Title: OPERATION BREAKUP
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 78,000
Sixteen-year-old artist and wallflower, Abby Wheeler, has blended herself into the background so well that she’s practically invisible. Even the guy of her dreams, Cooper Deal, barely knows she exists. He’s the soccer team captain with the popularity status to match. Art freaks need not apply. Besides, Cooper’s girlfriend, Miss Teenage Dream herself, has already dug her claws in him and no amount of brute force will tear that she-monster away.
When Abby accidentally slips about her secret infatuation in front of master manipulator Ian Koch, she’s sure her future involves being Ian’s blackmailed slave. Craptastic. But he makes an enticing proposal instead: he’ll keep his trap shut about Abby’s crush if she joins forces with him to end Cooper’s relationship. Operation Breakup. Seems simple enough—Abby loves Cooper, Ian loves Cooper’s girlfriend, throw a wedge between the supercouple, and voilà! The perfect opportunity for Abby to change the course of her life.
But making a deal with the devil comes with a price. As Ian’s demands grow increasingly risky, Abby’s list of enemies piles high and Cooper’s girlfriend is at the top. Abby finds herself knee-deep in blackmail, bribes and threats of exposure. The only thing keeping her grounded is the growing spark between her and Cooper Deal—a spark she hopes is real. But at the rate she’s going, Cooper may not know the real Abby or her true intentions when Operation Breakup’s mission is complete. She’s not even sure she’ll know herself.
Ian Koch had no business telling me where to sit. Talk about pissing me off royally.
He lifted one hand, looking like it pained him to wave me over. Great. Front row. As if Global History wasn’t excruciatingly bad enough. I dragged my feet to the chair next to him, then slammed my ass down so hard I was almost paralyzed.
I’ve never liked sitting up front. Aside from looking like a bonafide dork, Mr. Rausch has this charming habit of spitting whenever he’s passionate about war (which, in Global History, is just about every day). And since spit-shields aren’t sold in the school supplies section at Staples, I steer clear of the front row. Hiding somewhere in the middle suits me fine, anyway. It’s a way of life.
“Should we sit at Mr. Rausch’s desk instead?” I tapped my pen on the side of the teacher’s desk. “Maybe do the lesson for him, too, while we’re at it? Just saying.”
Ian smirked. “I didn’t make Dean’s List by hiding in the back of the classroom."
“I don’t hide.”
“Please. You’re a perpetual hider, have been since kindergarten.”
I scowled. “I have awards, too, you know.”
“Art awards don’t count, sweetheart.”
No less than five minutes into Global Studies and the first stab of a migraine had already pierced my left eyeball. It started at the exact moment I’d shoved my hand into that paper bag and pulled out a slip of paper with Ian Koch’s name scrawled on it.