dark. My alarm went off, didn't it?
I rub my eyes and pad my way toward the door in my socks. I like to be downstairs before everyone else. I blink when I flip the switch in the hallway. Dark. Still dark? Maybe the lights burned out or maybe Mom didn't pay the electricity bill again. I swear under my breath. I step on the steps lightly, leaning my weight on the railing so I don't make them creak too much. I rub my eyes again. The sleep still must be in them, because nothing looks quite right. It is all a glaze.
I bump the Alaska snow globe on the side of the vanity next to the base of the stairs and gasp, reaching out to catch it, but it didn't move. It sits still in its spot and I am left looking like an idiot with fear plastered on my face, my hands reaching frantically for nothing at all. I exhale loudly as I turn the corner and freeze. Mom and Dad are already in the kitchen, sitting in the dark.
What the hell is happening today? Are we this broke? Again? I rub my arm with my palm and step inside the kitchen. They don't look up. They never do. I always take the long way around to the cabinets, not going straight from the door to the counters because that would brush me up against Dad's chair. I always walk around, squeezing instead behind Mom's chair. She is practically a corpse, quiet, still, black and blue painting her face as if she is already rotting.
I flinch seeing her. Something is wrong, very wrong. Never does she not wear make-up. Never. I crinkle my nose and take a deep breath.
I hate her.
I brush past her and open the cabinets. I want to ask why they are sitting in the dark, but I don't want to be the one to break the silence, shatter it to tiny pieces, because that would be even more terrible than this oppressive, strangling quiet. I keep my mouth shut like always.
I bring a bowl and my cereal to the table and sit down without making a sound, because that's what good girls do. No wonder I like hardcore metal with all the screaming. I am so envious of the band members. They can scream until their throats are raw and hoarse, while mine is left raw and hoarse from disuse. Dad is reading the paper, jaw hard, eyes narrowed.
Mom lets out a whimper.
I nearly jump out of my seat. I stare at her in shock. She never, ever made a sound...not even when I heard the slaps and the pounding through the bedroom walls, not even when the punches slammed into her. Never a whimper, never a sound.
I look at her, really look at her. Her eyes are bloodshot. Her skin is blotchy with red, besides the blacks and blues, and fading yellows. Her eyes are practically swollen shut. I want to reach my hand to hers, but I don't. She may well deserve whatever thing is breaking her, but I won't break too. I pour the cereal and milk and take a bite. I still watch her from under my eyelashes and see she is clutching something in her hands. I stare at it. It is no larger than the height of her hand. A stuffed teddy bear with an eye hanging on by a thread and a tiny t-shirt that says, "Someone in Baltimore loves me."
Anger claws at my stomach. It's mine. It was on my bed, tucked under the pillow. I want to reach over and snatch it from her. I almost do, but then she whimpers again, a throaty, gurgling sound following it. She is holding her breath to keep the sob down. She isn't trying hard enough though.
"Stop that, Jo. It isn't our fault that she was such a screw up. She was a little bitch anyway for doing it," Dad says, his grip on the paper tightening, crinkling the edges. Always crushing something.
The sobs come, fierce and splintering like an earthquake. My eyes widen as I jerk my gaze to Mom. I stand up knocking over my chair. I have to get away from this woman. She may pull me into the crevice she is creating with her tears. She is going to drag me down. I can feel it. She screams her tears, not just cries them.
Dad stands up and Mom clutches the bear to her chest. She knows what is coming, but she doesn't stop. He pushes her against the wall, her chair tipping back underneath her, and then puts one massive hand over her throat. "Shut the hell up, woman. Or I'll give you something to cry about."
I run upstairs, the thud and crash and wails don't stop. I don't stop running. I fly into my room, shove my legs into the skinny jeans that are strewn across the floor, shove my head into a shirt, lace up my inked-up Converse sneakers, grab my messenger bag and run down the stairs, out the door. I gulp in the air, heaving frantic gulps. I must've been holding my breath. Always holding my breath.
There are no bruises, or secrets, or screams out here on the sidewalk. It is just me placing one foot in front of the other,making my way to the next place where I would hold my breath. I sigh and pull out my headphones. I turn up the volume all the way, ignoring the text warning about the volume and hearing loss that pops up on the screen as my finger keeps pressing the volume button. I would be happy to be deaf. I keep my finger on the volume button even though it says MAX, just in case I can squeeze a bit more out of the headphones. My shoulders relax as the electric guitars roar, drums thud ferociously, and the lead singer screams into the mic all about pain, and how messed up the world is. He and I are on the same page and I find my thumb prodding the volume button again.
C'mon, I think, Just a little louder. Just make the world go away.
It doesn't get louder. The world doesn't go away and within ten minutes of staring at my inked up shoes, I face my school.
Fin and Derryl's SUV roar down the road, competing with the chaos from my headphones. Their radio doesn't seem to have a maximum volume.
I flinch away and pull the hood over my head. I rub at my arm, remembering being rammed into the light pole. The pain jabs up my side as if remembering too. Was it just yesterday? I narrow my eyes for a second. Yesterday? Or the day before? I can't quite remember. I watch the SUV pass by, but blink as it seems to be a smear of royal blue in the air instead of just the car itself.
I rub my arms again. It is cold for May. I look at the sky. It’s overcast today. I look around, slightly confused by the dullness of everything. The sky somehow seems bright, but filtered, like an Instagram photo where they offset the colors so nothing is too glaring, but everything is some sort of greyscale. It doesn't make sense, but then very little ever does.
The thought hits me: maybe I am dreaming? Yeah. That makes sense. Mom crying should have tipped me off. The SUV not stopping to throw a shaken can of soda at my head should have been tip number two. And the offness of everything else should have sent the alarm bells ringing. I sigh, suddenly at ease. Dreams I can deal with...even if the Texas chainsaw guy came I would be able to face him and say, "You are just in my dream, dumbass" and wait for him to saw me into pieces.
I have nightmares often. While no one likes nightmares, I don't hate them, because that meant I was sleeping, and the harsh realness of everything was far away huddled in the conscious world and I was a-okay with not being a part of it.
I make my way up the school steps and glance at the tree to the right side of the entrance. He is there. I don't pause or even let me eyes linger. I just catch him looking up, and staring, searching the sidewalk. I grit my teeth for a minute as I charge up the stairs. Of course, he is searching for someone. Someone else. Someone without bruises under her t-shirt or death metal mp3 companions to drown out the world. He is of this world—wholly. Some strange mix of geek and rocker, intelligent and artistic, cool, but not so cool as to be an ass about it. August Matthews.
I kind of like the fact that his name is a month of the year, a month of sunlight, humid air, lightening bugs, last parties, beach trips, and my birthday. The first three I could appreciate. The last three, I never experienced. I just keep wishing that I would. I chance one last look at him as I open the door. He is still there, looking.
I walk inside and don't look back. It seems like yesterday it was me he was looking for on the sidewalk.
That strange, uncollected feeling hits me again. A loss of the time, a sequence of events. Had it been yesterday? No, of course not. That was years ago. Students are already filing into their classrooms. The first alarm blares. I frown. How am I late for class? I make my way to English Lit, the only bearable class in high school. It's a mix of the fact that I want to be a writer when I leave this hell-hole and the fact that I like the teacher, Ms. Hooper. I am not sure if it is because I like how Ms. Hooper's eyes sparkle when she recites a passage from her text as if somehow the words make her more real, like the words are her talisman and she just needed to read them to be set on fire. I wondered if she could feel it. The twinkle, I mean. I wonder if it was something that bubbled up inside her. I wondered what that must feel like.
I want to be Ms. Hooper.
August Matthews also sits to the right back corner of me, just a seat away. Sometimes I think I feel him watching me, but that's stupid. He wouldn't watch me. Not like before, especially with Ms. Hooper twinkling with so much life and me rotting in my seat. Weren't guys into older girls anyway?
I take my seat, surprised Britney doesn't make her oh-my-gosh I-can't-believe-I-am-sitting-next-to-this-freak eyes at me. She just giggles with Sarah and Terry and then they squeeze into their respective seats, ignoring me entirely. I could be ignored. I sit back in my seat. I think I would be perfectly happy with being ignored.
August yanks open the door, breathless. He looks confused and flustered which doesn’t suit him. He makes his way to his seat and then knocks his knuckles on my desk while chancing a glance at the door again. I blink at the spot where his knuckles had been. What was that about? I stiffen in my chair and look back, feigning looking for a pen I lost. August's eyes are on the door as he spins a pencil in his hand. He always had a pencil in his hand or tucked behind his ear. Always ready to draw something in his sketchpad. He needed to be ready for when the muse hit. I used to tease him about it when we were younger.
I pivot forward, feeling woozy all of a sudden. Ms. Hooper is leaning against her desk, hands clasped in front of her. She is young and beautiful, but there is something off. Her jaw is too tight, her eyes not sparkly at all. I can see how she swallows over and over again as if she has something to say and is trying to get the words out. Does anyone else notice? I look around. People are texting, whispering to each other, leaning over desks to plant kisses on girlfriends, girlfriends flashing thigh to get the typical jaw-dropping reactions. I look out the windows to the side of the classroom. The sky still seems grey, bright. Photoshopped. August is tapping his leg against his desk, still watching the door. Who is he waiting for?
Ms. Hooper finally clears her throat, which only gets minor attention on behalf of the students. She looks at me. I perk up. Yes, I'm listening. I am here. I am not like these dumbasses who don't appreciate your sparkle.
Beautiful and twinkling people have this way about them. A way that makes you feel like if they just watched you, just connected, that somehow made you a bit more twinkly too. She doesn’t twinkle at me though, so I can’t twinkle back. She stares through me, eyes glassy and I am convinced that somehow the black void of emptiness inside me must've robbed her of that beautiful dazzle and sent it off into the ether where so many things were lost, including, but not exclusively, my smile.
Ms. Hooper finally speaks, "Class, quiet." There is an edge in her voice I have never heard before. I stiffen, wondering who maybe cheated on our last test on Friday. I scan the room. Becca or Ty? I stare at the couple in the front corner. Stoned? Really? At 7:45am? I roll my eyes. I am surrounded by idiots.
Ms. Hooper clears her throat again, “I—I have a very sad announcement today. One of your classmates—” her voice breaks, “died yesterday.”
Her face turns red and splotchy and I sit up straighter. Died?
Someone died? I scroll through my own mental roster of the students and who I saw in the hallways.
The classroom is silent.
Ms. Hooper continues, "Ellie Walker—" her voice breaks.
Wait, what?
"...committed suicide in her home yesterday."
There is silence...too much of it especially when my heart is hammering against my ribs and my brain is running and hurdling in an attempt to keep up.
Suicide? But, but, I am right here! I want to scream at her for saying such a terrible joke while I am sitting right at my desk, but then the silence breaks with one cool bark of laughter, and Roger's voice says, "That freak! I knew she would off herself someday." Another bark of laughter, followed by a few more. That's when I feel it...the greyness of it all. The absolute offness of it all. It is smothering me because it is not right and even as I sit here, I know...
The thought doesn't solidify, because within a span of a few seconds, August is on his feet, charging through the desks and with one clean cock of the arm, punches Roger in the face.
He doesn't stop.
I run out into the hallway. I am always running from something. I go to the girl's bathroom, lungs aching from exertion. I stare into the mirror...
and see nothing.
I scream.
It is ironic that the little quiet girl who said nothing in life, screams in death.
I scream and no one can hear me.

Summary: Ellie Walker commits suicide a week before high school graduation and is forced to face the brokenness she leaves behind.

This story is about bruises and secrets and the hope that hides in even the darkest of places.