"GRIPPING AND UNPUTDOWNABLE." --Christina Lauren, international bestselling authors of Dating You/Hating You “THIS WAS a bittersweet tumble into eighties high school nostalgia, with all the angst, sexual tension and emotional confusion involved with first love, and so well done it was a non-stop read to the end.… (Oh, and one of the best first kisses I have EVER read...),” says one reviewer
Published: September 2019
Chicago suburbs, 1985. The high school. The mall. The blood-stained Mercedes. Misogyny. Homophobia. Class warfare. Cocaine.
(And the first semester isn’t even over yet.)
The Jocks with their pastel Izods. The Barbies. The loser Burnouts.
High school in the 1980s had rules. Barbies and Jocks can mix. Barbie cheerleaders steer clear of the losers. Punks want to burn it all down.
Samantha Ward doesn't love the rules, but she plays to win. So when a snarky Burnout goes after her in a face-off, of course she fights back. Of course she fights mean. She may not get his sex joke, but she knows he made one. About her. In front of the entire cafeteria. And what's worse, she feels a tingle when she looks at bad-boy Jason.
How could she know her mean girl put-down would launch a war? Or that the school she knows hides a darker world she never even dreamed of?
In Between Days is a pitch-perfect story of first love, friendship, and enemies; of loyalty, betrayal, and the power of secrets. This darkly funny, suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of The Outsiders and The Breakfast Club.
Author's Note: This is a historical novel that contains period language that is, and was then, and should be, offensive.
During those next moments, time seemed mechanized. The corners of objects grew sharper and thinner, digitized, like an arcade game. She watched a video game version of herself calmly slip on black clothes, cover her hair with a black hat, rifle through drawers and purses. Grabbing a dark-colored backpack from the closet, this calm girl shoved the few things she’d gathered into it, rolled up a blanket from the bed and stood a moment. In that moment, she was that video game girl, and what they saw was the same: one window, one face, one car hurtling through darkness.
Later, in the back seat, she’d direct the driver to the freeway as the lights began to flicker back on throughout town. She’d press a towel tight to where a head was bleeding or hold the bloodstained blanket in place to ward off shock. A voice would mumble, “You don’t belong here, sorry,” and her own voice would whisper, “How do you know where I belong?” And then a third voice would say, “Careful, there’s a gun back there somewhere,” and then no one would say anything for a while.
Looking back, it all happened so fast, it was as if she’d barely blinked an eye—except for the days that stretched so long, they seemed like half her life at least, she got so old in the course of them. And in between, those moments she wanted to stop, hold on to, wear like a charm around her neck. Or a scar.
Then, that moment, she turned toward the window and threw a blanket to the ground. A white Mercedes, lights off, edged through the branches of trees in the moonlight. She stepped onto the ladder with one last look to her room, its pale blue walls, rose carpet and white furniture luminous in the dark like ghosts. It was the room she’d grown up in except for the part of growing up that started now. It was the room she would never return to, because when she did come back to it, it would be the same, but she would be different.
Because no one knew who she really was, because who she really was, was in motion. Who she really was, was young, and alone, and scared, without a plan, or a rulebook, or any idea what game she was playing. And she knew she was playing for keeps.
About the author:
Anne Jamison is the author of three critical books, including Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. She lives in Salt Lake City with her dogs, her son, and an avant-garde poet. She is an English professor, but not the kind that corrects your grammar (unless she is actively grading your paper). In Between Days is her first novel.
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