Genre: Contemporary YA
Word count: 94,000
To Mike Fitzroy, St. Brigid's was just another school, a sentence to be survived, until his dad moved them again. He'd learned to keep his head down, ignore the bullies long enough and they go away. Or he does.
Because the last time Mike got involved, stood up, fought back, three people went to the hospital. And the fourth... wasn't so lucky. So he'd promised her, never again.
But things start to go wrong when the hottest girl in class invites him to the big party at her place. And Mike's always had problems saying no to a girl, especially a pretty one.
Soon, the same familiar patterns emerge: a bully, his gang of thugs, a girl (or two) Mike just can't bring himself to walk away from. Mike's arrival has upset the balance of power at St. Brigid's, and despite his best intentions, things keep spiraling out of control.
Now battle lines are being drawn and people are picking sides. And Mike has to decide how much he's willing to risk and how far he can trust himself. And if he stands up this time, who's going to pay the price?
Mike combines the intellect and unabashed geekiness of John Green's AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES with a struggle with his inner demons like Dan Wells' I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER. While written as a stand-alone novel, it is meant to be the first in a series.
Some days just aren’t worth waking up for. High school seems to have a lot of them.
"Hey, Snowbird, think fast!"
There's the soft thump of shoe-on-soccer ball, followed by a loud whistle of air. And from the Doppler shift of the whistle, it's heading right for me.
I glance up from my book and lean right. The ball hurtles past my head, ricochets off the palm tree behind me, and flies back.
Looks like their aim's improving, if not their hospitality.
The ball clips the top of the low retaining wall in front of me (the one that marks the drop-off to the main field where the rest of the herd roams), angles up enough to hit one of the goon squad in the chest, staggering him back.
I go back to my reading as whichever one it hit yells, "You're dead, loser."
Don’t they ever get tired of this? Apparently not.
"Nice moves, Snowbird." Sounds like Lee, the local King Badass, at least for the sophomore class. And since this is the underclassman’s lunch, that seems to make him the big dog here.
But if Lee’s offering even sarcastic compliments, I guess it didn’t hit one of his boys.
More’s the pity. No, I can't go there. Better to just let it go. Too bad. Whatever, it’s too hot anyway.
I think the concrete's beginning to melt and those idiots are running around playing soccer for the hell of it. And they say I’m the weird one.