GENRE: YA Contemporary
When Ben's seemingly perfect older brother chases a bottle of Tylenol with a fifth of vodka, Ben must decide what's more important: exposing the skeletons in his brother's closet-- which may include having knocked up the so-called school slut-- or getting rid of the ones his brother's death has exposed in his own.
Marissa considered the word, let it roll around on her tongue like a jawbreaker, the spicy cinnamon kind that burn if they linger against the inside of your cheek for too long.
She repeated it to herself as if somehow that made it more, or perhaps less, real as she clutched a stack of pamphlets covering everything from genetic tests to her options.
A nurse looked at Marissa with a combination of sympathy and disdain but Marissa was used to this, to people looking at her like she's a person to be pitied. And perhaps feared. But in that moment, she was grateful for the familiarity of it, as if nothing really changed even though absolutely everything had.
"You have options," the nurse repeated, placing extra emphasis on the P. Options. Like she was spitting it out.
"You mean I can pick the sex?" Marissa asked. She bit the corner of her cheek to hide the curl forming in her lips-- her one tell.
The nurse looked at her sideways so that Marissa couldn't figure if she was onto her or horrified. Marissa was, of course, hoping for the latter.
"There's an adoption agency I can refer you to," the nurse continued. "Or if you'd rather talk with the counselor about how to manage your pregnancy, I can schedule that, too."
Marissa wondered about that word, manage. As if her pregnancy would require her to add another person to her payroll. Should she collect resumes? Conduct interviews? Negotiate wages?