GENRE: YA Contemporary
When Merritt Reed becomes the focus of her high school’s gossip, she feels like an island. Perhaps that’s what draws her to Hamza. Though everything about the dark-haired loner screams, “Go away,” she wonders if he’s hiding something. Especially when she hears his parents call him Amir, meaning prince in Arabic. Gradually Merritt falls for Hamza and the turmoil hidden deep in his green irises, but his secret could get them killed, or worse, grounded for eternity.
LATE might as well be a four-letter-word that gets your mouth doused with Tabasco sauce if your mom catches you saying it. That’s how much I hate being late, especially to school. I’m like the white rabbit, frantically glancing at his pocket watch, no time to give Alice decent directions. “No time to say hello/goodbye. I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”
Today is one of those four-letter-word days. I just woke up, heart galloping in my chest, head dizzy from catapulting out of bed to the buzzing of my younger sister’s alarm.
Eep! Forget the shower, cute hair, or outfit that was going to say I’m totally fine with my newly single status. Instead I grab the jeans I wore yesterday and snag the first top my fingers touch in my closet.
Here’s hoping my hair doesn’t look like Medusa’s snakes have partied in it.
I rush downstairs, struggling into the sleeves of my new spearmint-colored parka.
“Merritt, what are you still doing here?” my mom asks, eyes widening over the rim of her coffee mug. “I thought you’d taken the bus.”
“Forgot to set my alarm.” I grab a banana from the fruit holder. “Can you take me? I’m super late.”
“There’s a foot of snow outside. Do you really think I’d make you walk?”
“The way my morning is going, probably.”
She gives me a look that says I’m being way too dramatic about my life. Whatever.