Sorry Not Sorry

by Jaime Reed

March 2019

Ages 12 – 18 . Grades 7 – 12

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

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


--- - ! '"If you''re going to stare then get out!" Alyssa glared grisly murder at me from the bed.

"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.

Alyssa scoffed, unimpressed. "Yeah, because Lord knows I need more flowers, balloons, and cards."

She 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 pink."

"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.

Inviting 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 blood.

"What did I tell you about staring?" she asked.

"Sorry." My 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?"

She 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 --"

"Don''t 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?"'

ISBN: 9781338149012

304pp. | 5-½ x 8-¼