Release Date: 07/07/15
Summary from Goodreads:
The best place to hide is in a lie…
I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.
Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.
The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.
Someone knows who I really am.
And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…
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There’s a strange tapping on my window. My heart pounds in my chest as I remember the last time. Nothing happened then, but I do sort of wish I had Zara with me now.
I take a deep breath and tiptoe to the window and peer out. A happy face peers back at me. I blink and then slide open the window.
“What the hell are you doing here, Jackson?” His eyes are bright and alive, and I realize I’m very happy to see him.
“I want to show you something,” he says.
“Normal people come to the door, you know?”
He shrugs. “You told me your parents were strict—figured this was the safe way.”
I shake my head. He’s crazy. And sneaking around my parents with a boy, even a boy as innocent as Jackson, probably isn’t the best idea in the world. Especially after what happened at dinner. I narrow my eyes. “Is it important?”
He nods eagerly, and I sigh. Good thing I didn’t change out of my school clothes yet. Besides, the chances of my parents coming to my room are nonexistent. After that big speech, my dad will want to bask in his own glory while he gives me time to think over his “lesson.” I grab a pair of tennis shoes from my closet, flick off the light so my parents think I’m sleeping, and climb out the window.
“Okay, what’s so important?”
He grabs my hand and laces his fingers through mine, which makes my heart patter in a completely idiotic way. And then he runs, pulling me with him. I notice he’s wearing a backpack. We run down the street and behind one of the houses, back to the field with the honeysuckles and my mini Central Park.
Then we stop. The sky is a dark blue, but there’s still a little bit of light peeking out over the horizon. The field is right in front of us, with the little specks of lights flickering in the darkness. “Fireflies,” I say.
Jackson turns to me, his eyes bright. “You are human!” he says with a sly smile that makes my stomach tumble.
At least my cheeks don’t get hot. I do have some composure. “But they’re actually called lightning bugs.”
“What? You made that up.”
I laugh, and we both grow quiet and watch the little specks of light in the dark field.
“My family used to go camping in the summer when I was little,” I say. “My mom and I caught fireflies together. But we haven’t done it since I was eight or so.”
“What happened after that?”
“I don’t know. My dad started working more, we stopped talking to our cousins and even my grandparents for some reason, and my parents got stricter and stricter.” I shrug, wondering if that was actually the beginning of the end of my parents’ relationship, and I just hadn’t seen it. The same way they didn’t see the way those changes affected me. “That’s around the time that everything changed for me because they wouldn’t let me out to play with kids my age, and they stopped playing with me, too.” I’m telling him more than I’m supposed to.
He takes off his backpack and pulls out a jar. “Maybe we can make her a present.”
“My mom? You don’t think she’ll say they’re too…you know…childish?”
He takes my hand. “Maybe. But maybe she needs to remember what it was like when things were good.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just some things you’ve said… It sounds like you guys haven’t been happy in a long time.” He’s right. It’s been a long time since we were happy. Not just me. My mom. My dad.
Then he tugs on my hand and brings me into the field, thankfully saving me from having to confirm or deny anything. I wonder why they’re even still here, the fireflies. It’s September; aren’t they usually gone by now? There aren’t as many as there are in the spring and summer, but there’s enough for me to catch about ten in Jackson’s jar. When we’re finished, he pokes tiny holes in the lid of the jar and hands it to me. We walk back to where he left his backpack, and I set my jar down.
“Is the night over?” he asks, his eyes alight with something else. Something very unchildish, and it kind of scares me. My whole body feels alive. At his look, heat rises into my cheeks. Thankfully, it’s too dark for him to see. I don’t know what Jackson and I are, but I do know that I don’t want to go home. Not yet.
The day Taylor Swift pulled her songs from Spotify was the day my book playlist went to die. Good thing I was already finished writing and almost all the edits were done at that point. I remember having one edit left and I had to make a youtube playlist because without Taylor Swift, the playlist is seriously lacking.
I had four major songs that set the tone for this book (only one of them isn’t a Taylor Swift song). Songs that fit different aspects so perfectly they felt like they were made for it, made to help me along (one of which, I swear, could be the theme song). Here is a list of my most important playlist songs and some of the lyrics that struck me the most (because, let’s face it, it’s the lyrics that makes these songs so great for Anna’s story)
1) Dear John by Taylor Swift
Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone.
Don't you think I was too young
To be messed with?
The girl in the dress
Cried the whole way home
I should've known.
2) Begin Again by Taylor Swift
I've been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again
3) Whore by In This Moment
You probably thought I wouldn't get this far
You thought I'd end up in the back of a car
You probably thought that I'd never escape
I'd be a rat in a cage, I'd be a slave to this place
You don't know how hard I fought to survive,
Waking up alone when I was left to die
You don't know about this life I've lived,
All these roads I've walked
All these tears I've bled
4) Innocent by Taylor Swift
(I could quote this whole song but I’ll stick to just a tid bit;) )
Did some things you can't speak of
But at night you live it all again
You wouldn't be shattered on the floor now
If only you had seen what you know now then
It's alright, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not what you've been
You're still an innocent
Some other songs on the play list:
Rise by Shawn Mcdonald
Runaway by Linkin Park
Torn to Pieces by Pop Evil
Somewhere Inbetween by Lifehouse
Lean On Me by DC Talk
Through Glass by Stone Sour
Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars
Never Too Late by Three Days Grace
Psycho by Puddle Of Mud
Fearless by DC Talk
About the Author
Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.
She wants to bring something new to the world through her writing, but just giving a little piece of herself is more than enough.
Keep a look out for her debut novel NAKED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2015
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