Genre: YA contemprary
Word Count: 55,000
Seventeen-year-old Callie White wants one thing above all else: to become a professional drag racer. And she’s well on her way to having it all until her best friend, Milo, goes and gets himself a girlfriend—a serious girlfriend—and puts Callie in a tailspin. As much as she loves Maxine, her ’68 Camaro, it can’t talk back. It’s not Milo.
When Milo blows off Callie one too many times, in steps Sloane, the ill-intentioned ex-best friend. Once upon a time, Milo, Callie and Sloane were a happy trio, but that was before Sloane traded in ribbons and dolls for Nitros and bad boys. Callie knows she shouldn't trust her, but then Sloane introduces her to the world of underground street racing. It’s fast. It’s deadly. It’s completely illegal. And it sucks Callie in faster than a 700 mph jet car.
Now that she’s had a taste of racing sans rules and regulations, it’s impossible for her to stop. Milo's the only one who can bring her back, but Sloane won’t give up the chance to ruin Callie’s perfect little world without a fight. She plays dirty and even Milo isn't off limits. In the end, someone’s going to crash and burn, and it’s up to Callie whether it will be herself or Milo, the boy she’s realized too late that she’s in love with.
Sharpies do not taste good. My nose crinkles as the metallic tang of permanent ink stings the tip of my tongue. With the cap clenched between my teeth, I rip the marker from my mouth and plant my foot on top of the front tire of my jet black ’68 Camaro.
Scribbled all over my gray Converse shoes are numbers, ranging from 10.9 to 14.8. In red Sharpie ink, I scrawl 10.7, my fastest time yet, across the toe. That’s how many seconds it last took to race my Camaro, Maxine, down a quarter mile track.
Hello, Universe. Callie White here, future professional drag racer extraordinaire. 10.5 seconds is what I need. 10.5 is what I’ll get. Just try and stop me. I dare you.
A horn blares nearby, followed by the familiar chug of a motor. I’d know that sound anywhere. Milo’s powder blue classic Chevy truck slows to a stop at the edge of my drive.
One tanned arm hung out the window, he smiles, revealing a set of perfect teeth, and guns the engine. Showoff. Hair on the back of my neck rises in response to his silent challenge. In racing, words are pointless, only used for gloating. I let Maxine speak for me.
I cap the Sharpie, toss it in my backpack and slide into the bucket seat. The smooth vintage leather molds to my body like a favorite pair of worn-in jeans. A swift flick of the keys and Maxine roars to life.