“Fans of Sarah Dessen, Lauren Myracle, Morgan Matson, and Simone Elkeles will enjoy this story told from both Harper and Penn’s points of view, widening the appeal to all teens, not just females” (VOYA).
It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.
Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.
Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about his feelings.
Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating,terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…
With me crying in a bathroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, cursing myself for being so stupid. I knew it was wrong, I knew it wasn’t going to end well, I knew I was putting myself in a situation where I was going to end up brokenhearted.
I reach over and pull some toilet paper out of the dispenser and use it to blow my nose. My feet are killing me because of the stupid high heels I’m wearing. I want to sit down, but there’s nowhere to sit. I’m in a bathroom stall, for God’s sake. The only place to sit down is on the actual toilet, and it doesn’t have a cover. Why don’t the toilets in hotel bathrooms have covers? I’m sure I’m not the first person to end up in here crying her eyes out and looking for some privacy. Aren’t there always scandalous things happening in hotels, things that would cause one to end up crying in the bathroom?
Okay, I tell myself, just calm down. It’s not as bad as you think.
The problem, of course, is that it really is as bad as I think. I’ve never had my heart broken before, and I wasn’t expecting it to feel like this. I wasn’t expecting to feel like I want to die. I wasn’t expecting to be crying so hard my shoulders shake and I can’t breathe.
The door to the bathroom opens, and I hear footsteps crossing the floor. A group of girls laughing as they reapply their lipstick. They’re happy and excited.
Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-way Street, Right of Way, and Watch Me. She is also the author of the middle grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, Fake Me a Match, and the Girl Meets Ghost series. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit her at LaurenBarnholdt.com.