Date Published: March 19, 2013
Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.
Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret.
(This is a New Adult fiction book with mature themes. It contains explicit language and descriptions of sexual violence.)
Read an excerpt:
I left the bathroom in a hurry, turning the corner for the foyer and slamming into him. The force of the hit was so great that I stumbled backwards, nearly falling on my bottom if not for his outstretched hand. I grabbed it before going down and wobbled on my too-high heels, clutching him as I worked to regain my balance.
“God, I’m sorry!” he exclaimed.
I looked at his face then, unprepared to see something so beautiful. I think I gasped. And then I averted my eyes out of sheer embarrassment.
“I really should watch where I’m going,” he said.
He still held my hand, and I let him. I couldn’t remember who I was or where I was going. I couldn’t remember where I had just been. I only knew that a very cute boy . . . no, he was more than cute. He was gorgeous. This very gorgeous boy was holding my hand, and I had only one thought. I wanted to make our handholding more intimate. I wanted to lace my fingers with his.
“I think I should,” I mumbled.
I chanced another look at him. I made a conscientious effort not to gasp as I took in his light blue eyes. I’d never seen eyes that color. Jared Leto had nothing on this guy’s eyes, and Jared’s eyes were the color of the Mediterranean. No, the eyes I looked into now were so light blue they looked translucent. I thought if I stared a little longer I could see right inside his head, to his brain, and I don’t know why that turned me on so much. I wanted to witness the workings of his mind, the firing synapses, information traveling safely inside neurons to different parts of his body. A few made it to his hand, and they must have told him to keep holding mine because he didn’t let go.
I stared shamelessly, licking my lips at one point. He stared back just as boldly. I wanted him to like what he saw. I wanted him to think I was sexy. I wanted him to feel the same instant attraction I did. I’d never felt it before. Not really. Not even with Finn. It was unsettling, and I wondered how people functioned after being smacked upside the head with it. Instant. Physical. Chemical.
Just rip my clothes off, I thought. Just rip my clothes off and do me right here in the hallway!
He smiled and released my hand. I thought he did it reluctantly, like his brain ordered him to and he finally acquiesced. I smiled back, a flirty grin. I pulled my ponytail forward over my shoulder and played with the strands. I bit my lower lip. And then reality came crashing down like a hailstorm, large lumps of ice banging my head and screaming at me in unison.
“YOU’RE AT A FUNERAL!”
I looked at the gorgeous guy, and my face went white.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
He stared at me for a moment before saying, “Are you okay?”
I shook my head and started towards the sanctuary doors. He followed behind.
“I’m awful, I’m awful, I’m awful,” I whispered over and over. I didn’t care if he could hear.
What the hell was I doing? Trying to flirt with a guy at my best friend’s funeral? How could I even forget for a second that I was at a funeral? I was supposed to be carrying around heavy, black sorrow to match my black dress and black heart, not batting lashes and fantasizing about sex with a stranger. Was I so ridiculous that a hot guy could make me forget to have any kind of decency? Or shame?
I rounded the corner and saw my mother waiting for me. And then I ran to her, threw myself into her arms, and burst into a fit of tears.
“Brooklyn,” she whispered, holding me in a tight hug. “It’s okay,” she cooed as she stroked my hair.
“I’m a terrible friend!” I wailed. I saw the fuzzy outline of a boy walking past us tentatively through the doors.
“No, you aren’t,” my mother replied.
“Yes, I am! I don’t even know why I’m here! Beth hated my guts! She wouldn’t talk to me all summer!”
“Brooke,” Mom said. “I want you to calm down. Now, we talked about this. You knew it would be hard, but she was your best friend for all those years. Do you think she wouldn’t have wanted you here?”
“No, I don’t!” I cried.
“Yes, she would,” Mom said. “Now we have to go in.”
“Brooke, Beth was your best friend,” Mom said, trying for patience.
“No she wasn’t! Not after what I did! I ruined everything! I’m a freaking slut!” I sobbed, shaking my head from side to side.
“Sweetheart, don’t say words like ‘freaking’ and ‘slut’ in a church,” Mom replied.
I only sobbed louder.
“You can do this,” Mom encouraged.
I stood my ground, shaking my head violently, refusing to go in.
“Brooklyn Wright!” Mom hissed, pushing me away and grabbing my upper arm. She squeezed too tightly, and I squeaked in discomfort. There was no more tenderness in her voice. “Get yourself together. This isn’t about you. So stop making it about you. You’re going into that sanctuary and you’re going to pay your respects to your friend, and you’re going to make it about Beth. Do you understand me?”
I swallowed hard and wiped my face.
“Do you understand me?” Mom repeated.
I nodded grudgingly, and she took my hand, leading me through the doors.
Brooke is playing a very dangerous game here. She wants to avenge her best friend's death, as well as make some postmortem amends for the horrible things that she did. But she has no idea of the potential consequences of her actions. She tries to be all grown up, and takes on way too much. She is risking not only herself, but also new and positive relationships in her life. How far would you go to avenge your best friend?
This book was very well written compared to a lot of coming of age books I have read lately. It deals with very mature topics, but can be a real eye opener. I would believe that groups like this do in fact exist in high schools and colleges these days. Girls could use this as a launching point for discussing how to better protect themselves, each other, and where to turn for help.
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.