Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry - Excerpt #7

Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
Published: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 464
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon | Books-A-Million | B&N

When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.
Excerpt #7 
You know you hate being beaten by me.
From the expressions of the guys, I pegged them correctly. The girls… I could totally become best friends with because they knowingly laugh at their expense.
“I’ll play.” It’s a small voice belonging to a child, and my smile falls. Long unruly ringlets over a chubby preschool face. She stands on her tiptoes to hand money to the carnie, and he accepts it without giving her a second glance. “I’m going to win this time. I have to. Daddy says it’s my last game.”
The aforementioned daddy hands another five dollars to the carnie worker and picks up a mallet next to his daugh ter’s spot. Ugh. Knife straight to the heart as he throws me a pleading glance. He wants her to win. He needs her to win. He wants me to help her win.
I totally hate being conned, but if I’m going to lose, it will be to a five-year-old.
“Are you going to play?” the carnie asks me because it’s his job to make money. I want to answer no, but because I was once five and my father did the same thing for me, I fork over my five dollars, then tilt my head in a princess-worthy stare over at the boys.
It takes four to play, and I need one of them to lose so this kid can win. They glance at each other, waiting to see which one is going to man up.
“Your ego can handle being beaten by a five-year-old,” I say.
A guy in their group that had been hanging back strides up. “I’ll play.”
For a second, there’s a flutter in my chest, the lightest touch of butterfly wings. I secretly wish this guy would chance a look in my direction, but he doesn’t. Instead he hands the carnie five dollars and claims the spot next to me.
Wow. I’m definitely okay with this.
He’s taller than me and he’s in worn blue jeans. His white T-shirt stretches against his broad shoulders, and he’s gor geous. Drop-dead gorgeous. The defined muscles in his arms flex as he switches the mallet from one hand to another, and I’ve stopped breathing. His blondish brown hair is shaved close on the sides, but the rest of his longer hair is in com plete disarray. His freshly shaved face reminds me of a mod ern day version of James Dean, and everything about him works well. Very well.
I’m staring, I need to stop, and he’s also aware that I’m star ing and haven’t stopped. He turns his head, our eyes meet, and those butterflies lift into the air. Warm brown eyes. That’s when I’m finally scared into having the courage to glance away. But I peek back and sort of smile to find he’s now look ing at me like he can’t stop.
For the first time in my life, I like that someone is looking. Not someone—him. I like that he’s looking at me.
“We let her win,” I whisper.
He nods, and I lift my mallet. It’s tough to not get into po sition—to be poised and ready to strike. I love this game, I love winning, and losing to be nice is all fine and good, but I have to fight the instinct to go full throttle.
“You’re good at this,” he says.
“I play this game a lot. At every fair and festival I can. It’s my favorite. If there were an Olympic event for Whack-A-Mole, I would be a gold medalist several times over.”
If only that were enough to make my parents proud—or to make a living at when I graduate from college.
“Then I’m in the presence of Whack-A-Mole royalty?” The laughter in his eyes is genuine, and I watch him long enough to see if he knows who I am. Some people do. Some people don’t. I’ve learned to read the expression of recognition, and he has no clue who I am.
My body relaxes. “Totally.”
One corner of his mouth edges up, and I become tongue-tied. That is possibly the most endearing and gorgeous grin I’ve seen. He twirls the handle of the mallet around in his fingers, and I’m drawn by the way he makes the motion seem so seamless.
This incredible fantastic humming begins below my skin. To be brutally honest, I’m not sure what attraction is. My ex perience with boys has been limited, but whatever this is, I want to feel it again and on every level of my being.
The bell rings, my heart jumps, and I inhale when the worn plastic moles pop up from the holes. The instinct is to knock the hell out of them, but the tinkling laughter of the little girl farther down causes me to pull back. I hit one. Then another. I have to score something. She needs to think we at least tried.
The guy next to me hits a few moles, but in a rhythm. A crazy one. A catchy one. One that my foot taps along with. The bell rings, the little girl squeals and my hopes of win ning the large snake die.
A chirp of my cell, and I immediately text back my mother: Still at the midway. Heading back now.
Mom: Hurry. I think we should curl your hair for the event.
My hair, my outfit. That’s what’s important to her. I squish my lips to the side. It took her an hour this morning to de cide she wanted me to wear it straight. Then it took her an other hour to decide what I should wear on the midway, in case I should be recognized. Then there was the painstak ing additional hour to decide what I should wear to the press conference.
When I look up, disappointment weighs down my stom ach. The boy—he’s gone. Not really gone, but gone from beside me. He’s rejoined his group, standing with them and belonging. I will him to glance one more time my way, but he doesn’t.
That’s okay. I’m just a girl on a midway, he’s just a boy on a midway, and not everything has to end like a daydream. Truth is, once he found out what my world is really like, he’d have taken off running.
But I have to admit, it would have been nice if he had at least asked for my name.

Follow the rest of the excerpt tour below and come back February 13th to see my thoughts on this book:

Excerpt tour for SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME:

Monday, January 8th: What is That Book About
Tuesday, January 9th: Girls in Books
Wednesday, January 10th: Just One More Chapter
Thursday, January 11th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, January 12th: Stuck in Books
Tuesday, January 16th: Books and Spoons
Wednesday, January 17th: Snowdrop Dreams
Thursday, January 18th: Mama Reads Blog
Friday, January 19th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Monday, January 22nd: Books a la Mode
Tuesday, January 23rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, January 24th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Thursday, January 25th: A Holland Reads
Friday, January 26th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
TBD: @everlasting.charm – IG feature

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