TITLE: Nothing's Fair in Love and War
GENRE: Contemporary YA
I know you’ve heard it before, but for the uninitiated and the forgetful, let me repeat—high school is life’s first war zone. Administrators and teachers pitted against students. The school peppered with generals and tacticians, soldiers and spies, stumbling down the halls like war wounded. A kid has to have a will in order to make it through, shell-shocked or triumphant, as they are awarded their medal of honor, or, as parents like to call it, a diploma.
And, because I’m just the tiniest bit obsessed with all things war-related, I’ve watched Casablanca twelve times. That means I totally get the ironic parallel when my long lost love, Hawke, walks back into my personal Rick’s Café. Only the café-bar in this case is my school…or my life…or the middle of the kill zone.
It’s the morning before the first day of school, and I’m dragging my raggedy-ass self through East High’s main office door. Vice-principal Mann looks up from behind the counter as I sleepwalk over.
“Shae?” She tilts her head, eyeing me like I’m a zoo animal she can’t quite put a name to. Mrs. Mann, who is thinner than most of the girls at school (and that’s not a good thing), runs her hands down her red pencil skirt. Her white shirt is tucked in and crispy-starched right up to the mandarin collar. Mrs. Mann knows who I am because I’ve landed in that circle of hell where your vice-principal is also your next-door neighbor.