Janelle and Alyssa used to be friends.
Best friends. They knew each other's deepest secrets and went through the hardest times together. But that was then.
Now? Their status is somewhere between frenemies and full-on rivals. Janelle is all about making a difference in her community, while Alyssa reigns over the shallowest girls in school.
Until the day Alyssa collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Suddenly, everyone knows about her declining health and race against time. And, in a stunning twist of fate, the only person who might be able to save Alyssa's life -- is Janelle. But will the girls' bitter past get in the way of their futures?
With a fresh, unforgettable voice, Jaime Reed spins a riveting and empowering story of female friendship and how the difficult choices we make -- or don't make -- can change our lives.
Jaime Reed is the author of The Cambion Chronicles series and Keep Me in Mind
. She studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University. She now lives in Virginia, where she works part-time as a line producer for a small independent film company. But mostly she writes and watches '80s movies. Learn more about her at jaimereedbooks.com.
- ! '"If you''re going to stare then get out!" Alyssa glared grisly murder at me from
"I''m not here to harass you. I come in peace. Look. I even brought
balloons." I showed her the bright-yellow bunch in my hands.
unimpressed. "Yeah, because Lord knows I need more flowers, balloons, and cards."
was right. Child birthday parties weren''t this lit, even with a hired clown. Foil
balloons crowded the ceiling. Teddy bears and fancy bouquets hogged all the free
counter space. Looking at my meager offering, I said, "But . . . but they''re all
"You know I hate pink."
"I do know that. That''s why
I bought these." My smile widened.
Her eyes narrowed into two razor slits.
myself in, I scoped out the new digs. The room looked like a hotel suite, with cream-colored
walls and dark wood accents. A flat-screen television was mounted on the wall across
from the bed, and a chaise longue sat under the window. Then my gaze moved to the
dreaded dialysis machine next to Alyssa''s bed. Its omnipotent bulk would not go
ignored. The robo-kidney demanded acknowledgment and a steady diet of unfiltered
"What did I tell you about staring?" she asked.
eyes lifted to the ceiling. "Does it hurt?"
"Yep. But once the swelling goes
down, it should be fine."
I set the balloons on her meal tray stand and planted
my butt in the chair next to her. Crossing my legs, I asked, "So, how was your week?"
fought hard not to smile but failed. "Worst week ever."
"How long are you
gonna be stuck here?"
"Until the infection clears. Then I gotta go to a center
across town for treatment three times a week."
"Okay." I searched the room
for a new topic. "So, about what I said in class the other day --"
apologize. You''re not sorry. Don''t pretend that you are just because I''m sitting
in a hospital bed. I''m still me. You''re still you, and we can''t stand each other.
Let''s not break tradition, okay?"'