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432 pages, Hardcover
First published July 7, 2015
Bookholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages/readers express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors/book, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors/book.*
When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice.
Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever.
Jake felt it was a good time to say, "Has anyone seen Peggy Darry this year? Her tits got huge!" And the whole table leaned in and smirked, whispering just how huge.
Henry then said, "I might pretend to like Peggy just so I can feel her up."
My stomach started eating my insides. This is what happens when I get nervous. My stomach becomes an alien and eats all my organs and I almost die. Yes, I exaggerated, okay! I'm sorry. Gosh.
Did I heart that right? He called me awesome, right? He totally did. My gosh. This definitely meant he liked me, right? I wanted to throw up. I wanted to move seats. I WANTED to say something back. I really did. But it needed to sound cool, fun, smart, amazing, and like something he would remember the rest of his life, and my brain couldn't think of anything. Nothing. So I just smiled. It wasn't even a good smile. I'm sure it looked like a mean smile. Like a Shannon Shunton smile. Which is the worst smile ever. The worst.
And then he kissed me while I was talking and his lips were opened this time and so were my lips and it wasn't like they were just pressing into each other, but instead our mouths were wet and they slid across each other, and over each other's lips, and then our mouths closed and then opened again and kissed again, and now I could feel his tongue, so I pressed my tongue against his, and gosh, this was so intense, I felt like our mouths were eating each other but it was exciting and I wanted to eat him more and him to eat me, and my head got light and I grabbed onto his shoulders so I wouldn't fall, which pulled us tighter together, and he put his right arm around my back and pulled me even closer than that. And we kept kissing, our mouths rolling into and over each other, and our tongues touching, and I could feel saliva going down my chin but I didn't care, I just wanted to keep him near me.
"Are we sure she's sleeping? She might be dead." This was a joke. You don't understand it, because you don't know that my mom overdosed on sleeping pills over a year ago. Maybe you don't find it funny now that you know. Neither did my dad. He gave me the look where I feel like I'm the worst son ever born.
Katherine continued, "And she still has skinny legs. She doesn't quite get it even though I've told her, like, every day, but every dude with a penis, even the gay ones, are gonna stare at her, want to talk to her, ask her out, and kiss her just so they can reach up her shirt. Trust me, I know this, and this is so true. But your boobs are still small and you dress like a boy, so we are going to have to come up with a thing to make boys like you. I can't put my reputation on the line for you if you aren't willing to make boys like you. So I'm thinking you should learn to talk dirty. Like they do in porn. Guys love it.