Chasing Days by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Genre: Contemporary Fiction // Age Group: Young Adult
TAG LINE: Two weeks until graduation, two best friends struggling with their identities, and two secrets that are bigger than they both are; everything is about to change, epically.
Two-weeks until Willa Wohlbreuk graduates.
Fourteen-days left for exams and senior pranks.
Three hundred-thirty-six-hours for friendships to unravel and to fall in and out of love.
Twenty thousand-one-hundred-sixty-minutes left to go wild and grow up.
And one million two-hundred-nine-thousand-six-hundred-seconds to figure out what freedom really means.
Willa faces her best friend Teddy—Theo now—as he defies his parents and reveals something about himself she never expected. Joss appears with blue hair and stirs things up. And Grady, finally, after four years, suddenly knows Willa’s name. Meanwhile, the undercurrent of uncertainty about the future dredges up the possibility that Willa isn’t even sure who she is. All she knows is life is about to change, epically.
A story of identity and fitting in, friendship and love, living with uncertainty and sexual awakening for fans of Keeping you a Secret by Julie Anne Peters, Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour, Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, and I'll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
// EXCERPT //
“Are oysters really an aphrodisiac? It seems like eating one would be like inhaling giant gobs of mucous.”
Teddy closes one eye, squints the other, and sticks out his tongue. “When you put it like that, nasty. But I suppose anything can make for the sexy time. Also, I can’t help it if I think with my stomach. The lobster rolls at the Clam Shack are the bomb.”
When we pull into the parking lot at Puckett High School, Grady O'Rourke slams the door of a truck that looks like he stole it from a scrap yard. The kind plucky kids dance and drum on top of in a spirited musical; the lively productions my dad digs. He's a film and theater buff.
In some circles, Grady has the reputation for being the sort of guy who thinks with the part of his anatomy that lives south of his stomach. He cruises across the lawn with his backpack lazily slung over one shoulder. He nods at a group and fist bumps a couple of his friends. The way his jeans hang from his hips and how his strong shoulders rise and fall as he laughs would make me swoon if it wouldn’t result in Teddy laughing at me for days afterward. I'm not really that kind of girl anyway, and yet my inner tide laps foreign shores.
Nonetheless, Teddy's radar is finely honed. He catches me ogling. He laughs at me anyway. “Really? His Royal Hotness, still? Even after the rumor Layla Leonard gave him crabs?” Teddy asks.
I ignore him. I can’t explain it, but Grady is the singular guy at Puckett that I’m attracted to and since my life has been one long dry spell, I white-knuckle the possibility of a him and a me. It’s never really mattered before that I’m a virgin and only had a boyfriend once in tenth grade that I made out with a few times. A few slimy-tongue, drool-everywhere times. His fault, not mine. Also, the thing about crabs was a poorly timed joke that turned into a misunderstanding during his shift at the Clam Shack. I casually had it confirmed by multiple sources.
There are only two weeks of senior year left. What else do I have to show for four years in high school? Decent grades? A functional understanding of ingrained stereotypes and social structure? A dislike for soggy tater tots? A mastery of isotopes and cell division? Two best friends?
Teddy thumbs the steering wheel, distracted. He’s probably fantasizing about Jerusha just like I am about Grady…and Joss. Last night on the futon sofa in the living room rushes back with a pleasantly warm sensation between my thighs. But I can’t tell Teddy because I can hardly admit it to myself. Anyway, he’d have to go first. He called dibs on homosexuality without actually calling dibs. I feel kind of like a cell-dividing mutant with mismatched furniture and a tidal wave of confusion. Did that make any sense? Not really. I'm beginning to think change tends not to.
Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the young adult bestsellers, Sugar and Pearl along with the Follow your Bliss series. When she's not writing, she's probably surfing or in pursuit of magic. She also has a healthy case of wanderlust, loves chips and salsa, and dreams about learning no less than three languages. Join her monthly newsie.
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