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336 pages, Paperback
First published March 11, 2014
He proceeded to do some moves I can only assume are part of a war dance in some lost tribe of the Amazon. There were a mysterious number of elbows involved, and a face that was probably meant to be sexy but looked more pained.Some things are universal, and a horrible dance partner is one to which we can all relate ^_^
“Eh.” He shrugged and swallowed the last of his pizza. “Anyway, he already had tickets to prom, so I said you’d go with him.”And to make it even messier...
Ryan beckoned me closer with a jerking head motion. “Listen...I was wondering...would you want to go to prom with me? As friends.”WELL, FUCK. Heart doesn't want any of this. She tries to turn them both down, but there are problems.
“So...” He drew an elaborate, invisible design with his finger on the lab table. “Just pick someone and be done with it.”Seriously, it's not that easy. For one thing, Troy is the most pathetic, broken-down jock in the world. He just got dumped by his girlfriend, hence why he needs a date, and he's more teddy bear than tough guy. How can you turn down someone who looks like this?!
“It’s not that easy.”
“If you don’t want to, that’s cool.” Troy looked down, and I swear to God, I thought he was going to start crying. Ginormous, six-foot-four, two-hundred-and-fifty-pound Troy Rafferty was going to break down in the french fry line.NOOOOOOO. You'd have to have a heart of ice to turn him down.
“That’s cool,” Troy said softly. “Sorry to bother you.” He started to lumber away, and my heart crumpled.
He smiled and laughed nervously. “I just feel like I should be honest with you,” he said. “I didn’t want you to think that I was asking you because...that we...that I...” He took a frustrated breath and let it out in a short huff. “I’m gay.”*HOWLS WITH LAUGHTER*
There was nowhere to turn when he laid a wet, alcohol-soaked kiss on me.There will be relationship counseling.
His tongue was like a fish flopping on a dock in my mouth, but hot instead of cold.
“Ugh, maybe you are gay after all.” I crossed my arms.And maybe Heart will realize who she should have gone with all along.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well, you’re into sports and you hate dancing, but now here you are giving me relationship advice.”
“You have way too many stereotypes in your head.”
He laughed. “You’re having...thoughts?”Heart: Yeah, she's got a crappy name, and a crappy mother. Don't hold it against her. Heart feels like a realistic teenager. She is normal. She is not "quirky" or strange, she's got a sarcastic sense of humor sometimes, she tends to get snarky, and her internal dialogue gets to be kind of silly sometimes. The point is that Heart never pissed me off. Like this internal monologue about the utter horribleness of her name, Heart.
“And feelings. Damn it. Feelings! This is not on my agenda.”
Sometimes, people ask me what it’s like to be named Heart, but how am I supposed to answer that? I mean, how would you answer if a fish popped out of a lake and asked you what it was like to breathe oxygen? Apart from freaking out that a fish was talking to you, of course. You don’t know what it’s like to breathe anything else. You’d probably be like, “I don’t know. It’s okay, I guess. What’s it like to breathe water, Talking Fish?”I would understand if you found her annoying, but I thought she was pretty cute.
“I don’t believe in fate.” It was automatic. My response since I’d decided not to let my maternal genetics and my porn-star name choose my future for me.She is a NORMAL girl. She loves her friends, she is kind-hearted. Heart knows that a beautiful girl can be kind, too. She never, ever slut shames, and she calls out bad behavior when she sees it.
“I don’t like the idea that I can’t control the outcome of something. Your choices should be the only influence in your own life.”
“Did you see the way Olivia went off? God, that girl would do anything for attention.”From confronting a bunch of mean-girls in the bathroom, to talking to her brother's beauty-queen friends. She never, ever judges someone for her looks. She defends the beautiful girls when she hears them being trashed behind their backs, and doesn't expect any rewards for it.
“I know, she’s so pathetic.”
“I can’t believe she even got nominated for prom court.”
“It’s just because she’s going out with Austin.”
I wasn’t exactly buddy-buddy with Olivia, but my ears got hot with embarrassment and anger listening to them dissect her.
I had a feeling they’d both heard plenty of gossip about themselves over the last four years. You don’t get to be a senior looking like custom-ordered perfection without earning a little jealousy along the way.Heart really did win over my heart.
“Uh-uh. I had no idea how you felt about me. None. And you know whose fault that is? Yours. If you wanted to ask me to prom, you should have frigging asked me. You don’t get to whine about it just because somebody else had the balls to do what you didn’t. I’m done apologizing to you.” I poked him in the chest. “I didn’t do anything wrong. Get over yourself.”I love Heart's slightly cynical attitude. She's not one of those I-believe-in-soulmates people. She doesn't want to rush into things, and that's just fine with me.
“And you have to promise we’ll take it slow.”
Blanking, all I could think of was my mother. I blurted out, “Well, like, let’s not have kids anytime soon, okay?”
It is a universal truth that a person cannot run in clogs, but that didn't stop me from trying.
I'm just a high school student with a list for Broadway musicals and an unhealthy relationship with The Big Book of Baby Names. My copy is dog-eared, highlighted and Sharpied into complete submission. I've got less than a year to go until I can match my butt down to the courthouse and choose my very own name for the rest of my life.
"You're completely overreacting. It was just a kiss."
"But I didn't want to be him to do it."
"Don't be such a baby."
"I'm not being a baby! I'm saying I want to go home."
"Stop freaking out. You're going to ruin prom."
"I'm going to ruin it? Are you kidding me?"
"Heart. It was a kiss. Deal." I curled my fingers into tight fists, barely feeling the bite of my own nails into my palms. "Don't you even care what I want? I'm your sister."
"Yeah, and Troy's my friend."
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~
When I was a little girl, back before I realized that romance was like a field of land mines, I always thought it would be this magical, romantic night where I'd be princess at my own personal ball, and I'd dance with the love of my life, and stars would shine down on us as we kissed.
Crushes are the best part of liking someone, and they are completely safe. You get all the benefits of fantasizing about someone but not of the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not drama.
I don't like the idea that I can't control the outcome of something. Your choices should be the only influence in your own life.
Sometimes it's the small victories the keep a person going.