His whole life Carter’s fought to hold it together: To help Mom run their store. To be there for his special needs sister, Sara, and be the perfect boyfriend Mel wants. To dominate on the basketball court—the only place he ever feels free. And to carry Mom up the stairs when she’s too smashed to make it on her own.And here's a snippet from the book:
It isn't like she has a problem. Mom loves them. If she doesn't drink every day, she's not really an alcoholic, right?
Then Kira Dawson, a girl with a bipolar wardrobe and rotating hairstyles comes to town. Somehow, she sees the truths he hides from the world. “You have skeletons, too, Carter Shaw. Don’t think I don’t know it.” For the first time, he wants someone to see his inner scars—to really know him.
When his mom finally goes too far, will Carter be able to man-up, even if it means turning his back on her and stepping out from behind the façade he’s fought so hard to keep in place?
I can’t move out of the entryway to my house. One hand is on the door, the other against the wall, blocking Kira and Lana from entering, but I can’t find it in myself to step out of the way. My body temperature spikes about a million degrees. I try and fight it, but my mind goes back to the conversation I had with Mom a little while ago, suddenly wanting to be in the situation where I’ll need the protection she talked about.
Kira is always gorgeous. Tonight, I realize she’s the most beautiful girl in the world.
Her hair is straight, but tied up in some kind of ball. Little wipsy multi-color ribbons blend in, hanging down. I love her hair down, but up like this, it shows me her neck. Her very nice neck. I like necks.
Her dress reaches right above her knees, showing me her long, firm legs. I like legs.
The straps are thin, I don’t know what they’re called, but they show me her collarbone, shoulders. Lots of creamy brown skin. I like skin.
Even though the bottom of her dress flares out, the top is tight. Not too tight, but hugging her curves and breasts. I like curves and breasts.
Her dress is kind of silky, and colorful, just like her. All the bright colors from her ribbons are in the dress too. I like it. I like her.
“Fancy seeing you here, Coach,” Her teeth are so white. My porch light glints off the tiny diamond in her nose. I take in her cheekbones again. Everything about her I want to study. To know in a way that I can never forget it.
My brain knows I should reply, but I can’t. I just can’t stop staring.
Lana leans toward her and says, “I think he likes it.”
Her words pull me out of my Kira-trance. Lana ducks under my arm, either joining my mom behind me or running all the way to China for all I know. The most important thing is she’s left me and Kira alone. “You’re incredible,” I finally say.
A dusting of red highlights her cheeks and travels South. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
Available summer 2012.