Title: CAN'T BUY ME LOVE
Genre: Upper Middle Grade
Word Count: 54,000
Thirteen-year-old Marnie Mercer thinks middle school would be perfect if she could just address a few critical issues. The lack of cell phone thing, for one. Her yawn-inducing social status, for another. And would it be too much to ask for a first kiss to knock her (discount store) shoes off? But when she inherits a fortune from an unknown great-aunt, she discovers a brand new set of complications.
Now, her best friend is convinced money corrupts, her parents need a loan, and a group of popular girls offer Marnie access to the top of the social pyramid, but first she’ll have to complete their zany pledging checklist. Soon she’s sneaking locks of her principal’s hair, stealing her teacher’s beloved laser pointer, and throwing a sure-to-get-her-grounded-for-LIFE party.
To make matters worse, she’s finally met a guy worth his weight in gold—only he might not be so interested if he finds out how many commas separate their allowances. Marnie needs to find a way to manage her money and her life while staying true to herself. Otherwise, she can say goodbye to her best friend’s respect, her parents’ trust, and any chance of getting her first kiss from a boy who makes her feel priceless.
Life as a teenage heiress is one mixed bag of crazy.
Is it totally wrong to be jealous of someone else’s coffin? I mean, it’s not like I have a death wish or anything but my great-aunt’s casket is seriously blinged out. It has actual diamonds in the handles. When my time’s up, I definitely wouldn’t mind flaming out movie-star-style, like Aunt Glinda.
Maybe if I’d ever laid eyes on her (or at least the casket I assume she’s inside) even once in the last thirteen years, I might be a little more into paying my respects instead of calculating carats, but until two days ago, I didn’t even know I had an Aunt Glinda.
“Marnie, please move it along,” hisses Mom, under her breath.
Whoops! I realize I’ve been standing over Aunt Glinda’s casket for like two whole minutes and there’s a line of people backed up behind me.
“Sorry,” I whisper and speed walk back to our pew.
It’s a little difficult to get worked up for a stranger-relative, but from all the nice things everyone is saying about Aunt Glinda, she sounds like she was pretty cool. And RICH! The diamonds are practically blinding, especially when they catch the sunlight coming in through the stained glass windows. There are beams of color flying all over the place, like when Mr. Martin goes crazy with his laser pointer in history class. He so doesn’t get that pointing a red dot at Abe Lincoln’s nostril does not make the Civil War more interesting.