Title: THE MEMORY BOX
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 84,000 words
Sixteen year old Cassie Harris gathers memories, accumulates secrets, and stockpiles mistakes in THE MEMORY BOX. An 84,000 word contemporary YA novel where THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE meets ROMEO AND JULIET.
Cassie is the youngest child in a family beset by sadness. Each sibling has disappointed her parents in some way, with the most devastating instance being her brother James, who died of a drug overdose.
Cassie’s parents have vowed to protect her while she has spent her life trying to be the perfect child and playing the chameleon to fit in: she’s the good girl at church, the perfect student at school, and a secret party girl with her best friend, Meghan. But she is starved for genuine friendship, feels crushed under the weight of her parents’ dreams, and hates pretending to be someone she’s not to keep friends. She’s looking for independence and a chance to escape it all.
Cassie’s search begins when she meets rumored bad boy, Travis Beck. Travis, a mixture of dimples and bruises, is extremely observant when he catches Cassie fake drinking at a party. Embarrassed but busted, she has no other choice but to admit that she does it to fit in. While her best friend is passed out on a sofa, Cassie and Travis spend the night in a dimly lit hallway finding something in each other that no one else has ever given them before, acceptance.
When her best friend finds out, she isn’t happy. Her church friends warn her that Travis is toxic. But Cassie doesn’t see him as anything but in.toxic.ating.
For the first time in her life, Cassie stands up for something she wants and her life is finally looking up - she’s happy and making new friends - but the ball drops when her parents inform her that Travis’s father, Chris Beck, may have been the reason for her brother’s death. Their pasts and dark family secrets collide, testing their loyalties, and revealing the real reason Cassie has always safeguarded her memories.
Now, Cassie’s parents’ are determined to keep them apart and her mother, who she’s dubbed “Elaine Hussein, the tyrannical ruler of her household,” has a regime not many will defy.
Cassie must fight harder than she ever has before, and in order for their families to heal, Travis must let go of the past and unearth grave family secrets from that fateful night twelve-years ago.
Object: Glow Bracelet
Obtained: Chase Morgan’s spring break party
Memory: Meghan said Chase wanted to meet at midnight, so we tip-toed through the house and sprinted across my front lawn to his jeep waiting at the corner. We entered the party exchanging five dollar bills for glow bracelets. This allowed us access to the keg and alerted the boys to which girls were drinking. Talking, joking, dancing, drinking games, and then my mother busted through the front door.
Sitting in church on the first Sunday of September, I watched as familiar faces filtered in through the arched doorway to my far right. Besides my frame of mind, it was like any other Sunday I’d spent in this church since my birth. There were the same wooden paneled walls, the same golden carpet blanketing the floor, and the same hard pews I cursed at every week, for sixteen years.
I closed my eyes and opened my ears to the peaceful hymn floating down from the sound system above me, hoping it would calm my mood.
It didn’t work.
In an attempt to amuse myself, I pulled out a pen and started to doodle on the church program in my lap, decorating the corners with paisleys, hearts, and flowers. At the top of the page, Pastor Grey’s sermon was titled, Inviting God to Fight your Battles. I wondered if I invited Him to fight my mother, if he’d help.
Using the words on the program, I started to make acrostic poems.
R ules !!
I s being