YA Romance (with a backdrop of Mystery & Suspense) – 352 Pages
About the Book:
No sooner is clinically depressed heiress Mica Psmith expelled from the twelfth grade than the principal of her high school offers her a unique proposal. She can graduate on time if she enrolls in a secretive boarding school whose motto—The program will change your life or your money back—seems all too vague.
In spite of reservations (if there’s one thing she doesn’t care for it’s meddling, and Principal Goodman is a meddler), Mica enrolls in the program, setting into motion a bizarre series of events. Though at first the tricks seem harmless, the events grow increasingly more interconnected and dangerous. Alone except for her traveling companion, Roman, Mica begins to fear for her life.
Terrified of the growing possibility that the program is little more than a theatrical con game, or worse, of the very real possibility that it is a death plot, Mica and Roman risk everything to uncover the truth. But is Roman really watching out for Mica or is he tied to the criminals tracking her every step?
He looks at me strangely, and for an instant, I want to believe him. I want to believe everything he says. That Julia is alive. That the whole thing is nothing more than a waking nightmare; the twisted manifestation of an actor’s grief, brought to life by insanity, and dressed up like therapy. Connections branch through my mind like a spider web, drawing me backward in time. I replay every word out of Dr. Bluth’s mouth, searching for answers, and finding only questions.
“You must think I’m crazy,” I say, and stop crying. Roman shakes his head violently.
“You’re not crazy. That’s just the tea,” he says, reaching for my arm. He moves cautiously, like a cat in a rainstorm. “Remember the man who ran into you in the diner? You said it was strange, almost like he did it on purpose. That’s because he did it on purpose. Only he didn’t run into you; he hypnotized you. Aggie’s tea was the trigger. That’s why when you drank it—”
I feel weak, like I need to sit down, and my stomach wants to throw up. Roman’s voice is more animated than before. He smiles a slow smile, and when he talks, he sounds almost like his old self.
“Mica, you need to calm down,” he says. “So far, this has been the bad news. Let me give you the good news. You’re different than when I met you. I hardly know you, and even I think you’re different. Julia sees it, too.”
The words churn around in my gut like a flesh-eating bacteria, slowly tearing their way through my system. I find myself lowering the gun, and forcefully point it at Roman’s face. His shoulders slump down in fear.
“If you’re quiet, you can almost hear them next door,” he says, suddenly worried. The tired look on his face disappears like steam from a kettle. “Dr. Bluth—the woman with the gravelly voice. Principal Goodman. Remember the woman with the locket? Her name is Pippa. All of them, waiting to meet you. Mica, what I’m saying is true. Believe it or not, we’re the good guys.”
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