GENRE: Upper MG Paranormal
I always thought books were boring and a waste of time, but not dangerous. I was wrong. Anything that caused Melissa to approach me was far from harmless.
"Have you read this, Mitch?" Melissa shoved a book in my face.
The paperback filled my vision, so close it blurred. Fantastic. An encounter with Melis-snob was the first item on my To-Don't list.
"Uh, no. I'm not really into books, Melissa." I tried to keep the annoyance out of my voice, hoping to avoid a confrontation. I just wanted to throw my stuff in my locker and head home. Instead, I was surrounded by Melissa and her snob-clan, about to pass out from the perfume-overload every time Melissa tossed her hair.
"Oh, but it's so amazing!" she exclaimed. "You really have to read it. Here." She thrust a paper at me. "I'm starting a book club. You should join." Melissa had a smile plastered across her face, but her eyes were hard--predatory.
Did she just ask me to join her club? I looked down at the book. Lure. The combination of the title and the way Melissa was acting creeped me out.
Kelly pushed forward out of the circle of Melissa-groupies surrounding me. "Yeah. I read the back, and it sounds awesome. I can't wait to go home and read it! I even got an extra one for Dane."
My mouth dropped open. She's delusional if she thinks Dane's gonna read that book.
"No thanks. It's really not my thing," I said.
Melissa's smile dropped, replaced by the more familiar lip twist. "You probably wouldn't understand it anyway, butthead." Her groupies laughed.
Knowing a comeback would only encourage worse insults (and really, butthead is pathetic), I pushed past the circle of weirdos, and headed to my locker.
What the heck was that all about? The last time Melissa had been nice to me -- well, I couldn't remember her ever being nice to me. And why was she inviting me to join her book club? She wouldn't even give me a piece of paper when I forgot my notebook in English, and now she wanted to hang out? Weird.
I finally reached my locker. I'd been lucky to get the same one as last year, so I didn't have to memorize a new combination. I stared at the familiar scratches as I twirled the lock. At least the weekend was here. Two weeks down, thirty-eight to go.
I looked across the hall and watched as Kelly handed Dane a copy of the book. He shook his head and tried to hand it back to her, but Kelly refused to take it. Shrugging, Dane stuck it in his backpack. As Kelly threw her arms around him, he looked over at me and rolled his eyes. I turned back to my locker, stifling a laugh. Dane was about as interested in reading that book as I was.
After shoving everything except my geometry book into my locker, I slammed the door with a satisfying clang. Yeah, I had other homework besides geometry, but I wasn't going to lug all of it home. I had a new system for all that other homework, and it didn't involve breaking my back. Besides being a waste of time, those other assignments involved oodles of reading, and I was not going to do it this year. If it couldn't be read -- translation: skimmed -- during study hall, it wasn't getting read.
"Hey, Mitch." Jen strolled up. "Two down, thirty-eight to go." She tossed her hair over her shoulder, hitching her backpack higher. My gaze followed the straight brown strands as they fell back across her hand.
"You took the words right out of my mouth," I said. "Let's get out of here."
"Let's," she said, falling in step next to me.
"You coming over? I'm gonna work on your bookshelf. I think I might actually finish it over the weekend."
We walked the first few blocks in easy silence, enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze.